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  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    FatCat, aka 'the Doom Direct'.

    I posted this in the Passion forum about a week ago. I keep forgetting that *this* forum exists--I just don't make a habit of coming here.

    Forgive me--I'll learn, eventually.

    * * * * * * * * * * *



    I had a funny idea a few months ago: Colorado and Utah are at the low (we hope) ebb of a 10-year drought cycle, meaning our trails are dessicated and our rivers low.










    Thinking proactively, it occurred to me that this would be an *ideal* time to use fatbikes to access Cataract Canyon, taking advantage of the low flows therein to float it with packrafts.







    Last weekend that's exactly what we did.  The idea may have been mine, but the route was pure Doom, and we wouldn't have had half the laughs we did without Moe in the picture.












    We rode from Cathedral Butte down to Bobby's Hole, stashing the bikes and hiking Cross Canyon past dark on the first night.

















    Second day we hiked upriver to Brown Betty rapids, putting in just below them in the interest of expediency: They didn't look hard or even that much fun, and we wanted all the daylight we could salvage for the bigger rapids to come later in the day.  
































    Third day we hiked straight up from the river (~2000' in the first mile) and followed Imperial Canyon back to intersect our outbound route.  Back to the bikes early PM, then we rode 'til sunset to close the loop.



























    On the ride in we had semi-hardpacked conditions, making me think the fatbikes were overkill.  But while we were hiking and floating there must have been lots of jeep/atv traffic through the Needles, because on our homeward ride the sand was deep and dry enough to warrant plump tires.  In short, they were neither necessary nor superfluous: They were simply convenient.










    Krampus would be the ideal year-round steed for trips in this area.





    The river was at ~4100cfs when we ran it.  If I were to do this trip again (ASAP!) I'd not bother hiking upriver from Cross Canyon.  I'd put in right there and use the surplus time to take a nap, take more pics, lap some of the bigger rapids, or maybe even roll the whole loop in 2 days.  Except if the water was higher, then Brown Betty might be worth it.






    Here's Moe's take on the trip:











    Tender ears alert--if profanity ain't your thing, mute that ^ one through the float!!





    Finally, in Moe's vid he showed my blown attempt at sneaking Big Drop 3.  Here's my take on *that* moment:







    Several important lessons learned there.  Ahem.





    Incredible 3-day trip that I'll certainly be repeating.  Thanks boys.





    Cheers,





    MC







  2. #2
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    Reputation: greenwater's Avatar
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    Awesome! Combining two of my favorite things, bikes and rivers. That was an interesting line in Big Drop 3. Normally anything left of Big Mossy is not what you would call your happy place. Looks like you guys rocked it though. Those packrafts look like they did just fine. I continue to be impressed by them. Great photography and great report.

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwater View Post
    Awesome! Combining two of my favorite things, bikes and rivers. That was an interesting line in Big Drop 3. Normally anything left of Big Mossy is not what you would call your happy place. Looks like you guys rocked it though. Those packrafts look like they did just fine. I continue to be impressed by them. Great photography and great report.

    Thanks!
    It was a cool route and we got great weather so, as you can imagine, we were pretty pumped overall.

    At Big Drop 3 we looked hard at running it straight down the gut, just right of what you're calling Big Mossy. From our scouting stance it looked fun (fast!) but from water level we just didn't have confidence that we could get lined up well enough--nothing visually close to where we wanted to enter to key off of.

    And while Doom and I were trying to sort that out, Moe went up and did what Moe does--made that left sneak look easy.

    Looking forward to getting in there with a little more water. I was surprised how few rapids and how long the flats between were. That said, I have zero interest in being in there at high water, or probably even medium. A man's got to know his limitations...

    MC

  4. #4
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    Nice work guys. Looks like an awesome time. I love that area. Doom always seems to have a way of making a sweet trip even sweeter. Great pics and really good video.

  5. #5
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
    Reputation: hunter006's Avatar
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    These photos are awesome, but what really nailed it for me was the song chosen to be coupled with the first video. That had me laughing the entire video. Great job!

  6. #6
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    This is just too awesome - my two favorite outdoor activities! And that's some pretty big water for things being so dry. Thanks for posting!

  7. #7
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    MC, you're always living life large.
    I really enjoy your trip reports thanks so much for taking the time to share your adventures.

    04 Azonic Saber
    08 Yeti AS-x
    12 Rocky Mtn 29er Alt 970



  8. #8
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    Reputation: Funrover's Avatar
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    So awesome! Now that is a trip to have!

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