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Old July 13th 04, 02:53 AM
Rex Sanders
 
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Default Scariest MF Salmon rapid!

The scariest rapid on the Middle Fork Salmon River in Idaho is now on
the Main Salmon - Cramer Creek. The last 5 miles of a MF Salmon trip
is on the Main Salmon. A rapid barely mentioned in the guidebooks, 3/4
mile upstream of takeout at Cache Bar, is now a large, gnarly monster.

Three of us with combined 30 Grand Canyon trips, rate the rapid at 7 to
8 on the 1-10 Canyon scale. Standing on the road scouting, the most
common expression heard from people seeing the rapid for the first time
was "holy sh*t!".

We watched 10 rafts run the right side successfully, including one
mostly sideways run, and our three 14 foot boats ran OK. One
commercial outfitter walked passengers around the rapid, and ran boats
through with guides only.

Scouting is highly recommended, rangers say the rapid is still changing
after the recent flash flood on Cramer Creek. Listen for the loud roar
downstream after a long pool, with spouting waves above a horizon
line. Pull out on the right, walk down the takeout road to scout. As
the rangers told us eight days earlier, "watch out for the second
wave".

Other than Cramer Creek, we used a 15-year-old guide book for the rest
of the trip with no problems. The Middle Fork Salmon is a great trip!

-- Rex