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Old 06-08-2011   #1
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4
Snake River, Hells Canyon

Looking for a little beta on the Hells Canyon section of the Snake. Flows in particular. What has been your exp.? 55,000 cfs good flow or hairball. I think commercials stop running it a 65,000 cfs+/-. Any thoughts on Granite and Wild Sheep would be great. Thanks!!

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Old 06-08-2011   #2
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Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 523
Ran it at 60K back in 96' and here's what I recall: For the most poart it is fast water with powerful eddy lines, lots of rolling waves and laterals on the bends but easily runnable (though a bit scary, given the volume). At Wild Sheep we scouted and did the usual right to left cut, i.e., went in right cutting in close behind the big rock, which was now a big hole, then continued pulling left to get out of the big water lateral and waves on further down. One of our boats did not make the cut and ran the entire wave train without incident but it was BIG. Granite was high-diddle down the middle, big friendly waves. Should be scouted though. Rush Creek was also a contender - - gigantic hole river left, so go right. Can be scouted. Also ran it last year in the low 40's and the runs were similar. Strongly recommend, given the big current, that you run conservative, i.e., "T" up for everything you encounter in the nature of a wave train, and go around if you are not sure. The waves are powerful, meaty, not foamy. There are some sneaky laterals and they will stop and roll you if they are big enough and it is hard to judge sometimes. If commercials are there and running be friendly and they'll show you the lines at Wild Sheep and Granite.

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Old 06-08-2011   #3
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 33
Here is a post regarding some similar info: Hells Canyon I have a thread in the Yahoo group for Idaho White Water asking the same. Some friends, friends who are very experienced had a cutoff at 50k and didn't go over memorial day. My thread is located: Yahoo! Groups

Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2011   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21
I ran it commercially in '96 and it was never a problem, just a lot of fast moving flat water. The greatest challenge for me was the upstream wind. In fact I remember bumping into private boaters that felt it was disappointing and as a whitewater trip I would have to agree.
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Old 06-08-2011   #5
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Thanks for asking the question... I'm headed down for my first time in early August. Only one guy on our trip has run it before. Ought to be interesting through Wild Sheep and Granite in a oar set up fully loaded....not a lot of experience on that yet....
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