Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-30-2010   #171
C-dub's Avatar
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 02
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 183
Originally Posted by craven_morhead View Post
600 cfs is an arbitrary and capricious number. There is certainly no science that backs it up.

Uh, as the earlier post noted, they picked this number because their local rescuers (boaters) said they wouldn't be interested in helping with a rescue when flows are over 600 cfs. From the NPS' point of view, that seems like a pretty damn good reason. I think if we want to have a decent shot at changing the policy, we need to talk to those local boaters and get them to realize that a 1000 cfs run through the narrows isn't a suicide mission, and in the grand scheme of things isn't really all that difficult. Or we need to recruit other local boaters willing to execute a rescue at higher flows, and get them to contact the NPS.
This dialogue has already started and the NPS in Zion seem to be receptive. Going to try to meet in person sometime this summer. Not for this season though.

God Bless SKA Brewery-Sturgeon General
C-dub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010   #172
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Zion rules

I haven't had any experience with boating regs in Zion but I have watched the development of Canyoneering regulations over the last 7 years. Some thoughts:

1) Never expect to have much affect on changes for the current season. It takes an organized and consistent effort to make headway with the Park about these issues. Plan on a 1-2 year commitment before seeing much influence, i.e. you guys need to be considering policy changes for the 2011-2012 river seasons.

2) You can't expect the NPS to provide rescuers trained for every situation, especially for sports at the fringe. Boating the narrows at high water is definitely at the fringe right now, just research permit numbers for the float over the last decade (not a common activity). There may be many people with the skill sets to do descend the canyons at said flows but it is UNFAIR to expect the park service to rescue you when it requires such a specific subset of skills for so few users. Be prepared to self-rescue or not be rescued at all. This may change slowly over time if this stretch of river becomes more popular.

3) Don't expect much or any change in maximum flow requirements. We have been fighting a 140 cfs limit in the Narrows for far too many years because it shuts down canyoneering during the prime season. Folks in the canyoneering community have tried just about every angle, including a non-profit access group; said group has affected some changes but nothing in regard to the upper threshold of flows. We have similar arguments about trained individuals capable of handling very high flows but it has not changed a thing.

4) The procedural requirements for the NPS to create and enforce such changes as these seems to be minimal, i.e. it doesn't always require public input or "science".

5) Reasoned, thoughtful engagement with the NPS seems to be the only successful means of fostering change in policy. Consider contacting the Virgin River group about advocating change to policy. Plan on investing significant time in the issue.

Best of luck....


restrac2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010   #173
jonny water's Avatar
Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 583
If you want access as a canyoneer during flows above 140 cfs and you have tried every angle, why not try the angle that you are a boater and take a duckie or raft into the narrows. That would be legit.
jonny water is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010   #174
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
Originally Posted by restrac2000 View Post
There may be many people with the skill sets to do descend the canyons at said flows but it is UNFAIR to expect the park service to rescue you when it requires such a specific subset of skills for so few users.
Its UNFAIR to think we expect a rescue! we just want to go down the river. when will the park and the public get over thinking everyone should be rescued? there is no law saying the park should rescue people nor should there be. all the park is worried about is PR (rg5 said the ranger told him they don't want to be on CNN). New Zealand has it right. You go out its your own responsibility.
mania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010   #175
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Making a point

If you want to make your point to the NPS about how unrealistic it is to put a 600 cfs cap on the flow for the narrows then you should drop off all the broken boats that occur in the narrows at the visitors center. I heard at least 4 boats were broken in there last weekend and that was just out of a party of eight. Then the NPS will see the cause and effect of their maditory flows.

More people will be trapped in the narrows because of broken boats then issues cause by more reasonable flows. At least take pictures standing at the end of the narrows and send them in and email.

smcboating is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010   #176
peterholcombe's Avatar
Where ever the water is...., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 440
Send a message via AIM to peterholcombe
I've been traveling for work and out of the loop on the Buzz....

Is the road open? Has anyone gotten a Narrows run in yet this spring?

If not any word on when the road might be passable?
peterholcombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010   #177
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
(word from ponderosa ranch, and the rangers is that) the road is open. watch out for flows that do not exceed 600 in last 24hrs and as we know you need to look for at least 350 to put on.
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
rg5hole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010   #178
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
Been trying to stay out of this - but it can't get much worse than being an arrogant sandbagger I guess. This is a travesty. This policy is essentially a de-facto ban on paddling the narrows. This is a run worth fighting for. I would urge everyone to contact the park and to outline in a professional and courteous manner as many legit reasons as we can come up with for re-opening this stretch. It's a shame that of all years for this to go down, it's finally a year where Zion has seen a well over average snow year. Ouch! But we can;t let our anger over not being able to get on the run today let them shut down the run indefinitely. Sam brought up a great point, and many others have as well, which spurred me to attempt to compile some talking points below.

1. Flow cut-off based on a 24 hour, highly fluctuating snow melt cycle, makes very little sense. If the low over the past 24 hours was 600cfs that would at least be more appropriate as a cut-off level as no one is going to get to paddle it at the days (night time) peak.

2. As Sam said, "more people will be trapped in the narrows because of broken boats than issues caused by more reasonable flows." This is significant as this is the situation they are trying to avoid.

3. There is a contingency of local (Utah) paddlers who ARE willing to paddle and/or make a rescue in the narrows over 600cfs. At 600cfs the run is still class III.

4. The community has learned a lot from the rescue situations that occurred last year and even though we arrogantly sandbagged the run in WSR, paddlers will be approaching the run with respect and will be better prepared for the remote adventure run it is.

Any other points out there let's get them listed and even though it appears that there may be little chance of salvaging the run for this epic year of Zion snowpack, we still need to work to change this regulation for future epic years. And though, I am as found as Craparadoan at just poaching that shit, this run should be open to paddling and should not ever have near the rescue to attempt ratio of last year ever again.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
RiverWrangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010   #179
rg5hole's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
Evan, I started another post on this much with easier to find contact info on the park (it is the first post).

Please add that our sport is among the most dangerous in the world and 90% or better of the runs we take we do not expect a rescue if something goes wrong. It is solely on us (that is why we do no solo boat, our crew is our support) and in Zion I would expect no rescue or one in a reasonable time like other wilderness situations (upper pine, middle kings, grand canyon, all of them).

I have already sent a letter to the contacts asking them (unfortunately for an unnaceptable compromise) if we can count on daytime peaks of 600cfs. That would at least allow us to kayak this run and since no one is kayaking at night and this would be within their unfounded parameters of rescue.

That being said will reiterate their talking points as I understood them from the phone conversation I had with Ray O. the Ranger;
1. they feel that with flows over 600cfs rescue for victims is impossible due to local boater input and willingness to help.
2. rescues are very expensive
3. They have to explain every problem to the press and with a death the explanation turns into bad press.
4. Ranger says his crew made it down the narrows in one day with an early start at 160cfs, so he thinks that is minimum, not the 300 (bare) and the needed 1200 to float is absurd to him.
5. They have no way to qualify a boater, and if one boater is allowed for one reason or another than why not another. Sort of a carte blanche approach to nobody is qualified or everyone is qualified.

I offered up suggestions in my conversations and mailings like: boaters with successful past permits, required runs through Sinawava (satans staircase), required equipment (helmets, life vests, xtra paddle, dumb shit like a lighter & granola bar), taking rangers down to show them, taking local boaters down too. All of this was shot down, in fact in my superior negotiating skills I did not see one glimpse of compromise from Ranger.

see also...
Zion is absolutely PRIME right now but...
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
rg5hole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010   #180
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
hmmm.. sandbaggish.. it is utah after all.

caspermike is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Virgin River Narrows: Important Beta wnccreeker River Access & Safety Alerts! 5 05-12-2016 08:49 PM
Problems on N.F. Virgin River Narrows cemartin River Access & Safety Alerts! 93 05-04-2009 10:12 AM
Zion Narrows River Trip 4/26/08 rg5hole Kayaking | Trip Planner 9 04-22-2008 06:30 PM
Narrows in Zion boateralacure Whitewater Kayaking 2 04-18-2008 06:47 PM
Zion narrows beta? + posse needed jarraa Whitewater Kayaking 18 01-31-2008 10:54 PM

» Classified Ads
ShredReady full face...

posted by go-with-the-Flo

Size large/XL. White. Light use, no big hits or scratches....

Pyranha Burn 3 XL

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Demo Jackson Shooting Star

posted by 4CRS

Used 2016 Jackson Shooting Star kids whitewater kayak -...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:36 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.