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Old 03-01-2010   #1
Frisco, Colorado
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Westwater Spring break 23rd-25th

Hello all, this is my first time going to Westwater. I am not the best oars man in the world but I am no rookie, more like a strong intermediate rower. Is there anything special i need to know about this stretch of water? Is it any thing like the royal gorge as that is one of my favorite stretches of river to row? What can I expect the flows to be this last week of march? Any imput will be great. Thanks and happy rowing.

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Old 03-01-2010   #2
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WW Status

all pool drop. scull hole will flip a raft. sock it to me has as well 3k-5k optimal play good dynamics no real threats, dont want to swim though. wave trains mostly then scull

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Old 03-02-2010   #3
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Evergreen, Colorado
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Do a virtual scout of skull from you tube there are some good videos. Check out USGS real time water data to get the flows, you can get monthly averages from the last twenty years to get some idea of the flow.
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Old 03-02-2010   #4
Denver, Colorado
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Won't be in the Terrible Teens. Right to left move at skull, good idea to watch the videos. Be sure look into The Room of Doom...look not go
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Old 03-03-2010   #5
Buena Vista, Colorado
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If you've run the gorge you should be fine. Most rapids can be scouted as you approach and most are run down the center with a big puch at the big rapid except for skull. Scouting skull is a good idea for the 1st time. The best way to run it is as stated by Pir8 Jim. Right to left. When you stop to scout this makes that move very hard but at the lower water level you should be able to make it. Have lots of momentum to break the current just above the first big wave.
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Old 03-14-2010   #6
Frisco, Colorado
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Thanks for all the info. It really doesn't look that bad at all. Right to left move at skull and a hard punch at sock it to me. Water level should be around 3200. Any trip reports from this weekends trips? How were the campsites, put-in's, roads still really muddy, ice on river banks? Any info will be use full in how we pack.

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Old 03-14-2010   #7
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Salida, Colorado
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Run Last Chance left of center of the rock or pillow whichever it is at the time.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 03-14-2010   #8
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
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Last Chance is a blast at 9k+ cfs right over the top of the rock. Even if you mess up it's the last rapid in this section.

Just to clarify it. On Skull, you want to approach the rapid on the RIVER RIGHT, pointing your bow (front) towards the river right bank of the river. Once you see the crest of the rapid where the current starts going faster and downhill, that is when you start pulling backwards to get to the left of Skull rapid. Careful not to overshoot, left current will push you back into the Skull.
Once you make the initial 3-4 backwards pulls, just turn the boat down stream and enjoy the view of the Skull hole and the Room of Doom.

People usually bunch up right after the rapid on the river left in the eddie and wait for the group to regroup and/or flip the rafts. Careful of the Rock of Shock, that is the rock wall that splits the left main current and the room of doom. At higher flows I have seen the pillow go up 10-15 feet, a 100% flipper.

On the Sock-It-To-Me (SITM), most people approach from river right, there are a couple of waves you have to break through, the main one is the big hitter from the right side, so brace yourself for the right lateral wave. Once you take that wave, pull very hard away from Magnetic Wall, that is the rock wall at the bottom of SITM that pulls all the boats into it and then flips them. In my opinion, SITM is the biggest rapid at ~5,000 cfs.

Good luck, I am going to be down there on 28th of March and will post a report if there are no latest updates.
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Old 03-15-2010   #9
Durango, Colorado
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just got back from a westwater trip this last weekend (march 13th launch). no snow at the put-in camp sites. small amount of snow at the bottom of both put-in and take-out ramps. roads are a little muddy but just about any car/truck could make it. large 12'-15' ice shelves once the canyon gorges in. campsites can be a little hard to get to due to the ice shelves, but snow free sites can be found a little ways back from the bank. we camped at bald eagle and found lots of good sites past the brush. flows around 3000. the rock that creates skull hole has more of a pour-over feature, move around it not hard. aim front of boat towards river right canyon wall, pass razor rock and pull back away from skull into the eddy. bowling alley and sock-it-to-me gave my boat the biggest hits, last chance also fun. will post a few pictures of the canyon today or tomorrow. we got some rain/lightning/snow at camp that night. great trip!
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Old 03-15-2010   #10
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Thanks for the trip report! Looks like WW is open for fun.

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