re: Kayaker's Ledge, I figured - 1st, I had a probe going who had scouted it and although I couldn't see what he went through at the bottom, I could see that he came out OK (note - I wasn't running on his tail, but I could see where he dropped), 2nd - I have seen video and pics of the rapid so it's not like this is some unknown rapid, 3rd - nobody's ever died running that rapid (that I'm aware of), 4th - there's a couple safety boaters downstream. So it was good to go for a 'blind' run.
re: Frank Bell's - 1st, it's not an easy rapid to scout, 2nd, I had two good descriptions of what to expect, 3rd, I had a probe (again not running directly behind, but close enough to see his general line), 4th, I've seen pics of the rapid, 5th, the runout below the rapid is non-consequential.
Again - good to go for a 'blind' run.
In part - my decision was affected by earlier in the day when we had gotten out to scout the last (biggest) drop of the Ledges rapid. There were newbies in the group and we thought it would be good to let them see it. So after scouting it - which I never do, I was nowhere near being on the line that I usually prefer to run, because my perspective was totally screwed up from looking at it from above, even though I tried to specifically find points of reference that would be visible from river level - which absolutely did not work.
I figure if scouting a rapid screwed me up on something that I run all the time without scouting - then it wasn't too big of a leap to run something for the 1st time w/out looking at it.
Taking that approach will ultimately be the limiting factor on how far you can take paddling. hardboater New