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over the years I have been blessed to have paddled / rowed some 6 MFS floats.
One in the 5 plus feet cfs range. This level means even experienced boaters need to pay attention and not miss a stroke in the major rapids
We had a very experienced group on my float, meaning we had leaders knowing the good lines plus good kayakers doing safety. I was rowing and I still remember that most days were all the challenge I wanted. .
MFS can be fun at any level but swims in the 5 plus foot area can be for sure life threatening.
A one boat float at 5 plus feet MFS needs a lot of luck plus skill to get to the take out with zero swims.
The Buzz can be difficult for new posters as far as comments.
The OP seems to think he did not get much love
On the other hand in my opinion
He got good advice and straight talk.
Every one makes their own choice on running rivers, my advice is be safe and make good decisions
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
You should be very apprehensive. A one-boat MFS trip is not a good idea at high water, not to mention that y'all are likely to be launching on Marsh Creek which has it's own set of hazards, not to mention Dagger Falls. Just out of curiosity, when you were putting in for permits on Wreck.gov, after you'd put in for the Smith, did you just kept clicking when it offered you the option to put in for more permits on rivers that you'd heard about but have no idea of the character of those rivers, but that there may be some good fishing?

Do you realize the fishing will probably suck because all the trout will all be hunkered down waiting out the high water and that the trip you've won will likely be balls to the wall serious pucker factor, hope not to die, possible snow or rain, gigantic trees flushing down the river with you every day of about 6 or 7 days? Do you realize that you've deprived people with the equipment and experience to undertake this river trip, that are raring to go even (or especially) above 5.5 feet, who may have been trying for years to get this highly coveted permit, of of being able to go because you didn't know what you were applying for?

Just curious.
"After you'd put in for the Smith?" Well that's nice.. not condescending at all. This is a rafting trip, not a fishing trip. And yes to be quite frank "balls to the wall/hope not to die" is exactly what I'm looking for.

Regarding your comment "deprived people with the equipment and experience" .. "raring to go above 5.5 feet" .. "trying for years to get this highly coveted permit" ... well, here's someones chance to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
over the years I have been blessed to have paddled / rowed some 6 MFS floats.
One in the 5 plus feet cfs range. This level means even experienced boaters need to pay attention and not miss a stroke in the major rapids
We had a very experienced group on my float, meaning we had leaders knowing the good lines plus good kayakers doing safety. I was rowing and I still remember that most days were all the challenge I wanted. .
MFS can be fun at any level but swims in the 5 plus foot area can be for sure life threatening.
A one boat float at 5 plus feet MFS needs a lot of luck plus skill to get to the take out with zero swims.
The Buzz can be difficult for new posters as far as comments.
The OP seems to think he did not get much love
On the other hand in my opinion
He got good advice and straight talk.
Every one makes their own choice on running rivers, my advice is be safe and make good decisions
Thank you for the advice and insight, much appreciated.
 

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I've run single boat\ solo trips quite a bit. MF at 5.0 & 6.7' Main Salmon at the same(+plenty of other trips\rivers at lower water). But I know both rivers well, and run pretty(reasonably) wreckless with my own life. You have families? What's your mom going to say to me when I have to call her and tell her you've drowned?
It's varsity water, to be sure. If you don't have the skillz to row spicy water you'd better tell me when you're going to cancel your permit, so I can feverishly hit the refresh button to snag it.
If you DO have the skillz, I'd consider running lead boat for you, so long as you have the resources to fly yourselves and your gear out if the fit hits the shan. 馃檪
 

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"After you'd put in for the Smith?" Well that's nice.. not condescending at all. This is a rafting trip, not a fishing trip. And yes to be quite frank "balls to the wall/hope not to die" is exactly what I'm looking for. Also your comment "deprived people with the equipment and experience" is offensive. Give me a break.
so...since you've pretty much shit the bed here, please post up the date and time that you're gonna cancel the trip. Maybe one of the good buzzards that might have taken you down the river can pick it up and have great trip.
 

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You obviously don鈥檛 have the expertise. So are you planning to sit back and relax as someone take you down? If you鈥檙e saying it was gonna be three people on one boat then you would have sat back and enjoyed the view right? That鈥檚 all I鈥檓 getting from this鈥o you even have gear?..
 

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The FS river rangers have a policy that above a certain flow (not sure but 5-6鈥 rings a bell) they are required to take two boats. Should tell you enough. We all weigh risks differently and I might be willing to take one boat if it was myself. But add two folks I know nothing about except they need someone to take them downriver and I鈥檓 taking on risk for myself and them. Hell if I had enough experience to know the potential hazards, I鈥檓 not sure I鈥檇 be willing to hop in a boat with someone I know nothing about with the assumption they are gonna keep me alive. Tons of alarms going off in my head with either scenario.

If you鈥檙e looking for whitewater thrill there are plenty of outfitter guided one day floats that work and they are paid to keep you alive.

Good luck and please keep us updated.
 

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Oof 馃槵 Well, the way I see it is there's only a 25% it will exceed 5.5 ft :)
You've got to set out and prepare for the assumption that it will exceed 5.5 ft instead of waiting until the last minute to see if it is. It's a 5-6 night trip so you might get on it at 5 ft on day 1 and see it rise to 7-9 ft a few days into the trip. Waiting until the last minute then dropping it is the worst to the community because people who are able to handle those water levels can't get things arranged on a dime to take the spot. There's also nothing magical about 5.5 ft, that's just the line the river office draws, probably based on multi-year stats and unfortunately also a body count. Even if it were at 4.5 to 5 ft, it probably wouldn't really change the sentiment of many here warning you that this is real sketchy for you.
 

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馃え Thank you for the kind and welcoming intro to the whitewater rafting community, sir. I always figured you guys were a friendly and respectable bunch. Especially all the love I've been shown over the years while wade fishing.
What does that have to do with anything? Just because you鈥檙e good with witty repartee on the Internet doesn鈥檛 mean you鈥檝e got the skills to take on a high water early season Idaho River.

People are telling you directly or more tongue-in-cheek that this is a very bad idea, I realize that鈥檚 not what you鈥檇 hoped to hear, but it is what you need to hear.

This isn鈥檛 it a situation where you grab an experienced person and they get you down the river safely. This is a situation where every single person in the crew needs to be counted on to have the high water and swiftwater experience to be able to take care of themselves and everyone else on the crew. You are not only asking that experienced boatman to look out for you; you are also asking them to trust that you will be able to have their back if something bad happens. That鈥檚 the scary part.

Edit: And you get this experience cumulatively, you don鈥檛 get it by going on a single big water trip. Run your local class 2 at high water, take the spicy lines, run it in the winter time. Do the same on a class 3. Then with a gear boat.

You will also suffer some beat downs along the way, this isn鈥檛 necessarily a bad thing, those beat downs will give you the experience and humility to exercise better judgment in the future. Would you prefer a beatdown on a class 2 roadside, or on a class 4 remote wilderness trip where help may be a full day away?

The Buzz can be difficult for new posters as far as comments.
The OP seems to think he did not get much love
On the other hand in my opinion
He got good advice and straight talk.
Every one makes their own choice on running rivers, my advice is be safe and make good decisions
1000%

2021 would鈥檝e been a great year for an early June MFS.
June 2022 doesn鈥檛 look that way.
 

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"After you'd put in for the Smith?" Well that's nice.. not condescending at all. This is a rafting trip, not a fishing trip. And yes to be quite frank "balls to the wall/hope not to die" is exactly what I'm looking for.

Regarding your comment "deprived people with the equipment and experience" .. "raring to go above 5.5 feet" .. "trying for years to get this highly coveted permit" ... well, here's someones chance to go.
Do you want Andy to apologize for saying what everyone else is thinking?
 

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Now I know who got my June 3rd lottery entry...

I'm sure OP has bailed out of this negative thread, but if not, maybe a little more context would help his decision making?

I'm on a June 15 MFS launch, we have at least 3 certified swiftwater rescuers, a former olympic whitewater kayaker, and multiple MFS veterans. Even with all this training and experience we are still not going if it looks to be over 5' and even second guessing if it's much above 4'. I've never rowed the MFS, but I trust our TL's judgement with these go/no-go rules. A single boat with only one experienced person (if you can even find one) and launching when it is almost guaranteed to be peak or close to peak flow is a fools errand. Especially trying to get this put together less than a month before the trip! If you do find someone willing to go, see if they can recruit an experienced friend or two to bring kayaks or a second boat. If the raft flips and you are a strong swimmer able to get to shore, without another boat running safety you will probably lose your raft and all it's gear in the largest Wilderness area in the continental US. What then?
 
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