Upstream from Spanish Bottom - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-02-2019   #1
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 195
Upstream from Spanish Bottom

Thinking and planning ahead here. Any buzzard thoughts on being able to motor a 16' AIRE Jacarundi w/ 4 H.P. upstream from Spanish Bottom to Moab or Mineral Bottom? Obviously depends on flows but at low flows in autumn would it be possible? I'm thinking of a way to provide support / food drop for Maze hikers around the Doll House. Thanks for info...

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Old 12-02-2019   #2
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Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,292
There are a few spots that would make it prohibitive. You have the slide, pretty sure there is no chance a 4 HP on a cat is going to uprun that. Not only that but it would be painfully slow the whole way. Why not just go ahead and run Cataract? You could absolutely run Cat and motor out faster than you could go back up. Not that anyone I know has ever done it, but motoring back up to the dolls house from upper BB left "would" take a little while with a 20HP on a 20' cat and that isn't very far. A cat isn't made to uprun and it doesn't do very well at it. I know Tex is expensive but If I wanted to uprun from SB back to potash, I'd be giving him a call if I didn't have a friend with a jet boat.
zach baird
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Old 12-03-2019   #3
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 377
Totally possible, depends on your commitment - and the weather. The Slide (Colorado side or Millard Canyon (Green side) are not insurmountable. I've encountered sea kayakers going upstream both directions, the old Friendship cruise route (down the Green, up the Colorado) seems preferred because you end at Potash (or Lathrop, if you have a friend come pick you up) instead of Mineral.
You can PM me for more info. "Septober" your best bet from weather perspective, but be aware if wind blows you are done (of course, this is the one time when upstream wind becomes your friend - once you hit the Confluence!). You also need low flows, and recent years have been higher in that time frame. (Colorado was running up into 4k range first week this October, ran Cat October 9 and had 7k or more).
And you need light boat with only 4 hp to push with... if it was me, and I wanted to help out 'pards in the Maze, I'd consider 4WD into Hans Flat (less time overall, probably same payload depending on vehicle, and then YOU get to go hiking as well).
Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2019   #4
Defiance, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Originally Posted by B4otter View Post
if it was me, and I wanted to help out 'pards in the Maze, I'd consider 4WD into Hans Flat

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Old 12-03-2019   #5
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 195
THX B4otter...yes I should just stop in to drop stuff to my pals as I race down Cataract, we'll see. Just looking at options here. Glad you concur; I'd thought if river velocity on Green below Mineral averaged 2mph, and I go 5mph on a lake; then I'd make good about 2 1/2 mph going upstream. Yes it is many hours and some gas...we'll see. I did look at 4wdriving in from Hans Flat and that is possible with my Jeep...we'll see. Appreciate the input; keep them tips downhill and be well.
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Old 12-03-2019   #6
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 18
You probably already know this, but driving down in the Maze is burly. A short wheel base - like a CJ - is good though. Also a good idea to have a spotter and another vehicle along.
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Old 12-03-2019   #7
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 365
I have driven Tee Pot canyon in my old Cherokee, and my buddy somehow made it in with his F-250 ( took him 4 point turns, took me 3 point, I think, been a while).
Both options sound pretty dam fun, love that place, no matter how I get in...
The river probably thought, “ he is such an insignificant, pitiful, little creature, with such a short time to live, I will let him go this time, and try to teach him something” - Buzz Holmstrum
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Old 12-06-2019   #8
Truckee, California
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 11
Long hike with heavy load?

So, even if you drive into the Maze, you still have a substantial hike to get to the river. If the supplies you are bringing are significant, that could be painful even if the river trip participants help.

Or is it just ice cream?
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Old 12-09-2019   #9
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 1
I tried to do the Colorado side with my 16' NRS cat at about 4k with a 6HP Tohatsu a couple years ago and wasn't quite able to do the slide. I was planning on going down Cataract anyway but wanted to know if it was possible with that setup for similar reasons. Basically I just couldn't get across the current from the eddy on river right at the bottom to the eddy on river left above before getting blown back out.
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Old 12-12-2019   #10
Half Moon Bay, California
Paddling Since: '82
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 32
Considering current wind eddy's etc you could theoretically motor back up stream to mineral or potash. It would be so slow I don't know if you could carry enough gas to do it even if you stashed fuel on your way down stream for the trip back. You could rent canoe's from Tex put in at mineral and haul the supplies to the maze for your friends and then catch the jet boat back to moab without the slow trip upstream. I've seen the sea kayaks heading up the colorado after coming down the green. I watched them portaging the slide to get around it. It looked like they were having a grand time. Given the option of running cat and spending a few days laying over, hiking and relaxing is preferable to listening to a motor at full cob uprunning flatwater. Just saying...
What ever you decide have fun
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