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I finally got the family to go on Gates of Lodore trip and it was fantastic. We went with a commerical outfitter (Dinosaur Expeditions) since permits are impossible and it's sweet having them deal with logistics/cooking/cleaning. It was total luxury.

And, we got a steep discount for bringing our own boats. This is definitely the ticket for doing this great river. I can't believe that many trips don't sell out.

Here are pics. The raft pin is the junior guide.
 

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Lodore beta

Hey -

I'm doing Ladore soon and would like any advice on the rapids you may have. I'll be kayaking with a few others plus several rafts. What rapid is the raft pin at? Which ones would you be worried about and/or scout? I've heard it's no big deal but trying to play it safe.

MB
 

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After the discount, it was about $400 a person. Still not cheap, but compared with any other nice vacation, a bargain.

Here's my list of the rapids at low water:

Winnies: potential raft pin spot that is easy to avoid by going right.

Disaster: No real problem. The channel in Upper disaster is a bit tight for a raft, but since that is where all the water goes, you have to be clueless to screw up. Lower Disaster is a rock garden.

Below Disaster is perhaps the most dangerous spot where the river splits and the right channel goes into a bad undercut. Easy to take the left channel.

Triplet: This is the where the raft pin was. Triplet has three rapids-- the pin is the middle rapid. The problem is that the main water channel leads right into the big rock and you have to time the move to the left carefully. Also, if you go right of the big rock, you are in the birth canal which is well named and at low water you may have 24 hours of labor to get the boat through. Scout it.

Hell's Half Mile: The upper part channels all the water onto one rock. The problem is the two holes above that keep you from lining up your move. I think if you partially get into the left hole, you will flush and be free and clear of the rock below. You should scout this. Someone died here 5-10 years back in low water because the swim was bad, they stood up, and got a foot pin. The lower part of Hell's half mile is a rock garden.

The biggest problem you will probably have is rafts getting stuck tight on rocks. Know how to deal with it. Have ropes.

If you want to make sure of scouting, buy a $100 GPS and mark the rapids. Or send the kayaks forward and have communication. All the rapids are trivial in a kayak.

There was another post a few weeks ago that also described all the rapids and hikes.

Enjoy!
 

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I'm headed for Lodore this weekend and I agree, it's the most beautiful trip ever!

It looks like the pinned boat is at Triplett - this boat appears to have done what you absolutely do not want to do - hit that darn rock. It's usually pretty easy to pull away from the rock as long as you know it's there. You can scout this rapid from the Triplett campsite above on river left - at this level, the concern should be with the rocks below this one as they are exposed and the line through is not real clean. Other than this rapid, Upper and Lower Disaster are technical rock gardens (the route is not always as it appears - plan to get hung up at least once or twice :roll: ). Be sure to take the left channel below Lower Disaster as there is a nasty undercut in the right channel.

Be sure to scout Hell's Half Mile (scout above on river left) - this is definitely the most technical rapid on this stretch as the rocks below come at you pretty quickly.

Have a great trip :D
 

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Lodore is sweet. Great camping, beautiful scenery and a some really fun rapids. My first time down the river was fluxuating between 1100 and 1700 cfs, depending on what they were doing at the Flaming Gorge dam.

The first rapid is Winnies Grotto. It's an easy class II but if you screw up and hit the rock in the middle, you're probably going to flip. Start center with your stern pointed at the right bank and pull back towards river right. Should be no problem.

Next up is Disaster Falls. There's upper and lower. Upper is a straightforward drop through a hole and some waves. There's only one line through - it will be obvious. There's a huge eddy on river left above the drop and there will like be other parties scouting. Scout from the river left bank.

Lower Disaster is fairly easy and generally run left of center. However, there's really no good way to scout the rapid so take it slow, read and run and you should have no problems. Be sure not to get too far right. At certain water levels (low water) there's a small island that separates the current. The right channel leads you into a nasty overhanging wall that could cause problems. The last time I ran Lodore, a raft ran right of the island, slammed into the wall and one of the passengers broke an arm. Stay left and watch out for the rocks (mostly small but lots of them at low water). The rapid is bony in places and can trip you up.

Up next is Triplet. There are essentially three distinct rapids in Triplet. Hence the name. The first is a shallow rocky stretch of water that's fairly straightforward. Generally you want to start right of center and work left. There's a prominent pointy rock near the bottom of the rapid and you want to be left of that rock. it's not too hard.

Second part of Triplet is more or less a slot between two rocks. It's an obvious route but be mindful of the wall on the right. Stay away from the wall.

The last part of Triplet is a hard left turn through two boulders. You want to start center and work left away from the overhanging wall/slot. If you go into the slot, known to some as the 'birth canal', it will be a royal pain in the ass. Just stay left and watch the rocks at the bottom of the rapid. You can get a great scout from the Triplet campsite on river left. Follow the trail downstream through the campsite and you'll be able to see the entire rapid.

Hells. Hells is fun. There's a huge pool above the rapid and a great scout on river left. There are several routes through Hells (depending on water) but the easiest is to follow the obvious tongue of water, missing the rocks on the right. At the end of the tongue is Lucifer rock. You can either go right or left, dealers choice, but the right is probably easiest. You'll have to pull hard to the right but it's not too difficult. Just set up early and be ready for the move. Hells is long and fun. Enjoy the ride.

Lower Hells is basically a rock garden that is read/run. A run more or less down the center should get you through.

That's it until Split Mtn. There you'll find Moonshine (easy), SOB (run far right), School Boy (straight forward) and Inglesby (run left of the giant rock).

Have fun...
 

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Hell's Half Mile: The upper part channels all the water onto one rock. The problem is the two holes above that keep you from lining up your move. I think if you partially get into the left hole, you will flush and be free and clear of the rock below. You should scout this. Someone died here 5-10 years back in low water because the swim was bad, they stood up, and got a foot pin. The lower part of Hell's half mile is a rock garden.
I was on that trip, it was in July of 2000, and he flipped a ducky on Lucifer and was hanging off the tube as he drifted downstream. I had his daughter on my boat as I followed the IK's as sweep. It took some pretty involved rope work, but we recovered the body and made it down to Echo Park by dark to meet the NPS & Moffat County sheriff. The really touching thing was the next morning when the various kids on the trip - on their own inititive - performed their own memorial service at the bank of the river where Pool Creek comes in. They built a little platform of rocks in the creek and formed a mud-drip pile on a flat rock. Then they set the flat rock onto the platform in the water and stood in a semi-circle holding hands facing the river with their backs to the adults and silently watched the mud pile swirl off into the Green. Those little f$*#ers still bring a tear to my eye...
It's been said many times, but respect the river while you're having fun.

As for the rapid, at 850cfs the hole on the left side of the top slot in Hells is kind of rocky and jarring. It's much easier to enter the slot sliding right and move to the right of Lucifer. If you can't pull back left right below the rock just stay heads up as you squeeze through the next few rocks. The left move gets easier once the water is another ~400cfs higher.
 

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We just did Lodore a couple weeks ago. Fukin amazing trip. None of the rapids were really too hard. I suggest some liquid courage if need be. I remember seeing the big rock that he pinned on but dont recall it being a difficult move at all. Read and run that shit,yo!!!

Here are pictures from my trip. No spam mail,ya cocksuckers!

TravelBlog


P.S. That is all.
 

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cstork is absolutely correct.

"Below Disaster is perhaps the most dangerous spot where the river splits and the right channel goes into a bad undercut. Easy to take the left channel."

If you notice, this section of the river (river right) is intentionally excluded from the river map to avoid going right. We had to lifeflight an injured passenger in 2005 as a result of this very undercut. Two of the five boats we had didn't listen or watch our boats downstream and went right instead of left. Broken shoulder, arm, head injury, torn eyelid, going into shock. Luckily a guide service had a SAT phone and called for assistance. I always bring a SAT phone on ALL my trips now. DO NOT GO RIGHT!

Skyman
 
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