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Old 01-31-2005   #1
ski_kayak365's Avatar
Mountains on the river!!!, Idaho
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changing a seive/nasty hole back to a fall on escalante

Last year on Escalante the first drop, Leap of Faith, we had to get out and seal drop in. THis is because there is a seive like thing that used to be clogged with wood and created the falls, but now the wood is gone. Is it possible to take some flat boards and build basicly a cover, possibly bolting it to the rock to cover the hole, and recreated the falls? Anyone who has run this last year, if you understand what im talking about, any suggestions? Should we ignore it, or try something to fix it?


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Old 02-01-2005   #2
Charc in = charc out
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plugging sieves is pretty commonplace. i'd suggest you use something a bit more sturdy than "flat boards" though. if you have the time & the energy, yeah, do everyone a favor & go patch that mofo ...

i'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to rally a crew of west slopers to go out there a couple consecutive weekends & put in the work. just make sure you don't unwittingly create another hazzard by using debris that will accumulate somewhere else.

the snyder bros. patched a particularly nasty cave on deckers creek near morgantown, wv, i wanna say with quickrete & rocks back in the 80's. & there have been a bunch of other plugs put into that particular creek. not sure on the shelf life though.

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Old 02-01-2005   #3
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Although I am familiar with that seive, I can't say I could imagine what to use to plug it up? If I remember it's pretty wide. And a good flow is prone to blow it out.

I very much concur with toddg though... if you are going to put something in there, please be sure it is WAY over built and is sure to stay put.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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Old 02-01-2005   #4
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Hey why don't you get some dynamite and do it right like those guys in Arizona. I can see cleaning wood out of a creek or filling in something on a commercially run rafting river that alot of unskilled, unknowledgeable people go down, the plug in Nantahala Falls comes to mind, but where is the line between making something safe and making something convientent. Escalante is a creek run generally run by experts that should hopefully be able to recognize a seive and make judgements. A concreted plug on a not so often run creek seems a border line on a Quartzite Falls issue. I would encourage you to sue something that is not permanent or chalk it up to nature which is what we are supposed to be enjoying. Of course I am trying to get my town to build a river park right now so take it with that grain of salt.

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Old 02-01-2005   #5
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I tend to agree with PeterB on this one. Cleaning wood is one thing (wood "naturally" migrates through streambeds with flood events, landslides etc.), filling in sieves with concrete is quite another. Again, I agree with Peter in the idea that sure, on a commercially rafted run with frequent inexperienced users it might be accetaptable to plug an exposed sieve with concrete, but in a wilderness situation, with experienced creek boaters being the main users, I would deem it an unacceptable modification. It is an easy portage and a quick seal launch. Rivers are not static entities. Sometimes rapids change for the better and sometimes for the worse, but part of being a wilderness boater is dealing with changes to the riverbed and being heads up for new obstacles and hazards, even on your backyard runs. It's also likely that this particular sieve, with patience, will fill in again during one of the coming years flood events and the Leap of Faith will once again be runnable. By filling in the sieve before this years runoff you may create a new and different hazard making the drop unrunnable and negating your work. My advice: let it be.
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Old 02-01-2005   #6
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Agree with above post.

I'll just be happy if I get to run Escalante this year and if it runs for more than a day or two....
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Old 02-01-2005   #7
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Laramie, Wyoming
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My very first whitewater trip ever I was a raft passenger on a Salt trip, this was pre-dynamiting and the hole at Quartzite was awe inspiring. It took several hours to portage the rafts around it, they didn't even want to line the rafts through it! In that case I don't think it was the right move to change the river, even if it was a pain in the ass. In cases like the Nantahala where there was a relatively small pothole that was unseen and had killed more than once I don't think it was a bad idea. I guess it depends on how natural the riverbed is and if the hazard truly poses a deadly hazard. Whitewater parks in the city are no big deal because the streambeds there are rarely original anyways. But a pristine creek like Escalante should be left alone. It would take so much work to change it, and then if the rocks underneath shifted again it would seive again quickly. I guess it's a well known hazard at this point, and any class V creekers worth their rescue pfd shouldn't be blundering into it.

My 2 cents
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Old 02-01-2005   #8
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Isn't doing that illegal? I would not want my name on the start of thread that is associated with any altering of water features. I think in California last year, some guys altered a feature for better play and it was a huge issue, maybe even fines or jail???. Just one accident and you might be liable?
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Old 02-01-2005   #9
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I hear Red Bull and Quickcrete is the sure fire way to plug a sieve

When Deckers was patched it was a completely dead creek; not even the toxic (and highly tolerant) Monongahela Carpsuckers could survive in its milky-orange pools. I do know that the plug had reopened somewhat by 1999 as sterns were once again catching in the bottom of Deduction, but for the most part it served its purpose for quite some time. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of Decker's Creek lore can pipe in here.

Nowadays, a sieve in Deckers is more likely to fill in with septic debris or buckets of discarded KFC than from a safety-minded Snyder brother. I do know that great efforts have been made at restoring the creek and it's slowly coming back to life.

Escalante is far more pristine than Deckers. My vote is to let nature take its course and shoulder your boat, but I won't be paddling Escalante anytime soon. Consider if one boof is worth all the effort and controversy that is sure to follow.
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Old 02-01-2005   #10
Charc in = charc out
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i shouldn't have brought up the deckers creek plug. these are 2 totally different scenarios/venues.

for the record, i'm not advocating dumping concrete into escalante.

there are alternatives. like bulldozing. or as peterb mentioned, dynamite. or even modern plastics that can chemically bond to the existing rock features, creating a smooth inpenetrable surface that's much safer for paddleboaters. said plastics can even be color-keyed to the natural river bed so that it kinda "blends in". know what i mean?

PS - nice posts evan (& others). and, freakin' hartje, leave my work outta this!

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