Desolation early april - Page 11 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-13-2019   #101
Livingston, Montana
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 85
Great thread everyone, thanks for the notes! We are preparing for our first Deso trip, with a September 28 launch. Cant wait, sure I will have many questions!


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Old 03-16-2019   #102
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Regarding our usually-annual March Deso trip, we ended up having to cancel and convert it to a San Juan. Redtail was going to fly our shuttle tomorrow morning and a couple of days ago the pilot called the TL after flying over the Sand Wash airstrip. He said snow was covering the airstrip, they won't land where they can't see (good call), and there was snow all the way down to the river.

The TL got a message to a BLM ranger who replied:

No problem I just contacted Red Tail they informed me the river was still iced over below Sand Wash.

National Outdoor Leadership School tried driving into Sand Wash, Monday (3/11/2019). They informed me there was still too much snow / snow melt to make it to Sand Wash, there was a lot of surrounding oil/gas field activity and all their 4x4 trucks were running chains to get through the muddy slop.

Hopefully a few days of warm weather will clear this up.

So not only can non-chained up vehicles not get through the mud to get to the river, but there was ice all the way across somewhere in the neighborhood of Sumner's Amphitheater.

We have a week of upper 50's and low 60's coming, good sun, that should help bust that ice and dry out roads. Now it'll be interesting to see if the road in to Clay Hills is o.k. for the San Juan. We leave this morning.
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Old 03-16-2019   #103
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Banff, alberta
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 43
Thanks for the access road updates. Hopefully things dry up quick. The weather in Vernal is looking relatively cold this March. Hopefully the ice melts soon, it’s time to get on the water!
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Old 04-11-2019   #104
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Banff, alberta
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 43
April 3-9. Epic weather and nice flows. Thanks for all the tips everyone
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Old 04-12-2019   #105
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,762
Originally Posted by gazzy902 View Post
April 3-9. Epic weather and nice flows. Thanks for all the tips everyone
How about a short trip report? I'd love to here more.
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Old 04-12-2019   #106
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Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 469
Second that!
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
Zen verse
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Old 04-14-2019   #107
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Banff, alberta
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 43
So we started late on day 1 from sand wash because I thought I neeed a ranger to inspect my gear... no ranger on duty!? So we got on the water at like 4pm. I know 😳
We had a windy little evening to row to the bend below duches hole. On the way there we saw about half a dozen dead cows and maybe a sheep or two on the left side of the river....creepy! We also had the only few rain drops we saw for thee tire trip🕺
Day two we made it to Jack Creek and had an amazing campsite after a long day on the river. We ate steak and drank beer and realized that we could be as leisurely as wanted for the rest of the trip.
Day 3 we started around noon after hanging out in camp all morning, (baileys and Washington party favours) This is where things start to blend into one. We were mesmerized by this section of river and made it to surprise rapid to stay the night. Big long sandy beach and a lovely view to enjoy Mediterranean chicken and roasted veg and pots.
Day 4 we hit up rock creek for a hike and a very refreshing bath. And scooped up some creek water for cooking and cleaning. As I was doing most of the rowing I was pretty happy to have a quicker flow. The river had come up a little bit and was really fun to read the little rapids and get splashed here and there. The views were amazing and I spent a lot of the day just keeping the boat in the flow and relaxing. We really lucked out and only experienced real heavy headwind on day one. So naturally I was feeling pretty confident in the rapids and scouting mostly from the boat while keeping it in slow water while I read the rapids. We camped just beneath bull canyon rapid. Day 5, Everything was super smooth ( I did get out and walk around to check out cow swim) wire fence was a real good smash and I was in tune with the oars...we camped right beneath the big pool after three fords looking at the big north horn formation. TACO NIGHT. out came the margs and gypsy Kings. What a good time. Woke up late and went for a big hike into Tthree Fords Canyon West on day 5 Goton the river mid afternoon and hammered it, found some bud light in an eddy and had a great time spooking other groups with my conk shell. We were gonna stop at little big horn Mesa but there was a large group camping there. We then thought we’d take the next available site but we ended up going all the way to the Price river( it was calm and warm) I believe I skipped a full day somewhere on this trip report because we there for 6 nights? Anywho the last day was an easy green river daily to Swasey’s where my truck awaited and the giant Tetris game in my Dakota was ready to commence!!!

Maybe next time I’ll take more notes and drink less beer. But I doubt it!
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Old 04-14-2019   #108
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Banff, alberta
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 43
Oh yea I got hung up on a rock for about a minute in what I want to say was rabbit valley rapid? Anywho I went left of the big rock in coal creek and had a nice smash there as well. Barely even got splashed in cow swim as I went just left of the pour over at the top, then the wave train was pretty mellow. Super fun rapids that add a little bit of technical skills to avoid rocks. Loved every minute of it.
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