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Discussion Starter #1
The weather, water and steelhead are perfect. Your party cancels the night before, leaving all your plans, gear and food waiting...this just happened to me.
When can you go rafting by yourself? Many say, never. For discussion, In this case, the Lower Deschutes River, some options:
1. Do the original plan, 50 miles trip in four days.
2. Cut the trip to 10 miles and always near roads but that requires class III+s.
3. Cut the trip to 10 mile trip with only II's but no roads.
For the discussion, this is a journeyman knowing the river. What do you think?
 

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Go if you are confident in your abilities. If you have doubt, stay home.




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If you are confident in your abilities, willing to accept the additional risk associated with solo adventure in the backcountry, and dont mind being on kitchen and groover duty every day, go for it.
 

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I've done some fairly significant solo boating. Make sure you know the run extremely well, use extra caution beyond what you normally would, bring everything you would need for a worst case scenario and let people know your expected schedule and when you expect to make the takeout.

Do you expect there to be other folks on the water? That makes a difference, as does the weather forecast this time of year...
 

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Well I am not the best one to ask since I go anyway. I have floated solo boat trip the Middle Fork Salmon a few times. Parts of it with one passenger, parts with my family and some just me. Can't wait to do the whole thing again solo, solo.

I know the run very well. It was at class 3 type flows, not 4. But a couple of those times there were virtually no other parties on the river. Once in mid-October and we knew there was no one else around at all. Maybe boicatr out for the fall hunt…..

Not recommending this for anyone else but for me it was and will be the right thing with the right flow. You will never boat better than when you are completely alone. And for me more sober….
 

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2nd carvedog, as usual.

Go when you think the reward outweighs the risk.

I solo boat a lot. To me it is worth it up to III+ in a cat III in a kayak. For others, not so much I would guess.
 

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Good timing on this thread, just had crew cancel on Westwater day trip.
Was weighing my options, making the drive anyway because we are doing Cataract Canyon the next day.
I love solo boating, my hangup is shuttle logistics.

Fall is a wonderful time on the river, I'm sure I'll go anyway!
 

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I have boated solo and love it. Have done the Dolores from the dam to Bedrock and Deso solo twice. The experience has such a different quality to it.

Phillip
 

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Good timing on this thread, just had crew cancel on Westwater day trip.
Was weighing my options, making the drive anyway because we are doing Cataract Canyon the next day.
I love solo boating, my hangup is shuttle logistics.

Fall is a wonderful time on the river, I'm sure I'll go anyway!
Just make sure you watch yourself in that sneaky sock-it-to-me at low water.
 

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The Deschutes is probably the lowest consequence class III river I have ever been down. If you know the rapids and you are confident, go for it. Just don't do something stupid, like knock yourself out, or get bit by a snake. Have fun with the afternoon wind down there...
 

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Much of the above, plus

A) that's why I moved to raft from canoe.

B) post on mountainbuzz, be careful of the results (for example: Texans expect people from the land of microbrews to drink Tecate).

C) I seem to never have any boat ramp entirely to myself. People who boat are usually friendly, and if you behave well will boat with you in the future.

D) Be flexible, and deal well with ambiguity. I've pulled together fun trips when I was dropping off my key at the shuttle op. Once did a week long GC backpack with a guy I met in line at the permit office.

by the time you meet anyone at the adventure put-in, an awful lot of self-selection has already happened.
 

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Float Warm Springs to Harpham Flat. Its 40 miles and your only challenge will be Whitehorse, which is not that difficult if you scout it.
 

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for the chrome, i would do it.
 

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Solo boating can be very rewarding. It comes with a significantly different risk profile and potentially can have severe consequences.

The decision to paddle solo is a decision best made through honest self assessment, risk assessment, and it is a personal decision. It's not a decision to take lightly or one I would want input from the internet on. Only you will truly know if it's for you, and when you truly know you won't have to ask anyone.
 

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I have done both sections of the lower D solo, and met several boaters doing the same. If you are familiar with the rapids, and a competent rower, you should go if you want to. For the next few weeks, you will likely have the option to hold up at the more significant rapids, and have company to run with in a fairly short time. Also, the lower lower (Buck hollow down) is now open to full time power boat traffic. I spent much of the last two weeks at Macks Canyon, and there is rarely a power boat out of hearing range, or a steelhead angler out of sight. Reason enough to head for the upper, slightly less crowded section if looking for some solitude.
 

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Go if you are confident in your abilities. If you have doubt, stay home.


I agree. Thats the time only if your are 100percent

make sure to have an emergency contact that knows where you are, what you are doing and when you are going to check in if you decide to do it.
 

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Rig a paddle on the side of your raft so you can paddle it to shore IF you happen to end on it upside down.... have fun!

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Discussion Starter #20
When my trip disintegrated and I needed grounding it happened here. First, solo boating including heavier water isn't the issue. Soul searching, versus perfect reasons to go hit me. Great wisdom and advice, including local thoughts. In the day, solo tubing (what lifejackets?) to fish was the norm. Hopefully, I grown wiser. FYI tomorrow I'm taking off. Ciao.
 
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