Rapid Rating


River Mileage

About Oscar’s Nightmare

The long, calm pool below It’s a Dilly Rapid is broken by Oscar’s Nightmare. The story goes that a band was playing at Democrat Hot Springs (the resort) and the drummer’s name was Oscar. Someone at the party decided to take the band rafting the following day, and well, I guess Oscar the drummer hated this rapid. Anyway, details are vague at best, and my story is probably 1/3 correct, but the name stuck.

How to run Oscar’s Nightmare

Below the It’s a Dilly pool, the river eventually will split into two channels. As water flows diminish, the left channel no longer becomes an option as it is too shallow, forcing you to run the right channel and rapid. The main feature of Oscar’s Nightmare is a large pile of boulders in the center of the right channel. Unfortunately, this pile of boulders presents numerous sieves so avoiding these rocks is extremely important. There are runs to the left and to the right of the rocks.

Above 3000 CFS: At flows above 3000, you can take the left channel which is straightforward and allows you to avoid the features in Oscar Nightmare entirely.

3000 to 2000 CFS: At these flows you have to take the main, right channel and then maneuver around the boulder pile in the middle of the channel. Depending on flows, you can go either right or left of the boulder. The left line requires an early move but is otherwise straightforward. The right line has a pour over just above the boulder pile that can be skirted to the right. Immediately after, the river makes a hard left turn around the backside of the boulder pile.

Below 2000 CFS: Similar to above, you are at flows which force you to take the main, right channel. The rapid is now much more challenging to avoid the main boulder pile located in the middle of the channel. You can still run left or right of the house rock until around 1,000 CFS, at which point running right of the house rock is preferred.