Pistol Creek Rapid - Left or Right at low flow? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 09-09-2016   #1
 
Riverwild's Avatar
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Pistol Creek Rapid - Left or Right at low flow?

Just wondering if that right channel is still open below 1.6'. I remember going left years ago but it is kind of terrifying getting close to that sharp rock that likes to cut boats floors open. My buddy was telling me that a couple years ago the sweeps were going right because of the rock in the left side and had subsequently dredged a path thru the gravel in the right channel. Anybody got some recent beta on this?

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Old 09-09-2016   #2
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Bellevue, Idaho
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I haven't seen that run available the last couple of years. Used to be tight and right and now it seems like you gotta play dodgeball with the fang. Not hard to miss just hold tight to the 'island'. Quite the pourover on the left side.

Could have changed but it wasn't a particularly potent runoff this spring.
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Old 09-09-2016   #3
 
Bend, Oregon
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Pistol

I asked a guide at Boundary and he said they went right last year down to 1.4 (did it get down to 1.4?). So apparently that channel is open. I ran left and left of the fang next to the rocks because it worked out that way but right of the fang, bumping along next to the island, might be easier. I think you are good either way.

If you run right, watch your right oar. It gets tight and is not the best place to pop an oar.
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Old 09-09-2016   #4
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All guides are full of shit. Sometimes. Sounds like someone is trolling you to me. I looked last year at 1.45 ( no it didn't get lower ) and it wasn't in.
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Old 09-09-2016   #5
 
Bend, Oregon
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Pistol

Yep. That's probably the case. It may have been Boundary BS or a misunderstanding - who knows? I went left, despite his assurance that right is open, because I know from experience that left will work and get me down the river safe and sound.
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Old 09-09-2016   #6
 
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Gardnerville, Nevada
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It looked open (there was water flowing anyway) a few weeks ago at 1.67.... but I still went left. I have some video that shows some of it, but it might be hard to see exactly "how open" it really is. I wanted to stop and scout but was more interested in getting into camp and having a beer.
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Old 09-10-2016   #7
 
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Walterville, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverwild View Post
Just wondering if that right channel is still open below 1.6'.
Went right Sept 2 with 1.59 on the gauge. Shallow but no hangups. Run soft tubes.
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Old 09-10-2016   #8
 
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salmon, Idaho
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I talked to a bunch of people and the consensus was always go right at all levels... Don't commit too early though.. right before the island pull right... there is a nice little run, I was actually amazed as to how much there was. granted I was at 1.76 or so but there was a lots of water and a pretty good little channel...
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Old 09-10-2016   #9
 
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Up North, Oregon
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We took the right cannel last year in mid-August at around 1.54 feet. It was open for us. We scouted it and found that you had to get right long before the island in the middle. If you went down toward the top of the gravel bar/island then there would be no way to get into the right channel without significant dragging. I suspect this area adjusts from year to year. My understanding is that after some of the bigger blow outs the right channel closed down at low flow for a few years and it has been scouring back out again in the last few years.

FYI - last summer/fall it did get below 1.45 during September (i.e. below 485 cfs) but not below 1.4 (449 cfs).
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Old 09-10-2016   #10
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Last year at around 1.5' with 18' commercially loaded boats IIRC 3 went right with little trouble- maybe 1 of them got stuck for a moment- and the other two wend left with no trouble. Left was quite a big drop, though, and I could definitely see things going badly there.

To go right you need to be committed to going right well above the island/cobble bar, but not all the way along the bank. It's a waiting move where you float past 2 good sized marker rocks, then cut right. It's shallow, and tight, but not too fast. If you go right too soon you'll have a tougher time. I'll see if I can find some video of this line.
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