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Old 04-26-2013   #11
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 48

Has there been much snow in Idaho this month? Colorado has improved dramatically the past 3 weeks.

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Old 04-26-2013   #12
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Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
Unfortunately not...

I think some areas in the north received a little bit (Clearwater drainage)...but nothing in the Salmon/Payette.

Ya just never know though. I remember 2010...snow pack was about where it's at now....and then it proceeded to rain almost the entire month of May producing record flows on the Payette's.

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Old 04-26-2013   #13
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Predicting flows in a place like Colorado is generally relatively easy. Predicting flows in the northwest is a joke! I've tried it many years in the past, and I generally get burned. Obviously, the biggest factor in a runoff model is precipitation. The northwest is incredibly unpredictable in this regard. The best advise on flows is that you'll have a good idea of the flows 3 days out from your trip because that's generally what the weather forecast is good for. Refer to the northwest river forecast center.

Last year after being burned by high flows on the Middle Fork, we decided to run the Main at 55,000 cfs and dropping. It was a good run, and whiplash wasn't really a big issue (probably in the 40,000 cfs range). Since I was the TL on a run I'd never done before, I attached a GPS with all the waypoints of campsites and rapids. Elkhorn Big Mallard, Whiplash, and Chitam were the only ones that really stood out in my mind. You can download them off the internet. Like the Grand, the eddies are more significant than the rapids. I'd have a few safety kayakers along, at least.
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Old 04-26-2013   #14
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
It's a lousy video, but here's some footage of the Main Salmon at 55K and dropping....


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