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I've heard that Big South has been rafted. I was wondering if those brave souls would be willing to provide a trip report: logistics, portages, levels, swims etc.
 

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If I remember right it was a couple guys (R2) out of the northwest. I didn't see all of their lines. I remember them portaging cool world, running double trouble (had a good line), and running slideways (semiclean line). It can be done but it gets a little ugly at time. :D
 

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Raftus is the Mountainbuzz name of one of the guys. From what I remember they didn't run Bouncing Betty, Taco Bob, Fantasy Flight or Cool World, not sure about Bar Room Brawl. They styled Double Trouble and had issues in Slideways. The portages were because of limitations in the width of the channel. I think you would want a solid medium flow for a raft, similar to what it is right now.
 

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Here's Raftus' synopsis from an old thread.


Weird creek went smoothly. We ran far right at Started Fluid, but that was a missed line and Keith swam there. Several of the next rapids were portages because the raft wouldn't fit (Taco Bob's, Fantasy Flight). We portaged the top of Cool World, but a raft line might be plausible. We ran the lower half of it. With the exception of Cool World we ran everything the raft would fit through. Prime Time gorge was awesome. I took a swim at the bottom of a rapid after we hit a rock that was hidden below a horizon line. Calm pool there so an easy swim. Double Trouble was the highlight, and we had a clean line. That was the biggest drop of my rafting career so far.

Smooth rafting to Slideways, but we got pushed left coming off of a dome shaped hydraulic just above the 7 foot water fall. We went into the left slot and flipped. Keith and the raft got on the rocks river center literally a few feet downstream. I swam a ways further but grabbed a rock just above the series of big holes. We re-launched in the eddy below the 7 footer and cleaned the rest of the rapid. Below that was a lot of wood induced stress, the raft nearly wrapped while being lined under one of the river wide logs. The hike out with the raft was greatly assisted by the South Carolina crew. Also a thanks to all the kayakers who set safety, gave us beta and encouragement. We want to get back and try to nail the lines we missed. Mostly we are grateful for having a great, and injury free, day in such a beautiful wilderness and on such a high caliber river.
 

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Yeah, that was raftus (Sean) and I. Sean's writeup above is fair. Folks R2 way harder stuff these days so I'm sure more of it goes than we tried. For example, when we R2'ed Bailey we carried First Falls and the crux/first drop of Supermax, but that gets run occasionally now. Current flow (med high) is a good level. I'd recommend getting a kayaker or three that know Big South real well, and are either great friends or really desperate for beer, to show you down.

Its not going to become a rafting classic. I heard rumor that it had been tubed and IKed at ELF flows prior to our raft descent. Haven't heard of anyone rafting it since. The PNW part of the story is founded since I am an Oregon homeboy, but been here a decade, and we paddled my Maravia Spider from Sun Country Tours in Bend OR.
 

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Yeah, that was raftus (Sean) and I. Sean's writeup above is fair. Folks R2 way harder stuff these days so I'm sure more of it goes than we tried. For example, when we R2'ed Bailey we carried First Falls and the crux/first drop of Supermax, but that gets run occasionally now. Current flow (med high) is a good level. I'd recommend getting a kayaker or three that know Big South real well, and are either great friends or really desperate for beer, to show you down.

Its not going to become a rafting classic. I heard rumor that it had been tubed and IKed at ELF flows prior to our raft descent. Haven't heard of anyone rafting it since. The PNW part of the story is founded since I am an Oregon homeboy, but been here a decade, and we paddled my Maravia Spider from Sun Country Tours in Bend OR.
What size raft did you use?
 
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