Thompson River, BC - Devils Gorge on a Pontoon Boat - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 08-26-2015   #1
 
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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Thompson River, BC - Devils Gorge on a Pontoon Boat

This is my run down the Devils Gorge of the Thompson River, in BC, Canada on my 11' (Mini-Cat) Pontoon boat a couple weeks ago:

Funny story - Braden, who runs the 7 1/2 foot Outcast Pontoon boat in the video, ran the gorge last year in that boat and he pulled up to the launch where he ran into a few of Oregon dudes launching their high end Sotar raft & cataraft who were looking at him like he was completely nuts. He is actually a very accomplished individual form a whitewater standpoint (now the owner of Kumsheen Rafting in Lytton BC) - he's had his raft guide certification since he was 14 (over 20 years now), was a former sponsored Kayaker - basically had a paddle in his hand since he was about 3. I think you can tell in the video his 3 flips were basically while trying to surf big waves. He did have one good surf a ways down that is not shown where he didn't flip.

Some of the rapids in the video get a bit harder even as the river comes down - the Gums of Life is one that is bigger now than in the video level, the Cutting board right side goes Class 5 about now (2x huge holes right beside each other) - most take the left side - if you guys are having a hard time finding water to run due to low levels, come up and raft the Thompson! About 2 1/2 hours drive east of Vancouver, BC. The Thompson is presently running at 15,900 CFS. If you need more info send me a PM - I can hook you up with what you need to know.

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Old 08-27-2015   #2
 
Bellingham, Washington
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I love that run, but you are right. It does not show up well on video. For PNW boaters it is the best training ground for Grand Canyon trips. Now if they could just shut the trains up...

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Old 08-27-2015   #3
 
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speyfitter, this is a pontoon boat:


you have a cataraft, they look like this:


your welcome.
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Old 08-27-2015   #4
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoBoater View Post
speyfitter, this is a pontoon boat:


you have a cataraft, they look like this:


your welcome.
It all depends on where your from - back in the Midwest, specifically Michigan, they call your "pontoon boat" a "raft" - no shit, I was just there motoring around on 20' "raft". We talked abit about the different terminology around the country, but they'd been calling pontoon boats "rafts" for as long as I've been alive ~ 40+ years...

There is no right or wrong, just what YOU are used to.


On a side not, I've always called the little "pontoon" boats, "kick boats" - that's what they were marketed as when they first started replacing float tubes 20 years ago. You wore flippers as well as ran the oars and could fish with your hands and move the boat with your feet.
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Old 08-27-2015   #5
 
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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In all honesty I prefer to call it a cat or mini cat but my boat is called a pontoon boat by the mfr and it is the terminology the angling community uses to call mini cats a pontoon boat. To me a pontoon boat is a package boat that comes with the tubes, frame, oars, a few accessories, and potentially a built in anchor role system marketed towards anglers for river or lake use. While a cat is a set of tubes you buy and you select your frame, oars, etc. bottom line is it is small cataraft and performs like a small cataraft. Hell it even smells like a cataraft and you know what they say: "if it looks like a... And smells like a...it must be a...."
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Old 08-28-2015   #6
 
Canmore, People's Republic of Alberta
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Hah! I used to work on that river. Knew Braden and Andrew when they were teenagers almost 20 years ago. Those boys can row. I used to run the river in a prototype 9' Aire cataraft, boogie board, and even solo swam the river one moonlit night (spooky).

My first trip through was with a cheap boogie board and flippers during spring high water (100,000cfs+). No idea where I was going. Lots of time down deep in the green room. Then we ran it in an 8' department store raft with 3 other guides from a different company. We swamped on the first wave and hung on tight for a few kilometres of mayhem. I learned to swim big water on that river, excellent location to practice misadventure.

Low water Cutting Board is nasty. Nearly lost a good paddler there (very serious).
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Old 08-28-2015   #7
 
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce from Canmore View Post
Hah! I used to work on that river. Knew Braden and Andrew when they were teenagers almost 20 years ago. Those boys can row. I used to run the river in a prototype 9' Aire cataraft, boogie board, and even solo swam the river one moonlit night (spooky).

My first trip through was with a cheap boogie board and flippers during spring high water (100,000cfs+). No idea where I was going. Lots of time down deep in the green room. Then we ran it in an 8' department store raft with 3 other guides from a different company. We swamped on the first wave and hung on tight for a few kilometres of mayhem. I learned to swim big water on that river, excellent location to practice misadventure.

Low water Cutting Board is nasty. Nearly lost a good paddler there (very serious).
Hey Bruce - I'm also friends with Darren Wagner.
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