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Old 06-08-2011   #11
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by goldcamp View Post
I have a Main trip planned for July 11th-17th. What types of flows do you Main experts think we will have then? I will be running a 14ft SB. I have a handful of III-IV rowing experience but nothing really big. Good to know the swims are managable.
My first 6 river trips were the main in early June. With almost no experience I led an R3 and then several different oar rigs down and the water was over 50K one of those times. Very forgiving river w/ HUGE wave trains. Just don't get anywhere near the rock at the bottom of Elk Horn and you will be fine. It's right in the middle of the river on an easily scoutable rapid.

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Old 06-09-2011   #12
BCJ's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
Main Salmon

Main Salmon? Mmmmmm...... One of the finest river trips out there. Late June/early July? Water should be coming down, but it's better there, more crashing waves, etc. At 7ft (Corn Creek), which equals about 26-28K cfs if I recall (check the USFS website and there is a good sign at Corn Creek that spells it all out, what feet it is, how many cfs that is, etc.) most runs were straightfoward BUT it is wise not to take on the meat of everything you see. There are BIG laterals that WILL flip a boat, etc. But overall it is straightfoward.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Eric Newell's guide: Idaho's Salmon River, a river runner's guide to running the Main Salmon River, Idaho's Salmon River by Eric & Allison Newell

Has terrific, simple explanations of the rapids along with easy to understand "sand drawings" (actually pencil) showing major obstacles and good lines through all the important rapids.

Check for updates, because Salmon Falls is now underwater and has been replaced by a new rapid 1/4 below at Black Creek.

Other than that, much depends on water level. At 7ft the very fist rapid, Killum, had a Crystal size hole on the left, but a highway of water went by it so it was no problem. The Salmon and the Snake are both like that. Very big water, but room to move across or around. The sneakiest thing about those rivers are the laterals in the midst of wavetrains around bends or in rapids that would normally be piece of cake.

Good luck!

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Old 06-09-2011   #13
openboat's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
Originally Posted by luciphil View Post
I just don't want to get sucked/pushed under water for 30 consecutive seconds or longer, that would be terrifying.
I remember years ago being told by a guide on the Zambezi that you don't want to be under more than 10 seconds, so start counting once you go under, and if you reach "10" and you are still under, start counting at "1" again"
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Old 06-09-2011   #14
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Well great insight, thanks. I am starting to get pumped up about this trip, sounds super fun!

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