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Old 02-08-2010   #1
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 36
Salt CFS Limit??

gotta permit for March 8th, wanted to know what levels you all have ran this. This will be my 4th trip down. every trip has been between 1200-2300 cfs. Excited to think what kinda beast might develop around 5,000. Wash out levels? Boat eater levels? any beta is great. Thanks!!

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Old 02-09-2010   #2
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I've run it around around 3,500 and it was a fun class III with maybe three Class IVish rapids.

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Old 02-09-2010   #3
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Here is one buzzard's scary write up from 25K:

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 65

High Water salt
Now this is a thread worth responding to

I ran the salt a few years ago with two good frinds and Wilson, andevil 4 legged, in Febuary. We put in and the flow was about 10-15K and we expected it to go up. The first few miles were fairly uneventfull and there was plenty of room to float by the bus eating holes. Wilson has spent so much time on the water that he actually reads water. When you float by some monster feature you can see him turn his head to look at it as we pass. We got down to salt river draw and needless to say it looked a bit different than at normal levels. There were two 8-10' high rolling waves stacked on each other. Steve and I went Left of the whole deal and were sitting in the eddy waiting for John to catch up. He went right of the first wave the gutted the second. He rows a 16ft PRO and was pretty well loaded. Steve and I see him coming up the wave with about half of his boat over the wave just before he got denied and sucked back. Then we see him come back up the face agin, still straight, and see 1/3rd of his boat before he is sucked back. By this time we were scrambling to get throw bags ready for the inevitable carnage. John must have done some serious highsiding and the next thing we saw was his rig shoot out the side of the wave like a cannon ball. That was quite a ride, says John. We swill a beer and continue on our way.

We camped a few miles down from there on the right where the river was pretty wide and we had room to put the kitchen and gear way way up from the rising water. I see Steve walk by with a stick, more like a tree, and he walks down to the water line and procedes to pound it in to mark the water level. John and I both give him some shit about the size of the marking stick.

So next morning we wake up and I peek out of my bivy to check the marker stick and there is 15" of the stick that started out about 6' tall sticking out the water.This turned out to be 25K. This of course sparks some conversation lead by Steve. So we pack our gear and prepare to push pff. The morral is good and the promise of exictment is in the air. This would be the point that the little light should have gone off. Humm, mabe we should lay over? But the best laid plans of mice....

The morning goes smooth and we blaze through the rat trap section and we all just focus on staying off the walls and the rest is flushed. This was all of our first time down this stretch so the was deffinatly some tention about exactly where Quartzite would appear. We come arround the corner and are in the last strait stretch before Quartzite and John has gotten a bit out in front. Steve and I are close enough to communicate and we look at each other and affirm, That must be it. I grab Wilson and stuff him in the well between my legs so he is as low as possible. Steve and I watch John drop over the brik and see an oar go straight up in the air and I just get a glimps of John's brand new high float PFD in what should be the pool below. Steve and I both scramble to get in to the scout eddy to take a look at what just eat a 16' loaded boat.

I am rowing a pretty heavy 14' round boat and Steve is in a light long trip Cat. I get in the top eddy but there is no way to get to the scout point. As I am trying to get across the eddy line in to the lower eddy steve passes me and jumps in to the scout. It takes him a few minutes to get tied off and I am trying not to get sucked out of the eddy. At this point I am getting anarobic and I know it's time to go. "FU#$ Me I'm out", I say to Steve. I pull as hard as I can to get out toward the middle to avoid a pour over that comes off the scout ledge. As I droped over the horizon line in to the malstorm I said, Wilson we're Fu@# ed. I have no idea how I made it through or exactly what it looked like but was very pleased to have the black side down and the dog and I still up. After a couple of minuts of jumping on my oars to get them unstuck and repositioning the oarlocks that were all twicked the chase was on.

After about 8 min of looking hard for John and/or his boat to no avail, I pretty much thought I was looking for a body. One and a half miles down from Quartzite I Saw John standing on the river Left waving at me and a wave a relief swept over me. His boat however, with all the kitchen and his PG was long gone. We sat there trying to get our heart rates down to under 200 and in about 15 min we see Steve coming arround the corner ridding on the bottom of his boat. John, Wilson, and I jump in my boat and head out to intercept Steve. We Get a line to steve and John and I start both rowing to try to get steve's boat over to an eddy. After missing three eddy's we finally make it happen. We flip steve's boat over only to find that a rock has cleaned off both oars. This would be the advertisement to carry two spares. Fortunatly I did have two spares and with some adjustment we made haste for the first camp we could find.

We pulled in to the Cherry creek camp and all of us were happy to be alive including Wilson. Fortunatly the D.O was on my boat and food was on Steve's. We ate like kings and drifted off to sleep. We all sleep like a soaked bar rag. When we woke the next morning the water had dropped to the about 10K and we had the pleasure of doing a 150 yrd portage to get the boats back to the water. As we pushed off we were still a bit weary from the events of the previous day. We were now on a boat recovery mission scanning both sides of the rio for any sign of the carnage. Six miles down I saw somethind Yellow in the distance and as we approched it became apparant that it was indeed an oar that crabed in a pile of debris and found it's way through John's floor. The boat was 10+ vertical feet above the river and 50 feet or so back. Fortunatly he has a lace in floor and the oar just slithered through the laceing.

We started to rig a system to flip the boat and arround the corner came a group a yakers on the 2 day mission that were happy to help us transport the pig back to the water. After we filled them up with beer they took off. They didn't get to Quartzite untill the water had dropped so they looked a little puzzled when they heard our story of the V to V+ drop.

The rest of the run was uneventfull and we were all happy to get to the take out with all of our gear and one hell of a story that would become a mainstay of the campfire for many a trip to come. I headed up the long trail to get my truck while the rest of the crew relaxed. And just when you thought the fun was all over.... NO TRUCK.

After verifing that the shuttler did drop it at the take out we found a ride to get John back to the put in and retrive his rig. We then had the pleasure of fitting 3 boats, 3 guys, and Wilson in to John's single cab half ton pick up for the 14hrs drive back to Idaho.

I am pretty sure the only reason that I was the only boat to stay black side down is my precious cargo...Wilson.

Sorry that took so long, and yes I still know I can spell.

Happy boating

Is that plagiarism?

Great story.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 02-09-2010   #4
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best trip report ever, man what a read. thanks Dave.
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Old 02-09-2010   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 36
great read

Yes that was an ausome story. glad to hear you all made it out allright. I am hoping to see it a little lower than that. YIKES. I would love to see some aerial video of this happening, that would be sweet!
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