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Old 04-17-2012   #1
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Westwater flow thoughts

So Westwater is flowing pretty low right now compared to historic levels. I have only been floating Westwater for 6 years or so. I know some of you have lots more time on it than that so I'm curious what your predictions for flows will be for this year. I know, complete guessing, but I'm curious what people's thoughts are.

I've got a permit for 5/28 and am going regardless... unless its dirt I suppose.

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Old 04-17-2012   #2
Salt Lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
Yeah things are definitely low now, but they will be up by a lot come 5/28 and it definitely won't be drying up. That being said, they won't be anywhere near last years levels obviously. Certainly it is totally impossible to know for sure but I would guess that flow is somewhere between 8,000-12,000 cfs for your trip. Also, I've done Westwater down to 2,400 cfs and it was actually one of my favorite flows, the left side of last chance at that flow is awesome. I can pretty much promise you'll have at least double that flow though. I'm just saying try not to look at the low flows as a bad deal, pretty sweet opportunity to run the river at levels it rarely sees if you ask me.

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Old 04-17-2012   #3
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 992
Low flows like 3500 have the most fun features. I ran it a couple of times at 1500 and it was a whole different river.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 04-17-2012   #4
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 599
Same thoughts for me. Big water is fun, and I like it as much as the next guy, but have no problem whatsoever with enjoying a low flow, too.

As a bonus, it might give someone in your group the option of running a ducky down WW if the flow is appropriate.
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Old 04-17-2012   #5
Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 93

Before this last storm, many of the river basins in Colorado were in the 30s and 40s percentiles of normal.
Flows below 5k in Westwater are the best drops. Skull at 1,200 is quite a technical animal.
Above 10k, with each 1k addition it starts to bare its teeth, and at 15-16 k you will find out why they call them the "terrible teens."
It's all good boating.
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Old 04-17-2012   #6
aka The Curmudgeon
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 322
I Love Westwater and respect it at all levels. I think the level most likely to flip you is 3500 to 4000 cfs, Up to 12k it's actually easier, then there are the Terrible Teens, followed by the Fast but certainly Not Furious 20's. I've been there at 2500 or so and have absolutely no complaints, plenty of excitement, the scenery is always topnotch. Be happy that you live within striking distance of such a treasure!
Don't Wanna Die Askin' for Another Chance
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Old 04-17-2012   #7
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Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 157
Can't wait till Tuesday!
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Old 04-18-2012   #8
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
I love Westwater... I'll go if the flow is 200.

I just haven't been there at lower flows and was curious on what people have experienced. My boating partner has been there when its been below 2000 and had a great time so I'm not worried about that.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-24-2012   #9
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Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 47
Let us know how it was.
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Old 04-24-2012   #10
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 181
Looks to me like you would be lucky to get much more than 6K any time this summer. Attached graph has 2002 flows in green and in blue is this years observed flows.Don't mean to dappen any boating enthusiasm but it is always best to prepare for reality rather than wishful thinking.
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