kayak suggestions for escalante river and more? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-08-2013   #1
layton, Utah
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Ok so I'm new to ww kayaking. I've got a short sea kayak (old town egret 14.5') and a couple rec boats. However I've yet to try any meaningful whitewater runs. My skills are so far limited. I can roll my egret easily enough, and I've gone down some class I and II rivers. I decided I am going to try some more serious rivers to run, so I need a new boat.

5'10" 180lbs. Size 11 shoe.

At the top of my list of rivers I want to try is the escalante when it next is running. Assuming of course I am comfortable enough in whatever boat I get by then. Given that's a good 7+ days I'm going to need storage capacity. Leaning towards a crossover kayak. Specificly the ws ethos 10. Or perhaps a pyranha fusion. A creek boat is also a consideration. LL stomper 90 or something.

My question: given my goals of river running with multi day self support, perhaps in the 7-10 day range, what kayak would you suggest I consider? Is there anything suitable for multi day trips, that's worth learning on? I would prefer whatever I get to handle up to class IV but not totally suck on flat spots on the rivers as well. I like the badass outfitting in LL kayaks but I don't quite like the remix xp. Couldn't say why though. Anyways thanks in advance for any replies

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Old 10-08-2013   #2
jpwinc's Avatar
durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1964
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 160
Are you talking about the Escalante River in Southern Utah?

This is a pic of a takeout years ago when the lake was at the top.

They ran the river at 30 or so CFS in pack cats.

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Old 10-08-2013   #3
Hood River, Oregon
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Look into Alpacka Packrafts if you are mostly interested in the multi day/expedition aspect:

Alpacka Raft LLC - The World's Finest Packrafts
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Old 10-08-2013   #4
layton, Utah
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Yep that would be the place

Not to be confused with the escalante creek.

The escalante river is a goal of mine. Coming from a touring background, that's what appeals to me. however, I also want to dabble in whitewater and expand my experience some. So a hardshell kayak seems more likely to fit what I am looking for.

I've seen some trip reports of people who have used remix xp and pyranha fusions on the escalante river, so I know it works in a good water year. Though more people seem to use inflatables on it. Just trying to get a feel for if I really need a crossover or if a large volume creek boat would work. Assuming for experimenting with whitewater runs a creek boat would handle better, but it also seems that crossovers were practicly invented for the kind of runs I most want to do.
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Old 10-08-2013   #5
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I caught it at the peak a few years ago. Unfortunately the peak was like 8 cfs on the gauge. We took 2 tomcat solo inflatables. So glad I wasn't in a hardshell. Constant in and out to scooch through shallows and a monster carry out through the sand.

There were a few canoes and a few packrafts in there. Not a single hardshell kayak though.

That being said I think an XP 9 or 10 would do the trick nicely if there was more water. at least 20cfs I would think.

My advice: unless you are ready to make a serious investment and develop and maintain a very specialized skill set just rent an IK in the spring.
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Old 10-13-2013   #6
Santa Cruz, California
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I did this back in 2005 in Aire II IKs. If you want to be comfortable and eat something besides freeze dried, rent, borrow or buy an inflatable kayak- likely will get super hot in a hard shell and you can't carry anything in them.
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Old 10-14-2013   #7
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,817
The craft of choice for Escalante River is a ducky or packraft. If you were to go with a hardshell I would use something like the Wilderness Systems Tsunami Tsunami 175 PRO w/ Rudder - Wilderness Systems Kayaks.

An XP or Fusion or Ethos would be acceptable, but tight on space.

I wouldn't try a trip like Escalante with a Stomper, or any creek boat.
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Old 10-14-2013   #8
layton, Utah
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7
Hmm. So the general consensus is inflatables all the way.

The main reason I am leaning towards a hardshell is I don't want to pop a rented inflatable on those russian olives that I see in most pictures. I dislike renting things because I feel bad if accidents happen. I have no wish to purchase an inflatable though.

I'm suprised though at the sea kayak suggestion. I would have thought it would be too much of a pain to maneuver something that long. Perhaps my egret would work just fine then. 14.5" it's long enough I ignored it, assuming it wouldn't maneuver well enough in narrow places
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Old 10-14-2013   #9
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p.c., confused
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I did the escalante way back in the early nineties in hard shell kayaks everthing stuffed in dry sacks for 4 days wow what a trip. Had to make multiple trips back and forth thru the "crack in the wall" to get all are gear out, but it was worth it. To do it again I would do it in an IK though maybe a 6 day trip more time to explore and hike. It is a way cool place. Hippity HO!
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Old 10-14-2013   #10
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
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A proper inflatable kayak like an Aire/Trib should have no problems with Russian olives. We powered through, over, under and around without any problems. Bring a decent repair kit and go for it. At the end we rolled them up and hiked out. took 2 trips and that was with canyoneering gear too.

A Sevylor or similar would last perhaps 10 seconds.

I would be reluctant to take a sea kayak. but at certain flows I suppose you could make it work. if a weird ass raft/cat/Frankenstein thing can do it a sea kayak should be able to.

But I still submit 5 votes for IK. Nobody wants to ruin a rental kayak, but it is an acceptable risk.
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