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Old 10-20-2013   #1
 
Steamboat, 80487
Join Date: Jul 2013
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First Time Down Gates. Need Seasoned Advice

Howdy folks!

Going to be doing an early November Gates trip. Went down Gates in November last year except this time I'll be rowing. It will be my first full rowed float on my own and I need advice from the seasoned folks if you are kind enough to share your knowledge.

First off, I'm a bit worried about disaster, triplet and hells half. Particularly because I'll be rowing a 15'er through low water. We had a 16 last year and made it through fine but that was because my pro friend was rowing.

I know I'll be pointing clear away from cobble bars and sharpy rocks through hells half but is there anything else I need to know before setting sail?

You all rock btw.

Cheers,


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Old 10-21-2013   #2
 
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 80's
Join Date: Apr 2013
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We did a low water run in Gates last year. It's a great time to be down there! Just be ready to pull away from Lucifer in "Hells". Be prepared to drag a little bit in a few spots, and maybe have to un-park a boat or 2 off of a rock now and then. Have fun!
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Old 10-21-2013   #3
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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I have a video of the Lowdore (850 cfs) on youtube which shows most of the rapids you mentioned and my lines in a 16 footer. Upper disaster down the middle, a bit to the right of the center. If you scout it you will see the line and the tongue to take.

Lower disaster just stay off the rocks, when you think it's over, it's not, keep on the sticks and keep working the rocks.

Triplet, pull away from right wall, hug the boulder on the river right and slide right through. At this flow Triplet wouldn't be an issue because the boulder that everyone messes up on is too far out of the water and the "slide on" part of the rock is too high. If you kiss the boulder, you will just bounce off of it and won't ride up to flip.

Hells' Half mile is the same approach as always, but you will be pushed to go left of Lucifer, don't fight it and go along with it. You will hit Lucifer, so point your bow into it, so you just bounce off of it and slide off on the left side. If you fight it, you will hit it with the center of your side and you will be in mucho trouble.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-21-2013   #4
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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By the way, running this late in the season opens up all awesome camps for your enjoyment!

My recommendation would be to do 5 day trip.

1st night: Wades & Curtis
2nd night: Pot Creek #1
3rd night: Limestone
4th night: Jones Hole #3 (#1 and #2 now have really crappy landing with low water)

If you launch early on the 5th day (I usually launch by 8am), you will be at the take out by 1:30pm or so.
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Old 10-21-2013   #5
 
Steamboat, 80487
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Amazing video. I agree with the guy who posted on there about you being a great storyteller. That video helped me a lot!

Looks like the gates are running at 811 so its right in the ballpark. Thanks for the help kazak.
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Old 10-21-2013   #6
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Omg I love teh gates
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Old 10-21-2013   #7
The Russian
 
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SLC, Utah
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The reason I say to go 5 days, the slog through Island park is a lengthy one at that flow. So get ready for lots of still water, but the good thing about going in November is you won't have too much of the crazy summer afternoon winds.
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Old 10-21-2013   #8
 
Westminster, Colorado
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For someone new on the oars on that stretch, I think the best advice is to take careful, short, shallow strokes. The number of places to catch and break an oar are innumerable. Practice only getting the blade wet, and always watch your downstream oar if drifting sideways.
That, and you WILL get stuck somewhere. Or, at least, you will very likely get stuck somewhere. Start thinking about how to get your boat off a rock before you even get to the ramp.
I agree with 5 days, but in November I would aim for one of the Island Park camps for the last night. Bugs are gone, you'll get more sun, and it is very pretty out there, although different.

Good luck. It's a beautiful canyon, even if 800 cfs is only just barely enough water to float on...
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Old 10-21-2013   #9
 
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Gardnerville, Nevada
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Can you ever do more than 5?
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Old 10-21-2013   #10
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazak4x4 View Post
The reason I say to go 5 days, the slog through Island park is a lengthy one at that flow. So get ready for lots of still water, but the good thing about going in November is you won't have too much of the crazy summer afternoon winds.

Yup! Too bad he jinxed ya though. And I agree, always buy the extra day in dinosaur!

While jones hole is pretty nice, the comments about heading out to camp past the end of Whirpool on the last night are right on, that is a long day to take out in slow water no matter where you camp. You can pull off a jones hole lunch stop if you camp closer to the confluence the night before. Good short and medium hikes to be had there, plus that sweet little alpine stream. Picnic tables too if I remember correctly.

And ya, if you are green, you'll get stuck in the frequent rock gardens.

Prepare for long shady and potentially cold days in November.

Have fun it'll be a blast.
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