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Old 10-09-2015   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 23
Westwater in Winter?

Hello, Anyone done westwater in the winter? We are thinking about a trip through with some snow and low low water. Maybe February/March? Does it freeze over? We are interested to see it at it's lowest. Thanks,

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Old 10-09-2015   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,208
Yes it freezes over. For how long depends on the winter, but it is usually clear by March.

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Old 10-09-2015   #3
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 93'
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 56
Did it last february, it wasn't that low, probably 3200 or somewhere around there. I think if you wanted to see it at its lowest you would have to go before the canyon itself freezes over but where the places that feed it are frozen over... possibly early winter

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Old 10-10-2015   #4
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 13
Ran it last February as well. If the weather is nice, it's a great time. We only did a day trip. Next time we will prepare for camping.

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Old 10-10-2015   #5
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
We did an overnight through there in Feb. it was cool ice chunks floating with you. Had about as much water as the trips in March.
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Old 10-13-2015   #6
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
I've done every month but dec or January. Actually in not sure I've ever done June either.

Be sure to learn that it is ice free. I've heard you can call the Gj airport and ask if they know.

I've heard a story of an epic hike out when a group it Skull and it was ice dammed.

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Old 10-13-2015   #7
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,933
This last winter was a great chance to see it in winter conditions. Jan and Feb were unseasonably warm. We have done late Feb and first week of march with massive "icebergs" in the water and still in the narrowest sections. Westwater, Cataract and Deso are all known for scary and unnavigable ice dams during mid-winter. All of them have forced people to abandon gear and walk out cross-country.

Will be interesting to see if the "strong" El Nino has any affect on WW.

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Old 10-14-2015   #8
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Dave, I believe I have heard about that hike out as well.

Actually seems like a couple of years ago someone posted here on the Buzz about a rather difficult run they had... seems like they were able to get their gear over the ice dam and float on out but it was pretty epic.

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Old 10-16-2015   #9
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
We did it last February it was ice free. Drank whiskey in the room of doom in tshirts. Be Cautious you've got only a few minutes in the water before hypothermia kicks in.
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 10-16-2015   #10
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 728
Past experience doesn't guarantee future results. It won't be ice free every year, do your research before you launch dec to feb.

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