Middle Fork - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-18-2006   #1
rwhyman's Avatar
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 968
Middle Fork

If you have ever run the Middle Fork, I need an opinion. I have a 14 ft raft and I'm wondering if maybe a 16 or 18 might be better for a 2nd week of June trip. I'm thinking with all the snow this year, it might still be running pretty big. Sorry, the trip is already full.

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Old 02-18-2006   #2
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
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it doesn't matter. take the smallest boat that will fit your gear and passengers.
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Old 02-18-2006   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I've run it at a medium- high (sorry I can't remember the stage level). The upper section requires good maneuverability at any water level. The waves and hole can get big but not that big. I would recommend taking the 14 foot raft over the 16 footer. Although you're taking advice from a kayaker not a rafter. It's a real classic, have fun!!
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Old 02-18-2006   #4
Join Date: Nov 2005
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The rapids are not bad at high water. Most wash out and are just rollers. Pay attention, avoid a few holes and rocks, and you are fine. You'd probably want the manueaverability rather than the size.

There's a nice DVD of the river trip. It shows the river at low water.
Confluence Kayaks has them.
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Old 02-18-2006   #5
on your sister, ...
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by mania
it doesn't matter. take the smallest boat that will fit your gear and passengers.
yeah, i agree with this. i have run it in a 13ft and a 16ft without issue.

If I had to choose though then I enjoyed the 16ft more simply due to the extra space for gear and passengers and increased stability but 14ft should be fine that time of the year.Also, even at low water there really isn't anything so technical that a 13ft raft can go down that a 16-18ft can't.

I would second getting the new dvd (nrs has'em) too. money well spent for me and put me on a few side hikes that were incredible...the tip on the hike up nugget creek to a grotto w/ small waterfall was worth the cost alone!!!
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Old 02-20-2006   #6
I'm right 50% of the time
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Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I took a Superpuma (13' X 5'8") down the MF last year. Water was good, but not high. The rapids are fun, the springs are incredible and the scenery is awesome. Look out for poison ivy around sunflower HS. I had a flip in Tappan Falls after surfing the wave for a few minutes and then a lecture about how to properly run rapids from a newbie as I swam for my boat. It started with something like "Grab your throw bad and swim for shore" LMMFAO. All in all a great trip. (to bad I didn't get a permit this year) Loved the small boat, made it more exciting. My advice... take more warm clothes that you think you'll need. It's very cold in June and I froze my A$$ off. On a side, Don't pack all your water, you can get some at various locations down the river.

Thanks Scott and Jamie. I know we didn't exactly jive, but what a trip it was.
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Old 02-24-2006   #7
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 17
Big Water Midle fork raft?

I have run it up to about 7.3 feet and I prefer a 14 foot raft. I als make sure that I don't overloar it. I lke to be quick and nimble to avoid Murph's hole, Velvet (which is a left sneak at high flow (way left of the rock)). If you have a wife 2 kids and a dog, take the 16 cause you don't want a 10 foot tall cargo stack on the thing. Nice river, Class III+ IV- at high flows with about 6 holes that will destroy you. Miss those and you are chillin.

PS huge log still on Marsh Creek right now. Know your plan for it before you launch. Go to the Idahowitewater discussion group on Yahoo and you will get 200 replys to a post like this.
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