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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
So I'm supposed to launch on the Middle Fork Salmon Monday. Some people canceled and we are down to my 14' Outlaw and the permit holder's 14' Saturn Cat. with 4 people total. It's going to be cold with highs in the 50' and lows in the 20's. The permit holder did not purchase a drysuit like we discussed but at least he bought one for his wife who has very little boating experience. His plan is to wear rain gear and a 1.5 mil fleece lined neoprene base layer. None of us have been on the Middle Fork yet.

My safety concerns are high. Would you go on this trip?
 

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The permit holder is potentially putting the entire group at risk by not bringing adequate gear (dry suit) for the predicted and possibly hypothermic weather conditions

Does he have access to a wet suit? Not ideal but better than the proposed base layer and rain gear

Dealing with weather conditions is a big deal when unprepared, on top of 1 inexperienced boater and a new (to you) river
 

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Sounds like your group doesn't have much margin of safety. A drysuit is a must in that kind of weather. Rain gear will really suck in a swim. It's not like stuff will be drying out overnight. I haven't been following the MFS flows this year but I'd expect it's pretty high right now.

A few years back some friends launched on June 9 and another group that launched the same day lost all four of their rafts in the first 5 miles and had to hike out.

Are y'all pretty experienced in serious water? Personally I would want a core group that's pretty seasoned for a high water trip like that, and someone that knows the river, especially at high water. If y'all aren't some pretty serious boaters then you're probably in over your heads.

Sounds like y'all may not have realized what you were getting into when you got the permit.

Be safe, don't let anyone goad you into going if you've got a bad feeling in your gut. There'll be other rivers to run later.

MF SALMON RIVER AT MF LODGE NR YELLOW PINE ID

-AH
 

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No harm in canceling.

So I'm supposed to launch on the Middle Fork Salmon Monday. Some people canceled and we are down to my 14' Outlaw and the permit holder's 14' Saturn Cat. with 4 people total. It's going to be cold with highs in the 50' and lows in the 20's. The permit holder did not purchase a drysuit like we discussed but at least he bought one for his wife who has very little boating experience. His plan is to wear rain gear and a 1.5 mil fleece lined neoprene base layer. None of us have been on the Middle Fork yet.

My safety concerns are high. Would you go on this trip?
I have said no to river trips, that are not right, because the situations involved were not adding up directly. That's what we call experienced boaters decisions. No harm in making correct decisions.
 

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Water levels are about at 4.5 now, higher might be a greater challenge. See if you can follow another group for the 1st day for the best lines and for safety sake. Weather forecasts for Monday and Tuesday indicate lows in the 20's and highs in the 30's with rain/snow.

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-115.29066172099958&lat=44.531167287450074#.XtxSaDRYaM-

Last year it snowed and froze hard on our June 20th pre launch evening. A lady that thought a drysuit provided to her did not fit right went instead with a wetsuit and other layers. She was the individual that was bounced out of a raft in Hell's Half Mile and spent about 2 minutes in before re-boated. We immediately got to shore since she went into hypothermic shock. After stabilized in about 1 hour we continued down to our 1st camp at Trail Flats and with the drysuit she should have had on in the first place. She was placed into the hot spring in drysuit to finish recovery.

Short notice - I would make every attempt to find a drysuit for the PH. The first day is a real scramble and no real time to rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for confirming what I already knew. I did everything I could to find him a drysuit and no luck. I have a wetsuit and legit splash gear I was going to insist he wear, but I'm just going to cancel. My wife and I are experienced class IV winter boaters with all the gear necessary and my boat is on the trailer and food is in the cooler. Where could I take them now? Open to suggestions some easier section, something less committing, or somewhere with better current weather and unpermitted of course. My wife said she didn't work 12 hours days to be able to have the week off to not be on a river. Bonus points if I have to repack for warmer weather.
 

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Maybe Desolation Cyn there are a couple permits for June 7th and the 11th
just now checked
 

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There is a Hells Canyon permit on the 8th and the 10th on rec.org You could run that in 3-4 days and then do the Grande Ronde or the Deschutes. Hell, you might get lucky and do Hells (see what I did there) then call up the rangers on the Rouge and get a 2 person permit for that. If its a solo boat sometimes its not that hard to get on the Rogue if you just show up...
 

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Ditto for Deso, June 11 still open and it is going to be in the 90's!
PM me if you want more river, logistics info
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update: Tried to talk the PH into Deso (thank you for the heads up on that) but he is hard headed and stuck on Idaho. I told him I wasn't really comfortable boating with someone not prepared for the weather on any river and to be careful. So it looks likes the wife and I are going the hit Moab and run the Daily, then head up and run Section A&B on the Green. Thanks again to all who commented. I was looking forward to seeing a new section of river but with a one boat trip I'm just going to stick to sections I know well and I'm comfortable on, plus my wife has been wanting to paddle her ducky anyway.
 

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If y'all are competent boaters you should be able to get on a Westwater trip (no permits available until the 16th) and then take a few more days floating on down to Moab. This would be gorgeous and let you do a nice, long stretch. You may be able to get on a Ruby Horsethief trip and do the whole trip from Fruita/Loma to Moab in one go.

Of course, now you'd have to worry about sunburn and hydration instead of hypothermia, but hey, we take what we can get, eh?

Have a great vacation,

-AH
 

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It's currently snowing in central Idaho right now, so enjoy your trip to Utah knowing you likely made the right decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds like your group doesn't have much margin of safety. A drysuit is a must in that kind of weather. Rain gear will really suck in a swim. It's not like stuff will be drying out overnight. I haven't been following the MFS flows this year but I'd expect it's pretty high right now.

A few years back some friends launched on June 9 and another group that launched the same day lost all four of their rafts in the first 5 miles and had to hike out.

Are y'all pretty experienced in serious water? Personally I would want a core group that's pretty seasoned for a high water trip like that, and someone that knows the river, especially at high water. If y'all aren't some pretty serious boaters then you're probably in over your heads.

Sounds like y'all may not have realized what you were getting into when you got the permit.

Be safe, don't let anyone goad you into going if you've got a bad feeling in your gut. There'll be other rivers to run later.

MF SALMON RIVER AT MF LODGE NR YELLOW PINE ID

-AH
You are correct, I don't think he knew what he was getting into when choosing that date. I feel like I'm a solid boater and with better weather and a prepared group I would have launched but sometimes things just don't work out.
 
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