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Old 07-26-2006   #21
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
While I agree that it is a hazard, I think that their current approach is a good one.

I was on the Main Salmon in May of this year and the gauge at White Bird was reading 92,000 cfs when we put on. If Idaho has anohter water year like that (or even close) next year, that log jam would be gone anyway.

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Old 07-26-2006   #22
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Nothing would be hurt by blowing up the log jam or using a chainsaw. That's common practice on beaver dams, strainers on high use rivers, etc.

Just gotta' rant for a minute:
When I'm out hiking in an official wilderness area and I come across one of those 10 people with handsaws + horses trail maintenance crews doing what would be a two person job if they had a chainsaw, I want to puke at the bureaucracy of wilderness rules. Furthermore, horses Vs. mountainbikes. Horses shit all over the trail, clobber switchbacks and streamcrossings. And how is a mountain bike mechanized anyway??? Never seen someone fill up the mountainbike's tank before taking off.

BTW, longest day i've ever had in a kayak was on the MF at lower water. We went from Marsh Creek P.I. to Indian Creek. I don't know the mileage, but I think it was like 35 or 45 miles. Rest of the party flew the raft into Indian airstrip (too low to float Marsh Creek) and when we pulled in they had dinner ready - yeah! It was a good weather spell in late-April and we had the river entirely to ourselves for a full week. Did lots of side hikes, creekin', and hot springing. Felt very fortunate to have had that experience.

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Old 07-26-2006   #23
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
JBL, what was the main like with whitebird at 92k? I gotta' hear about that.

I was up there at the same time doing day runs and we had a great trip. We took things down a notch difficulty-wise and did some III-IV runs at stompin' flows. SF of Payette at 14k -- Canyon and Staircase stretches. MF Boise at 10k on the SF gauge. Super fun! Boils would push you back and forth like an ocean swell. I had a 10 1/2 foot Dagger Animas and was loving the big front surfing and blasting into boiling eddies. It was a bigwater playground. People would disappear for a while under waves, then pop out the back in a towering endo. Tell me a story from your trip if you have a minute.
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Old 07-26-2006   #24
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 651
The Main at that level was HUGE! The gauge on the ramp (brass numbers embedded in the ramp) at Corn Crk. was at 11 ft. The sign at the put-in that explains river levels says that 8ft = 32,189 cfs and is rated "extreme". The sign doesn't even list water levels above 8ft. At 11ft we estimated the water to be running 52,000 cfs at the put-in. The water was scray because it was so big, fast and cold. But even scarier were the trees - not logs - trees that were floating down the river. We had 3 18' oar rigs and 3 17' dories. We also had two safety boaters in creek boats. We made huge miles very, very quickly. We'd average 25 miles in 2 hours. I had a GPS with me and according to it we hit 22 mph in one rapid on the second day. The boils, eddies and seams were crazy scary. Much more so than any of the rapids. I'd never seen literal eddy 'fences', which were tough to deal with. One of the hardest things to do each day was to break the eddyline to get into camp. Oh, dodging the trees was hard and scary too. The biggest rapids were Killum, Big Mallard, Elk Horn and Whiplash (huge, huge, huge). There were other big ones but these stand out in my mind. A lot of the rapids were washed out, like Salmon Falls. The waves were huge and the holes were the biggest I'd ever seen. We hit some waves that the 18' rigs barely made it over. You'd almost crest, think you were not going to make it, then the front of the raft would creep over the top of the wave and you fly down the backside. It was awesome. One of the guys on our trip is a Grand Canyon guide (has been for 27 yrs) and he was even surprised by some of the rapids and their size and power. The camping was interesting since there were no beaches. We camped in forest every night. In fact, I don't even remember seeing any sand the whole trip! It was definitely an expert run at that level. Not so much because of the rapids but because if you had a problem, a flipped raft, swimmers, etc. The speed and temp of the water would have made rescue very, very difficult. We didn't have any incidents, for which we counted our blessings. What was even crazier were the rapids below the takeout along the road to Riggins. They were absolutely enormous. Some of those holes would have eaten our 18' rigs. All in all, it was an amazing experience. Some of the biggest water Idaho has had in the past 10 years and I'm glad I got to see it.
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Old 07-26-2006   #25
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13
Never mind the navigations logistics...

....those folks could potentially run out of beer on a river trip.

Something to calculate into future beverage logistics. Good to know.
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Old 07-26-2006   #26
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
more info...

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Old 07-26-2006   #27
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
I can't believe that they are contemplating explosives - which have the potential to alter the rapid unnaturally and create sharp rocks - but insist on not using chainsaws. Ridiculous.
Join up, suckas.

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid."
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Old 07-26-2006   #28
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Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
i like the part about how the flow actually stopped below the dam for a bit...wonder what the wall of water was like when that broke....

and for that matter, to anyone whos been on this stretch, whats the next set of closed in rapids downstream? surely theres several narrows below here, they need to watch and make sure it doesnt happen just a mile downsteam or whatever....
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Old 07-26-2006   #29
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,095
I think that the logs should be removed, and I think its the right thing to do. The river is not "wilderness" even though it has that designation. The ranches, airstrips etc show the human presence. What the wilderness designation and river management have done is managed the number of boaters at any one time, and stopped and future development to allow boaters to float throuh relatively pristine forest and canyons. With the relatively constant lauching of boaters, portaging would not be feasible. Campsite allocation would be a mess, and the entire balance of the system would be a mess. We are not talking a handful of hardy groups portaging logs in marsh creek early season. We are talking people with short windowed permits getting down the river and getting to see one of the most beautful slices of american outdoors. Its all about balance, and removing the logs doesn't hurt the "wilderness" of the river, and helps people go about enjoying it in a sensible manner.

I know that there have been long debates on the ethics of moving logs around etc. I think this is a case where its fine.
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Old 07-26-2006   #30
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 140
someone posted this on BT...note the big drop when it damed up


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