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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

want to float from trout creek to maupin. I'm an intermediate driftboater who's done mostly the sandy and clack rivers. I'm most interested in the difficulty of whitehorse rapids and the one right below it (forget name). Are they doable for a drift boat? how long does this float take?

thank you!
chris
 

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I've never done it in a drift boat, but I've seen it done many times.
Whitehorse and Boxcar are easy enough to handle in a driftboat, but both have taken boats in the past. Both of these rapids change as the water flow changes and PFD's are recommended as you pass through both of them.
I've never floated from that far up so I can't give you a time line, but if memory serves me correctly you could do it all in one long day. I think you'd be better off doing it in two days as the fishing can be time consuming at times.
 

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Do Whitehorse as a passenger first if possible, then a raft then a hard boat.
I don't care how good anyone is on the sticks, ALWAYS scout it. Reason for this is the whole river drops out of sight and the line at the top 50-100 yards is the skinniest and most critical. If someone has hung up a boat on one of the rocks below you will not know it until you are committed to the rapid.

THE GUY WHO TAUGHT ME THE RAPID POINTING AT WHERE NOT TO GO!!! TOP VIEW FROM SCOUTING POINT


Last time I checked the "D" was about 3900cfs out of Pelton, Whithorse will be kinda bony in spots at this flow, I like it about 4200-4400 but you don't really have control over that.
More rocks are exposed at 3900 but you can see them better and the top of the rapid is a bit slower so you can make your crucial pulls/cuts a little easier. But at lower flows the big hole at the bottom is HUGE. High 4000cfs and above the top is rippin' but the hole and waves at the bottom are a bit more palatable.

WAVES AFTER YOU MAKE THE CUTS AT THE TOP AND HEAD DOWN



THE "HOLE"


DODGING THE "HOLE", GETTING WET!!!


The entire rapid is actually over a mile long and there is some other stuff to be vigilant about too, can't get cocky after running the top because you need to play it safe all the way down, especially in a hard boat.
I think the "next" rapid referred to below WH is Buckskin Mary and the "kids". Buckskin used to eat a lot of boats pre-flood or so I'm told. It's an easy read but if you don't know when to expect it it will sneak up on you. Either push real hard through the middle of it or drop over and skirt it if you don't like the looks of the "stacker" wave in the middle. There is a long slow pool below that where a series of class II drops continue for a bit, also easy to read.
Personally I don't run Boxcar in the hardboat, not that it bothers me but you will run into huge amounts of raft traffic in that stretch and many of them are clueless, possibly a danger to others around them. Take out at Harpham. Also, if you take out at City park they will charge you $3 or something like that.
Don't try Oak Springs in your hard boat either, especially loaded down and with these lower than normal flows.

I'm not encourging anyone to try this rapid their first time down, go with someone else first if you can. :cheers:

[ 06-14-2003, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Mad Mikey ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the info guys, and thanks Mad Mikey for the pics great to see it. I'm gonna give it a go but with alot of scouting and extreme caution.

take care!
chris :smile:
 

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One more thing, don't do it overloaded. If you have a bunch of coolers and equipment and two BIG guys up front you might consider dropping one guy off to walk the first 300-400 yards or so where you can pick him up at the bottom right.
 

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Be afraid! Be very, very afraid!

OK, maybe it's not that bad, but the 'Horse deserves your utmost respect. I feel pretty confident on the oars, and have never been more scared in my life than the first time down. As Mikey was saying, getting the right line is crucial and you will have to do it blind. The river drops so far at the top lip, you literally can't see anything. Enter at the wrong spot, and things can go wrong in a hurry.

It would be VERY valuable to be a front seater the first time through to get an idea of what it looks like. However, if you give it a go, good luck and be sure to report back how it goes.
 

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>>>and have never been more scared in my life than the first time down.<<<

No kidding. My first time down in the hard boat after going down as a passenger and then twice in a raft I must have stood at the scouting point for almost an hour walking back and forth.
The first night I camped at Whiskey Dick and I did not sleep at all, wanted to get the Horse behind me in a bad way.
After stressing out about it I ran it cleaner than a whistle and have done so over 30 times since.
I ran two gear boat trips for guides in the hard boat and both times I was very heavy. First trip I got some water in the boat but no big deal. Last trip I ran it in low water way too heavy and paid for it at the bottom. I could not make it all the way to the left at the bottom and ran through the "hole". I took on enough water to put 6" of H2O in the bottom of the boat and limped down several hundred yards to the first quiet spot on the right and bailed water for darn near 45 minutes.
I was shaking for hours.
You are right, treat this rapid with respect.
 

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You'll probably get some more knowledgible replies than this one since I'm not a big driftboat oarsman, but I'd hire a guide to show you the way through Whitehorse. Many boats have been lost in there. My understanding is that it's a lot harder/more dangerous than anything on the Clack and most of the lower Sandy.

Good luck
 

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Whitehorse is one you should definitely go with someone first who has done it before, you have to know which line to take or you can get in trouble quick, and definitely scout it first.
 
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