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What level would you consider Deso to be the hardest?

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1200 with a week long upstream wind and no motor

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I did 8 days at 750 cfs in '02. Not fun.

Worst wind was in '09, the tammies were being blown flat in Upper Gray Canyon.

Seems to me, not to complicate an otherwise reasonable poll, factoring in the wind conditions is a must.
 

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The Russian
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Discussion Starter #4
I guess I didn't mean the wind but the hardness of the rapid. Since Deso is famous for rookie boaters and a river to learn on, I thought which level Joe Hatch and Coal creek become the worst.

I've ran low and I've ran high, but I don't think I've ever done low teens. I've heard from some one else that low teens were the toughest in the rapids, so I just wanted to make it Buzz official :)

Wind on Deso blows, no motor no Deso for me anymore.
 

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I guess I didn't mean the wind but the hardness of the rapid. Since Deso is famous for rookie boaters and a river to learn on, I thought which level Joe Hatch and Coal creek become the worst.

I've ran low and I've ran high, but I don't think I've ever done low teens. I've heard from some one else that low teens were the toughest in the rapids, so I just wanted to make it Buzz official :)

Wind on Deso blows, no motor no Deso for me anymore.
I definitely consider myself a rookie boater, and I managed to flip a little 8 foot cat in the hole in Joe Hutch at the end of April, at about 4800. There are a couple of other buzzards who can confirm, and there's rumored to be a video floating around somewhere...
 

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I actually think at lower water Three Fords becomes the biggest rapid of the trip. Joe seems to have mellowed out and Coal has such an obvious clean line at low levels. 3 Fords has a few sneaky laterals that can spin and flip folks unexpectedly.

Phillip
 

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I actually think at lower water Three Fords becomes the biggest rapid of the trip. Joe seems to have mellowed out and Coal has such an obvious clean line at low levels. 3 Fords has a few sneaky laterals that can spin and flip folks unexpectedly.

Phillip
I agree. I haven't done Deso since Joe Hutch blew out - it was a nice but inconsequential drop before then - but I've always considered Three Fords Deso's most significant breaking water.

As for motors - honestly can say 12 trips down, never once motorized.
 

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Just got off on the 1st. Launched at 15000cfs and took off at 13000. The holes in Joe Hutch were very big. One high right of the tongue and one low left. 3 fords was a blast but very straight forward with a couple medium holes. Coal Creek on the otherhand was meaty as hell. The line was center right with 2 huge holes to thread in between. I thought it was the most knarly at these levels. Class three, uh yah. Beginers trip? Not at this level. Too little margin for error and 49 degree water with some long swim potential.

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I knew what you meant but still couldn't help joking about the low water windy trips, those were really the hardest I've done.

Mid teens are probably the highest I've run it. Fun level but yeah probably not for a total newb.

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I did Deso at 30-40k in 2011 and Joe Hatch was huge. I was an inexperienced rafter and the experienced rafter in my boat called it class IV. We were in a big ole bucket boat with oars and used paddle assist. Other rapids were big but washed out.
 

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Poll results don't seem to jibe with the comments. Maybe people confused about whether "hardest" means "most difficult to not flip" versus "most effort to get down river".
 

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I suppose I have not seen 20k plus but the rapids that do have big features are class III for a reason, those big features are easy to avoid if you want to skip the fun.

Another vote for super low water as it is bony and slooooooooow.
 

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Ran it around 1K last Sept. Joe Hutch was a read-and-run, Three Fords was three increasingly large holes, the last one pretty much unavoidable, probably closer to a IV, the left side was completely unrunable. Coal Creek didn't even make an impression. The closest to trouble was some II where I dozed off until I was inches away from the wall. What I do remember was lots of oar strokes. Lots.
 

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The trips I've done in the 20's felt washed out compared to the teens. Never seen 30's or 40's.
For a rookie boater, I think higher water is harder to teach with much higher consequence. It's not gnarly, but there are some big waves that have slapped a few of my trip-mates around some. Low (maybe below 1300, 1200, ish...) starts to get hard for a rookie due to all the little pisser rocks, but as long as you can teach them to mind their downstream oar there is lots of time to prep & re-group, so less pucker factor and more blisters and long days.
 

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Out of all my Deso trips...only one was post high water June.
Prior to that, never saw a mosquito (went in april, may, sept, oct)...never found it "difficult", although most difficult level is post high water/mosquito season! Silly question. I met a lovely 80 year olkd woman running solo at october water, in a wooden dory! Now shes got more cahones than any guys I've evr known on the rio!

I'm confounded as to what useful information the questioner is after! Don't think anyone runs Deso for the white water! Don't think people run Grand Canyon 'for the white water!' Oh, whats the use?
 

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Read other responses.
I remeber running joe hutch after it became a big deal...and I had basically a potato chip for a boat, and on loan boat trip. I spoke with some canoers portaging Joe Hutch, asked them to throw me a line if I flipped, and definitely got stalled out in right side of hole (would be easy to miss with any weight and momentum.) That was somewhere under 10K I believe. I though everything was completely washed out and gone between 12 and 20! But, like I said previously, I don't run deso for the white water!
 

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The Russian
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Discussion Starter #17
Read other responses.
I remeber running joe hutch after it became a big deal...and I had basically a potato chip for a boat, and on loan boat trip. I spoke with some canoers portaging Joe Hutch, asked them to throw me a line if I flipped, and definitely got stalled out in right side of hole (would be easy to miss with any weight and momentum.) That was somewhere under 10K I believe. I though everything was completely washed out and gone between 12 and 20! But, like I said previously, I don't run deso for the white water!
For the seasoned boater Deso is really no big deal. I was asking more regarding to taking a newbie on the river, what is the easier/harder level to teach them on without teaching them too much rescue.
 

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Have run Deso from< 1000 to 50k, each level has it's charms Those huge rocks in old Joe hutch make for some huge holes. We covered our 20+ miles "quotas" before lunch. I find the Main fork harder. at all levels.
 

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I'm a semi-newbie to rafting, I did Deso last year for a couple reasons, including self instruction. Really, it's a great pre and post bug season trip, and high or low will be a good school. I did raft guide school on the upper C at peak runoff, and was having problems with 'technical' water, so one of my reasons was I wanted low water to have to learn to maneuver better. I've done deso in a royalex canoe, so figured a raft should be no problem. It wasn't, and I worked out lots of problems. I also lived with an ibuprofen drip for the week after I got back. It's just a great classroom. By the time things get serious you've spent 2-3 days in solid practice.
 
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