Big South gate open? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-30-2018   #1
 
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
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Big South gate open?

Has anyone heard or seen if the gate is open? Would like to head down this week for a lap.

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Old 07-01-2018   #2
 
Horserump, Colorado
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If you have a portable plasma cutter I'm sure you could get it open in a minute or two.
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Old 07-02-2018   #3
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They opened it yesterday but sounds like flows are pretty low - near the bottom mark on the rock.
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Old 07-02-2018   #4
 
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I don't know how many marks may have at one point been on the rock, but there are three very faded yellow bars.

The river was ten full inches below the lowest of the three sunday AM.

120 CFS out of Long Draw. We Carried in Corral creek and scraped the last 1/2 mile or so the confluence with the main stem, where we picked up half again as much water.

I bet we didn't have 200 CFS in the main channel. 250 max.

I've run thus plenty low, but this was half the flow of any previous run I've done.

all the rapids were run, aside from the entrance at Meltdown, which was simply dry and Bar room brawl, with has wood over the entry boof. Slideways has some wood at the bottom too, but half the group ran that one.

The only saving grace is that none if it is blast rock, so when you are charging through boulder gardens, the rocks are nice and smooth. Minor pins and broaching was pretty common.

It was a fun day, with a good crew, but I wont ever run it that low again.
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Old 07-03-2018   #5
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Sounds like a good year for someone to bring a can of spray pant and repaint that rock.
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Old 07-03-2018   #6
 
Horserump, Colorado
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Listen all you Big South Boaters. You have to start getting on the ass of the F.S. if you want to get that gate open before they all the water is gone. Send Emails, call, write letters. The F.S. has no coherent plan or standards for when they open the road. Hold their feet to the fire if you ever want to be able to run the the Big South with water in it. If you just leave it up to them they won't open it to every bit of snow is gone.
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Old 07-03-2018   #7
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I don't think angry emails or phone calls are the answer. They open it when they deem the road is safe and passable, its not a maintained road in the winter, and pushing them to open it early for recreational purposes (for a minute user group - 20-30 paddlers max) is probably going to have no influence on when they actually open it. It's a wilderness run, if you want it when it's good you have to work for it from RMNP, or wait until the gate is open.

Normally there is low flows when the gate opens, this year was a bad snow year, but surprised the gate was not open 2 weeks ago when it should have been unlocked based on the snowpack I saw up there, then we could have gotten a bit of the trailing flows before it totally bottomed out.
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