Today's Tuesday trip was a success!
By the numbers:
100. -- cfs.
5. -- Boats on the water (Myself, Mike, Kyle, Glenn and Phil.)
All Creek boats of various makes.
ZERO: -- swims, everyone stayed in the boats.
3. -- pins.
I started it off. Thank you Mike for pulling me out! I needed more of a rightward trajectory off a 3 foot drop, bounced left driving my bow lerf/sightly under a rock. Boat was still in drop and mostly underwater, pull loop was unobstructed but not needed as I was very stable. Mike pulled nose out from under and over rock and keep me from rolling as I was without paddle at that moment.
Later Glenn vertically pinned as he dropped into a 3 foot wide rock crevas/slot feature. He was able to get himslef out, I was out of sight so I don't knoow what he did to get out.
Then Kyle(?) got pinned in the same slop a few feet upstream of the last pin. He was stable enough to reamain in place while Mike(?) got up to him by jumping from rock to rock to lift his boat backward enough to get the nose headed in the correct direction.
2. -- Portages. We all portaged rooster falls. This falls looks like it could double as a kick-butt slippery slide with a left curve. At 200+ there could be an awsome boof on hard right, but at this level, you would have to follow the slide and creekbaots don't bend like that, and if you did make it, you may loose a could right ribs and unless that pool is deep, a penciled in piton.
After a couple drops, we had our 2nd portage, longer serious of drops that line you up for a 6+ foot drop that falls 1/2 way onto rock, if you had a good line, you could smash your left arm. 50 feet down or so was another 6+ foot drop that landed between two 8 foot boulders followed by an undercut rock on the left that the water was surging toward. There was small rock that may have keep you out, but maybe not, so we just keep walking till we were past it.
4: -- hours on the water. (plus food break time.) We put on just after 2:00pm, and took off just after 6:00pm. THe weather was perfect. Blue skys with some clouds here and there, more clouds toward the end. I didn't get cold at all, until I stopped to eat (sun behind the hill), but all in-boat time was comfortable.
A mile or two from the put-in was a cattle fence. It is basicly a barbed wire fence up above the creek, then below that a cable with multiple fence posts haging verticly into the water. It's supposed to let logs, trees, and us boaters pass though, but it is all sagging really bad into the water so you need to portage. There are eddies on both sides of the creek directly above it so not much of a problem.
There was a couple of trees in the creek in a couple places that you could easily go around. One massive log that was at the top of a drop well below the tights (Class V section). You have to take the left line as it blocks the center and right line. The left line seems to be the liine you would take anyway, so no big deal.
There is a single strand of barbed wire suspending a "No Trespassing" sign. You could take-out before it on the right or just go under it. It was 4 feet over the creek, but may be lower as water levels rise. 50 yards later, another strand 4 feet over the creek as you come to the Temple Canyon Road Bridge. We took out just after this strand, river-right, just before the bridge.
We all feel that 100 cfs is not enough water. We were bouncing off rocks ALL DAY. Especially the 4 miles or so from the put-in to the tights, and then the final 1 or 2 miles before the put-in. The tights were runnable but many rocks to negotiate. IN the continuous stuff after our portages, you wouls still be bouncing against rocks, but the steeper gradiant made it must better than the flat stuff above and below the tights.
150 cfs in the creekbed would make the flat stuff (class I,II,III) more smooth but 200 cfs in the creekbed would probalby be needed to clean-up the drops in the tights, (class IV, V-).
Well, that's my take on the day.
I was nice to finally get on Grape Creek but if I'll be waiting for at least 150 cfs, preferably 200.
All in all, a great day on the water.
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)