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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cataract Canyon
4500 CFS
Potash to North Wash.
4/28 Rig, 4/29 Launch, 5/2 Takeout.
4 Days, 12 people, (5) 16' Rafts, 3 kayaks, and a 5hp Honda Outboard.

Day 0 // Rig
We kicked outta work at noon, headed to the U of Utah to pick up a 16' rental and another car to the airport to pick up someone who just flew back from Mexico. Two Trucks, one trailer, three rafts, and three kayaks were headed South.

Another truck, trailer, and raft was close behind, and one more coming over from Durango with their 16' Cat to meet us at the ramp.

The Durango crew was already there, rigged, and well into their buzz when we showed up around 8.

We ferried across the river and camped at the beach on the other side.

The last truck showed up around 11:30 pm and followed suit.

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Day 1 // Motorboat'n

We pushed off early, around 7 am, barged up, and headed downstream. We started with a row of 3, cat in the lead, and motor in the back, and the other two strapped on to the side. 1.5" straps, frame to frame.

We pulled the motor a couple of times because we were in the wrong channel and it got really shallow. It was never shallow enough that we were seriously stuck. I did find out, by tearing my fuel line, that I have to pull the fuel line before pulling the motor. Lots of vulnerable parts there. A knife and a hose clamp and we were good to go. Luckily I didn't break the connection where the fuel line mounts to the motor itself.

Navtec passed us once, doing a day trip in sport boats to the Grotto and back.

Quick hike at the ruins across from Lathrop Canyon.

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Solstice calendar? Can anyone confirm?

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We pushed to the Liberty Bell (Guillotine) Arch the first day. I think it was 32 miles, and roughly 10.5 hours. We averaged 4.2 mph moving speed with the motor at half throttle.

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I was checking my oil after celebrating the "colorado" portion of the Colorado River a little too hard. I pulled the cowling and dip stick, left the dip stick on top of the motor, and pulled it. The dip stick went flying into the river and didn't float. I spent probably 20 minutes probing the river without goggles and eventually found it. Stressful moment.

Day 2 // Loop and Confluence.

We were dropped off early at the Loop Hike. Two people stayed with the boats and the other ten walked.

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Nice big sandy beach at the confluence. We camped here last summer under the full moon. This pic is looking upstream.

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The Crew + a really big stuffed fish that found its way onto our trip

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Double Haystacks at X-Y

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To be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
We camped at Lower Right X-Y

Kayaks doing Kayak Stuff - Upper Wave was a little munchier.

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Second wave wasn't quite as crashy and steep.
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Day 3 // Big Drops

Scouted 15 and had some fun.

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Rapid 20 Ben Hurt:

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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
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Big Drop 2 - Around to the right, pull in, swing the front of the boat around the big rock & enjoy the ride.

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More kayak stuff in Big Drop 3.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Raft Line on BD3 - Between Big Mossy and the Little Boy's Room.

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Packaged up & Cruising.

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Last Camp at Dark Canyon. There was really only enough room for one larger camp or two smaller ones.

Certainly a mud riffle here.

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Day 4 // Going Home

Thanks for rowing, buddy.
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Hardly any snow left in the Henry Mountains.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
North Wash Takeout Ramp

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I backed my empty truck and trailer down near the water's edge. 3.6L V6 Ram, pretty standard highway tires. 4LO n GO, spun the wheels before I started moving anywhere. Drove it back up the ramp empty and hand loaded. I'd be curious to call Navtec and see where they're taking out their sport boats. They passed us again on the last day and had definitely ran Cat and were headed to takeout.. somewhere on the Reservoir.

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Thrilled with the way everything went. Everyone ran super clean lines. Nice weather. Plenty of food and beer.

I brought a digital scale good for 150 lbs accurate to 0.2 lbs to see how much gear we used. No info on charcoal or hand soap.

We were packaged and motored almost entirely from Potash to Spanish Bottom and Gypsum to North Wash.

Propane: 10.0 lbs
Gasoline: 4.1 Gallons
Groover: 1 brimming Coyote
TP: 2 rolls
Paper Towels: 1.5 rolls.
Beverages: Avg 12 / day. More on the way in and out than in the rapids.

Water Temp at put in: 59°F
Water Temp at Spanish Bottom: 67°F
Water Temp at Dark Canyon: 69°F
 

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Does a soul good to see old Avon's on the water. And thanks for the stellar TR and the photos of North Wash. The commercials have big donut rollers and a winch, they just winch the boat up the ramp. Would be a PITA for a private, but the commercials have lots of young strong dudes to manhandle things, and have ridden that rodeo many times before.
 

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Good job!

Glad you found that dipstick... that motor doesn't push the pressure your truck's engine does (around 40 psi?) but it puts out enough (maybe 10-15?) that you would have had to pull the cowling and take turns holding a rag or ? with your thumb or finger to keep oil in there. Unless you could jam in a screw top from a gallon water container and epoxy overnight... that works for awhile until the vibe breaks the bond...

17 years with that same motor I've made most every mistake possible. Carry a spare anything that can be dropped, comes loose, or can fly off (lost my cowling in Three Fords once, it now has a footman's loop and is secured with thin line... those cowlings like to come loose, fortunately not something the motor needs to run). Will send you photos of how to keep gas line out of the way in PM. Zip ties. Also how I secure registration plates to bowline.

I'm revising previous guesstimate of high water in Cat this year from high teens to low... based on getting off Deso yesterday with flow around 2k-2200. Hope I'm wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I have a deck that’s 16”x60” that sits behind my drybox. It has slits like my deckboards. I put a sauerkraut bucket over the prop. I run two cam straps thru the lower end to secure it to the deck.

Not the best pic

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Good stuff and thanks for the awesome trip report and photos.
How was big drop 5 ?
Big Drop 5? Did they add 2 more to the existing 3 ?
 

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Well MNicols, you are correct in your question.

I ran Cataract in a kayak back in the late '90's along with a retired guide bud leading the way in his Avon.

I remember Satan's Gut to this day. We camped river left on a bluff over looking the big drops. Great camp but after breakfast the next day, I was dry mouth and big eyes when we ran the drops. There was just three of us two in the raft and me in a Response kayak. My retired cataract canyon guide told me words to the effect Dave, you watch my line and follow it exactly. Which I did and what a great day that was.

On the other hand, a lot of time has passed since then and looks like my memory bank added a digit 2 to the digit 3 and big drop 3 became big drop 5.

Having done that, your post prompted me to look up photos of the big drops and relive that day way back when. Thanks for that. dave
 

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Hey! You're welcome, and it's always a good thing to look back at pictures and relive past trips. I find myself doing that sometimes for hours on end..
 
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