Someone talk me out of this - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-17-2013   #1
 
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
Join Date: May 2005
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Someone talk me out of this

I'm coordinator for a canoe club trip on the Green - Stillwater Canyon - in September, and contemplating taking a 14' self-bailing raft instead of my old wilderness canoe. I have canoed that section a couple of times, but never rafted it. I have seen non-motorized rafts on it, so I know the flows, etc. can support it. But, I have visions of pushing oars for +50 miles, with some fine up-canyon winds.

Has anyone rowed a raft or cat down Stillwater from Mineral Bottom, and how bad was it?

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Old 07-17-2013   #2
 
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Montrose, Colorado, Colorado
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I've canoed this stretch many times back when I used to instruct for Outward Bound. There's always upriver winds and IMO, you'd be a glutton for punishment to row any kind of rubber down there.

Stillwater and Labyrinth are the sole domains of canoes unless you plan on heading down into Cataract. For God's sake man, take an 18' canoe but, don't take a raft!
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Old 07-17-2013   #3
 
East, Idaho
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There are very few stretches of western river as well suited to canoeing or kayak touring as Labyrinth and Stillwater. Why would you want to take a raft if you have a canoe? Are you warming up for a Lake Powell rafting trip?
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Old 07-17-2013   #4
 
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
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The answer is mostly freight capacity and available boats, but with enough flow I think that could be a great raft trip. Ship the oars, kick back, pop the lid; my rowing seat is a 105 qt Yeti. Two #20 bags of ice and a couple of dry ice blocks tossed in on day 1 and on day 5 you could still be eating Popsicles.
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Old 07-17-2013   #5
 
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Vail, CO
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Head winds and no motor would have you cursing up a storm while wishing you had the canoe.
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Old 07-17-2013   #6
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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I lucked out and had no wind for 4 days on my (raft)trip thru Labyrinth. Was a great float. But water(rivers) don't get much flatter than that...wind blows. Canoe's are the ideal way to go down there...
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Old 07-17-2013   #7
 
Glen Vegas, Florida
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Arrrrrr Canoers, I suggest a John Boat with a 60 horse power engine, but you will need to be strong in the Force to make it back to Potash in one piece. Jet Skis are pretty slick as well, but gas would be an issue. A Jet boat is really the ideal craft for a real river runner.
I've seen a couple dozen raft in there, looked hot, but doable. A raft also gives you an advantage on all the sweet huck camps and of course Eco-toilet, yetti, tables, partner stoves, guitars, generators, tvs, sofas, bare essentials. Oh and can't forget the SUP surfs up!
If the winds pick-up a canoe is probably ideal, but where is the fun in that, canoe are so un american. This is america, gasoline, hp, LSD, Grateful Dead, Bubbaglyphs!
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Old 07-17-2013   #8
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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Just spent a week over the 4th floating Labyrinth - 3 families / 6 adults + 11 kids (3 - 10). We built 3 Canoe-Cats and brought a few kayaks as well. Example Here: Tex's Riverways - Canoe and Kayak Outfitter and Shuttle Service - T-cat Image

The waters pretty low and you can expect it to continue to drop so you'll have even lower & slower flows. We ran it @ 1700-2000cfs and flows averaged 1.0 - 1.5mph. So you may have some pushing to do depending on how many miles you want to cover. The few rafts we passed were hating it, high in the water and catching all the wind. Afternoon winds start pushing around 3-4 and can stay steady to dusk. We were able to get the Cats up to 3-4mph with out too much effort 2 adults in each one actually working. We also rigged sails for the down canyon winds and caught 5-6.5mph winds. Killed one Sport-Brella in the process but hella-fun!

Save your raft for spring flows. PS. I have 3 Cat Decks in SLC... just saying
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Old 07-17-2013   #9
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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In addition to what everyone else said, the canoes will go a whole lot faster than the raft even if you don't have any headwinds. Have we talked you out of it yet?
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Old 07-17-2013   #10
LSB
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Huson, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
The answer is mostly freight capacity and available boats, but with enough flow I think that could be a great raft trip. Ship the oars, kick back, pop the lid; my rowing seat is a 105 qt Yeti. Two #20 bags of ice and a couple of dry ice blocks tossed in on day 1 and on day 5 you could still be eating Popsicles.

I'm with ya on the comfort angle.
I like my canoe for a lot of stuff but 4 days is a long time to sit upright with no cold beer in my hand.

I took my 15' raft on the white cliff stretch of the Missouri last year and managed to beat some brutal headwinds that were making canoers pull over.
I had 3 buckets tied at about 5, 10 and 15 feet along a bow line. Toss them out front into the current and sit back. We made a steady 2.5 mph into a nasty headwind .
I also strapped the oars off so they stayed down in the water and used buckets that I had replaced the handles with webbing. Maybe try and deflate your floor so you sit lower in the water too.
I posted a pic of it a while back on a thread about ropes in the river but I can't find it now.
I say why be uncomfortable when you have a $5K raft to lounge on.
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