Middle Fork low water IK question - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-06-2020   #1
 
Gold Beach, Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Middle Fork low water IK question

Please help me decide whether or not to let my teenage niece ducky the Middle Fork from Boundary August 7. It is a large experienced group, but first time for everyone on MF. They are really safety conscious and noob tolerant. She is tough though she has never done anything harder than Desolation-Grey at 3500cfs. Is low MF low consequence for duckys with good safety? Or is this a really stupid thing to even consider? Thanks.

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Old 04-06-2020   #2
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,063
Haven't yet done it myself at low water, but have several friends who have--either private or outfitted. Seems that the low water MF is a much different beast than the June MF.
If it's bony, she may have more fun than you! I say go for it.
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Old 04-06-2020   #3
 
Eugene, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
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Not stupid at all if she is comfortable in an IK. I have floated from Boundary with IKers with less experience many times at low water.
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Old 04-06-2020   #4
 
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2010
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You could try it, but I would save room in a boat to haul her and her IK if things don't work out. I've had both good and bad experiences with people in IK's on the MF.
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Old 04-06-2020   #5
 
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Northern Utah, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 690
Great river and good time of year to ducky, consequences are lower. The one recommendation I'd make for some knee protection (like an NRS farmer jane wetsuit with padded knees) the first two days as many of the rapids are rock gardens and a swim can be a bouncy affair. The Chutes starting around mile 7.7 tripped my daughter up in an IK in Aug 2018 (around 2') and gave her a bumpy swim.

Your daughter's confidence and skills will increase greatly on that trip - nothing like 4+ days of continuous paddling. The difference in the confidence and skills from day 1 to last day is amazing.

Enjoy the trip.
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Old 04-06-2020   #6
 
Gold Beach, Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for the answers and tips. Not my trip, but she said she'd go or stay on my advice. And I don't know what I'm talking about there so we appreciate the info. It sounds like an all IK or nothing situation with lack of passenger space. I'll be posting my own MF trip here shortly. Gracias!
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Old 04-06-2020   #7
 
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salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,215
One thing about a newbie on an IK on a low water middle fork that you need to stress is spacial awareness.. They can move around so fast and can easily get into someones way when they are trying to make a move that depends if they are really stuck or not. I have seen it happen lol. Just make sure they keep their distance when needed..
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Old 04-06-2020   #8
 
La Grande, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 109
Cold

It is a great trip and a beautiful place. Just remember you start at about 6300 feet. It can get cold at night and stay cold all day. We have floated it as late as late August and the water first couple of days is also cold. It is hard to get away from the water in an IK. Worth it, just dress accordingly!
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Old 04-07-2020   #9
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,848
As mentioned MFS water is cold and the altitude makes breathing a bit harder for us flat land types.

Making sure she has a dry suit could be a life saver if she swims. For sure it will make being in a IK a lot more comfortable.

Might be time for a early Christmas gift.
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Old 04-07-2020   #10
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
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So cold.
Had a drizzly late May launch and was cold for 2.5 days. Spent at least 4 hours in Sheepeater. Finally started thawing out about the time we passed Indian Creek.

A hot tent is awesome.
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