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Discussion Starter #1
i understand the importance of buddies(m/f) when sporting..... i understand and enjoy the feeling of self-reliance....is having a partner the #1 rule? i love watching my crew disappear over horizon lines or watching them come into view as much as the next guy/gal.....who doesn't? soloing IS a part of kayaking or sporting that has always been there....what do you think? soloing something as mellow as class2 is good for you...class V, maybe... maybe not....if it is so bad , why does it make you laugh so much? i seem to be gettin more and more interested in this facet of kayaking....it isn't for glory, fame or anything like that....hard to shoot footie or take pictures when by yourself....i watch more kayak porn that anybody out there, and am thankful for the time and energy people put into capturing all the fun and excitement on film!!!!i dont like catching grief from friends about soloing.....i'm off to make some turns.... with friends!
 

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Why not? I haven't ever soloed anything hard, but if you're interested in it and get rewards from it, why not? Soloing isn't different from kayaking with friends in any respect: you look at a drop and decide to run it or not depending on your ability, the weather, the flow, the fun-factor, and your safety support. Only in soloing you just realize that you have no safety. Every class V boater that I know has looked at a drop and said, "there's a chance I could pin or swim there and if I did there isn't a damn thing anyone could do to help me." Yet we've all run that drop. As Kyle said about Yule, sometimes safety is largely verbal. If you're willing to run a drop like that, then why not solo? I'm not saying that soloing is for every paddler, but I'd hope people would not be so quick to condem those that do.
 

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I think soloing is wicked, hella, totally sweet..... Im into doing it once in a while, but have never soloed anything super hard. I'd actually like to do it more. Theres just a feeling you get (its kinda warm and fuzzy) while soloing that you dont get with the crew....a bit more of a connection to your surroundings and understanding of your significance or lack theroff.

PS- I made some turns today too. In powder. On a mountain that had tons of terrain open, 10+ fresh on a 50+ inch base with a total of about 140 inches to date (Snowbird). How are things at the Butte this year? Deep as always??

PPS- I'll be moving back there next season, so I'd better not be too condescending about CBs snowfall.

ppps- gotta go watch the simpsons now (seriously).

Peace Milo.
 

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Try running a search on AW's site for the word "solo". Most links come back from the "Accident Reports" section followed by: Victim(s) were fatally injured.

It comes down to each individual's choice, I enjoy being on the water with my buds, and being able to share the experience during and after. But that's my call, not yours.

Mike
 

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I guess this can be seen two ways, but I have always felt that it demonstrates a huge lack of respect to put your life in someone elses hands when running a really hard stretch. After reading the posts of people that were on trip when somthing went bad I sometimes feel worse for the people on the trip than for the families of the lost ones. The people on that trip are the ones that carry the baggage, second guessing their decisions and what if-ing the scenarios.

So as for soloing, out of respect for your boating buddies, I would almost suggest that if you cant solo it then maybe you shouldnt do it at all?

Yeah this theory does not account for freak of nature accidents or other scenarios.... I guess I am just trying to make an off topic point about the position that you put other paddlers in when pushing yourself too hard.

I have soloed a good bit in the past but nearly always on well populated rivers or on sections that are easily accesable (like with a road running along). I agree with the benefits mentioned by the others. Someday I want to add a flyrod to the mix as well.

ben rodda
 

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Discussion Starter #6
point well taken mescalimick, is having your buddy there with a rope, giving you a false sense of security? most of the time probably not, sometimes i'd say yes....i've soloed drops and then portaged them when "safety" was present....conditions i guess...my first solo was forced upon me down in GUATAMALA....(like a virgin, soloing for the very first time)...had to leave my buddy stranded on an island(we chose a tree that he could climb up because the river was still rising)....i insisted that he take my boat and go for a rescue...i'd prefer being left behind and sleeping in the tree than face that monster river(V)...he declined...he said go get me some f&%$ing HELP!!!.....needed to catch up with the heavy hitters who were chasing his gear(sikkos)...i was super freaking..first solo, first day ever to paddle out of the country...in a mega-flooding river...i did not enjoy sharing the river with old growth trees that were swapping ends!!! mentally i was not ready so i opted to hike out through the jungle...my buddy had said,"there is a road about six miles into the jungle that way..it will take you to the takeout bridge" GOOD LORD!!!...in darkish hours....bla bla bla i traded a chocolate power bar to some naked toothless jungle kids(after an hour of wondering if i was an alien/teasing me they approached me) it is the only reason i made it out to a dirtroad... where after 2 hours of sketchy encounters i was surrounded by the army or police with machine guns! then my girl popped out of the truck....SWEET- point is....being self-reliant is a valuable skill....It dawned on me that i needed to spend more time solo...to mentally train..... so, i did.... i am not dropping in TOLTEC GORGE, solo, any time soon!!!! a handfull of quality solos every season are awesome adventures (regardless of class)....... MENG, gotta a number out there in UTAH? it snowing again here...not fully open though... soon......the new owners are super aggressive about terrain openings...just need a bit more help from mommy nature.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yo ben.....WORD...i'd never solo something that i couldn't run with buddies!! my first planned solo was near montrose(BC)... and i learned that it is serious(got knocked out briefly, came to... underwater... wondering where i was).....got my stick back in hands and rolled up...had to finish the run with one eye swoll shut...i do not take soloing lightly as my friends suggest...thanks for peoples' input....GIT SUM!!!!
 

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I personally like solo'ing...I have solo'd very hard runs(meatgrinder,pueblo,the big 4 on lake creek) to easy runs as numbers and royal gorge and I find the mind set is the same on all runs..You have all senses in order and have a extreme sense of focus...I love it,the feeling of being alone in some great places soaking up life and what it offers is something I enjoy...I also love being with friends and spending time with them on rivers....Solo'ing is not for everyone,yet I don't feel it is more dangerous then with a group as long as you go about it in a way that you are comfortable with...

Gary

ps---But solo'ing is politically incorrect and that offends alot of people....
 

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Milo,
Solo boating is great and all but if you are going to go into a run knowing that you are going to walk a bunch of rapids that you would want to run if yoür ¨frineds¨were with you, why not just take a backpack and hike the black, or go for a hike in CB, much eaiser then walking around all the rapids that you would normaly run

Larsen
PS
the water is great down here, you are missing out on some great flows
 

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Discussion Starter #13
jimmy hinge...come on dude.....most of my solos are part of multisporting events...MUCH more to think about than DAYWRECKER, LOWER INTESTINE, PRINCIPALS OFFICE and SIEVE CITY?....now i need to run these to make you happy? the "lonliness factor" does come into effect, boat choice and desire play in as well... i'd love to run a couple of the bigger ones but jesus hinge....tell you what, would it make you happy if i pulled off the solo cave-man-style-.... as you and melentrod have suggested? i'm in dire need of your approval...fuck nut!!! have fun in chile...heard the puesco was rocking!!!!be safe and try not to go caving again....we got pounded yesterday..went out with the HOLLYWOODMAN....3+ feet yesterday in SKYland....i'll start looking for tickets for when you get back....
 

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I think that soloing is fine depending on the river, conditions, exposure that you're looking at, and severity of the risks involved. I like to get out by myself on some stretches of river but tend to be much more conservative with what I run and how I run it.

Its a judgement call - you just need to make sure you've got good judgement.

-Andy
 

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benrodda said:
I guess this can be seen two ways, but I have always felt that it demonstrates a huge lack of respect to put your life in someone elses hands when running a really hard stretch. ... I would almost suggest that if you cant solo it then maybe you shouldnt do it at all?
Ben: It’s a good point; however we all need to start somewhere and we all need direction & inspiration. I don’t know you, but I suspect that without your paddling crew, you wouldn’t be half the boater you are today. I know it is true for me... Nothing more than a thought.
 

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Spencer,

Yeah man you are dead on...... it was just a point about the position you put your friends in when pushing yourself beyond your limits.

ben
 

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Spencer's point is very true. It is usually your friends that push your limits. When you are learning to boat trying to follow somebody better is always a good way to learn some new lines. As you get better your ability level will seem to hit plateau's. It's your friends that are better than you that help you push to the next level. Then when you get to a higher level of paddling you can push your friends ability levels.

As far as paddling solo...There is just sometimes when none of those friends are around to paddle with you. I solo Pine Creek all of the time. It's not because I feel like soloing something...It's because I just want to paddle and nobody else is around!!!!!!! I am fully addicted to paddling and just because some of my friends can't paddle that day doesn't mean it should ruin my opportunity to paddle. When I was learning my most frustrating moments came not while actually paddling but from trying to find people to paddle with that day!

Anyway...I am going to go solo some oceans waves today...I hope I don't get pinned in the sand!

Later
 

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It's true that friends push your limits and that more thank likely, you would be with friends when you try something over your head. Still, running solo can turn what is normally a simple situation into a fatal situation. Case in point:

Last year I wanted to run Buttress section of Boulder Creek, from 4mile down. My friends were unavailable so I decided to run it solo. It's fun class IV creeking that I had done 50 times before so I wasn't too worried. Well, I ended up stuck on a slightly submerged and undercut boulder with half of boulder creek smashing into my hull. Had I been with even one other boater they could have very, very easily pulled me off the rock and without my head getting wet I could have paddled on. As it were, I was stuck for a solid 10 minutes, unable to peel off or exit as my boat slowly inched further under the rock and further pinched me into my cockpit. Finally, in an act of desperation, I was able to make a twisted, one leg at a time exit (the kind of exit that makes you think you'll need to break both legs to get out) as my boat was sucked under the edge of the rock and flushed downstream. That could have been ugly, not to mention the fact that a one person boat rescue in consistent rapids is a challenge in itself.

I'm all for excitement and I'm willing to accept the dangers of boating. But I would feel like a complete ass if I lost my life on a simple stretch of Class III-IV all because there was no one there to laugh at me as they gave my grab loop a firm tug.

Don't be an ass. Paddle with someone.
 

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What about hiking solo. I don't think many would condemn a person for tackling such a feat. In fact, hundreds of people do it every year from Georgia to Main. I've been backpacking solo several times and it is amazing. It is simply a completely different experience than hiking with a group. However, every time I do it I can't help but to wonder what would happen if I slipped and broke a leg miles from help. I could die and it would be very easy to do. Arguably as easy as getting pined. So the moral of the story is never do anything alone. Lets face it, everything we do has risks. Anyone who thinks that kayaking solo is irresponsible should probably not kayak, because kayaking is irresponsible. I mean when you look at it, we drive hundreds of miles with two cars to put our selves in serious danger floating down a river that was already explored days ago by other kayakers, decades ago by engineers, centuries ago by miners/trappers/explorers, and Millenia ago by native Americans. We are accomplishing nothing except our own fulfillment. So if kayaking solo is a risk that one feels is worth taking, then do it. I have kayaked solo many times and enjoy it very much. I try to do it as little as possible, but sometimes the choice comes down to kayak solo or don't kayak, and I've always been happy with my decision.

P.S. Don't forget to think twice before stepping off the curb when you trek to the car today. Don't want to be irresponsible. :wink:
 

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Well said BigBoater!!

Everything is a risk. There is a risk in driving down the street in your car. There is a risk skiing down a green run at a mega ski resort. There is a risk walking down the sidewalk. There is a risk in taking a girl home from the bar! There is a risk in getting food poisening from Toxic Bell. There is a risk in getting pinned and drowning with or without your friends. There is risk in everything. Some risks are lesser than some but none the less they are a risk. Each person chooses these risks everyday...whether or not it is a serious risk or a minor risk is the choice you can make for yourself.



So pick your risk in life and enjoy them while you can. This might sound morbid but it's a truth to life.."We all end up in a box 6 feet under one way or the other." If it scares you to solo kayak...THEN DON'T DO IT! Just live your life for each day...whether it's solo kayaking, kayaking w/ friends, skiing a steep chute, working, being with your family, playing poker, drinking Budweiser's, whatever it is just enjoy it because it really could be your last. Today...Is all you really have! Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't even happened, so enjoy today.

"life is a calculated risk...think about the risk you are about to take...if it serves your purpose in life then grab it by the horns and go for a ride!"
 
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