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Old 03-15-2012   #1
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Westwater at 4000 cfs questions

Ok, I can hardly stand it so I'm thinking about making a run down to Westwater. Water temps are right at 50 degrees and flow is just under 4000 cfs.

So, who's done it at this level? We'll take the 'little' rafts, got a couple of 14' Rikens. What I wonder about is the slack water at the bottom of the canyon all the way to the Cisco take out... is that going to be a 'row the whole way' sort of thing?

Think its possible to do it as a one day run with the low water? Although now we have light pretty late.

Anyone with input, chime in.

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Old 03-15-2012   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
I assume you have done Westy before?

Nothing out of the ordinary as far as moves go. Make sure you are moving right to left at Skull as the rock on the left will be there and want to bounce you into the hole if you don't start right. Push strong into Sock-it-to-me, it probably packs the biggest punch at the lower level, much more defined drop.

It would be a long day if you didn't spend the night but doable if the W isn't smacking you in the face after you get out of the vote would be to spend the night at Big Horn after the rapids a little ways down on river right. The weather is perfect might as well make a trip out of it and stay a night...

Have fun!

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Old 03-15-2012   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I've done it in a day at 1500 cfs. 4K's one of the most fun levels there is and you'll have current all the way. you know about the permit thingies, right?
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 03-15-2012   #4
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
As Andy said doable in a day, get started early and push through the slow water sections. Sock it to me is the rapid with the biggest punch, unless you hit the hole at skull. The room of doom is a great spot to eddy out at that level. I ran it at 1200 a few years back, but we spent the night at upper d--can't imagine rowing all 17 miles in one day at that level, it must have been a chore.
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Old 03-15-2012   #5
Scottsdale, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 48
I am curious about this too. I have a permit for April 1st. It will be my first trip through the canyon. Are you able to scout any of the big rapids? What are the best camp spots. We are planning to float down to Moab. Is 6 days enough time? Thanks,
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Old 03-15-2012   #6
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
I love 4k. Gives the river so much texture. No need to scout much,but skull should be easy to see. As said,sock it to me is probably the biggest worry. No need to scout it,really. Row hard right down the middle. Who cares about the flat water at the end. It's not that far,and you should be getting drunk and enjoying thE sunshine by then.
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Old 03-15-2012   #7
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
You can scout skull, but I don't recommend it--seen too many folks get out of position trying to get back in the current and line up for the move. At that flow razor rock is just under water but can bump you into the main flow leading into skull out of position. If you make the cut too soon, the pour over rocks at the top left can also spin you out of position. My move at that flow is to time it--start right of center with my stern pointing at those rocks slightly more than 90 degrees, row to get momentum (downstream/left angle ferry) just miss the rocks at the top left and pull one or two more strokes, pivot the boat to face forward, and you're done. You'll end up between razor rock and and the left bank, missing everything.

Sock it to me. I always go down the tongue and pushing at the oars with the bow of my boat pointed slightly to the right at 2:00 o'clock. It's a big hit, but I've never had a problem there, except in my cutthroat II, where I came very close to flipping.
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Old 03-15-2012   #8
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 47
Easy at this level and all read and run. You would have to close your eyes to screw up Skull, and wild is right in saying that sock it to me is the biggest hit. Although, it's a pool after. That being said....I always dress for the swim in hypothermic temps.

I've done it in a day many times under this. Just leave early, as the "W" sometimes likes to mess with ya!
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Old 03-15-2012   #9
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Ok, great info, thanks. I've done Westwater many times... but never at lower levels like this and that is why I'm thinking it might be worth a trip... and geez, I've been off the water long enough, could use a little float time.
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Old 03-15-2012   #10
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 148
I've rowed from the Black Rocks all the way through Westwater at 3200 cfs in a day and that was no big deal. Just row like you mean it.

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