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Thread: Kenai river/russian river kayaking...

  1. #1
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    Default Kenai river/russian river kayaking...

    We put in at the Kenai lake boat ramp, my buddie and I, and paddled through several whitewater areas on the river that I would class as 2's and a couple as 3's. I had folks on the banks of both sides, where there were houses, taking pictures of my partner and I as we floated by; as well as the many other boaters that were also taking pictures of us as we speed by. There were also folks on the sandbars fishing that took the time to grab a camera and take a few shots. I said to my partner in crime, "they must not see many kayakers come through this area". We floated to Jims landing and had a blast...

  2. #2
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    The Kenai is a good float to get your boat wet, glad you had fun, but it has no class III, not even the canyon would be rated that unless the water is very high. Class III is complex whitewater, look at Campground rapid on Eagle River for a peek at big water class III, even Lionshead is usually class III-III+

    The reason for a II-II+ rating for the Kenai is you can skirt past anything that seems big, a steam with a higher rating may have rapids that force one to go through the meat of a rapid, and finally there are rescue issues, as well as danger to a boaters health in higher levels of boating.
    All whitewater rapids are rated as if a skilled boater were running them, and all craft are treated equally too. In the past people have tried different ratings for different craft, it led to mass confusion, and has been disregarded.
    Glad you had fun,
    Mark
    Last edited by mark oathout; 07-30-2014 at 13:28.

  3. #3

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    For years my only "class III" rapid experience was the kenai. Then I went and floated the American River in California and found out what reall class rapids are. The kenai rating is a joke. Mark is right everything on the kenai and the canyons can be easily skirted around. Don't let the kenai built false confidence about your "whitewater abilities". Also stay out of the back channels until you have scouted them first

    Steve

    Steve

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    Most streams in Alaska that are boated have been rated by experts, mainly Andrew Embick and Tim Johnson comes to mind. Both call Kenai class II, and I do agree. There is another guidebook out there that I disagree with on some of its ratings, generally over rated. Ratings today are accepted by the international community, in the past even Andrew Embick over rated some of his stuff to try and include remoteness factors that enhance danger, confusion is what came of that.
    I have ran several streams in different states and other countries, it is fairly easy to compare what others are saying. I will say this, many boaters will be surprised at real class III, class III+ will give them a lot of trouble.
    It is also interesting when there is no rating, like in the case of a first descent, got a couple of those too. I have done over 50 runs in AK, so I do have something to gauge my beliefs against besides books too.

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    Yes, the water was up real high. I would do it again but only if I have a skirt and a different kayak.. I floated down it in a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T Tandem Kayak. Thanks for the input too.

  6. #6

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    Every year I float it once in the fall on a buddies raft and swear I will kayak it someday. How come I see float tube rafts, rafts, but no kayaks? I have a Swiftwater-Peception 10.5 and an Old Town Vapor Angler 12, what one would you recommend I use? I've actually paddle "up" 20 Mile river a very short distance, both seemed easy to use and the river was very easy to maneuver in, even in the swift areas.

    Launch at Cooper Landing and get out at Jim's Landing. It seems simple, as I've done it many times on a raft, am I missing something since I never see kayaks on it?????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    Every year I float it once in the fall on a buddies raft and swear I will kayak it someday. How come I see float tube rafts, rafts, but no kayaks? I have a Swiftwater-Peception 10.5 and an Old Town Vapor Angler 12, what one would you recommend I use? I've actually paddle "up" 20 Mile river a very short distance, both seemed easy to use and the river was very easy to maneuver in, even in the swift areas.

    Launch at Cooper Landing and get out at Jim's Landing. It seems simple, as I've done it many times on a raft, am I missing something since I never see kayaks on it?????
    I've seen plenty of canoes and kayaks on the upper Kenai. The reason they aren't all that popular of a boat for that stretch is they are not the greatest fishing vessels, IMO.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    As Danner said; they are not the greatest fishing vessels, and the Kenai is pretty boring for most kayakers.

  9. #9

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    Kenai had me perplexed to never see a kayak on it! Rafting it year after year, I thought there must be kayak eating sharks in it! I kayak Kenai lake and lots of other rivers and lakes, this never made sense, but you guys clarified it thank you.

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