Escalante Creek Flow Updates - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-16-2011   #1
 
Durango, Colorado
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Escalante Creek Flow Updates

Ran the upper gorge yesterday (5/15). The fin was covered all day. Any updates throughout the week would be much appreciated.

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Old 05-16-2011   #2
ACC
 
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dropzone, Colorado
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Seconded. But please give us a visual that helps such as: the falls was good to go on plenty of water without scraping, or the boof in waterslide was completely covered, etc. The fin is always covered if there is any reasonable flow.
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Old 05-16-2011   #3
 
Durango, Colorado
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More specifically:

Saturday- medium. Right line at waterslide, but sticky. Either way at 57.

Sunday- higher side of medium. Falls very good to go. Waterslide center boof in. Everyone running left (or trying) at 57.
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Old 05-16-2011   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Anyone have any history of stick gauges on escalante?

The fin is uncovered at only low flows and is not the best indicator to judge medium flows and higher.

I was thinking that a stick gauge at the last eddy above the lower gorge would be a great level reporting tool. The riverbed is rocky there (less prone to flood changes) and its an easy walk from the takeout.

In one season a collection of pics of the falls and waterslide at various stick readings would nail the level pretty close.

Every time I have an escalante flow discussion I am trying to interrogate the paddler to determine exactly how much water was flowing over the center line at waterslide, and its takes more time and has more error than a simple 8" on the stick would take.

Maybe I'm just a guage geek and want more precision in level reporting.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-16-2011   #5
 
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Ian, I think it's obvious that you're a gauge geek. That aside, the best thing might be to have some part of the wall on the inner gorge that has distinctive markings on it that we could judge the flow by. Or possibly a few marker rocks on the falls that mark different levels. Sticks don't seem to stay put all that well. Paint would be idea, though not very leave-no-trace.
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Old 05-16-2011   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
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I'm not a big fan of the huge spray paint on the rocks. It works for the poudre, but it feels like graffitti.

I think a stick gauge can work well if it is bolted on to a rock in the right location such that it can been seen by boaters, but is otherwise unobtrusive.

The issue with finding rock markings or gauge rocks in rapids is that its hard to estimate those. Its difficult to see the falls unless you are in the gorge (some folks don't go in to the gorge at high water). For rapids like waterslide, its difficult to convey how much water covers the center boof... Two inches over the center boof? Ideally you want a gauge you can look at located at the takeout or put in that can ID the level before putting on.

Anyway, I'm not inventing anything new here, just pointing out that boaters regularly use river stage on a visual stick gauge to relay level information, and I'm wondering if this could help with escalante flow reporting which seems pretty erratic to me.
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Old 05-16-2011   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsouthpaddler View Post
Anyone have any history of stick gauges on escalante?

The fin is uncovered at only low flows and is not the best indicator to judge medium flows and higher.

I was thinking that a stick gauge at the last eddy above the lower gorge would be a great level reporting tool. The riverbed is rocky there (less prone to flood changes) and its an easy walk from the takeout.

In one season a collection of pics of the falls and waterslide at various stick readings would nail the level pretty close.

Every time I have an escalante flow discussion I am trying to interrogate the paddler to determine exactly how much water was flowing over the center line at waterslide, and its takes more time and has more error than a simple 8" on the stick would take.

Maybe I'm just a guage geek and want more precision in level reporting.

Thoughts?
Haha. Maybe just embrace it. The great Escalante flow debate is an awesome right of spring. It forces you to call other boaters and re-connect after the winter. I always look forward to the first panicked "What's Escalante at!!!!!?" Mountainbuzz thread every year. Plus, it's not like people regularly get skunked at Esca, we always have a pretty good idea what the flow is like thanks to the Chamberlains and all the other jonsin' boaters getting after the first 5-star run. Plus I like the wilderness feel of Esca. A painted gauge or something clearly man-made would be an awful shame. If you were gonna do it, someone should just mark the minimum flow at the takeout to boof off the center of Waterslide. That's the only move that is critical and hard to judge in advance with a huge group of first-timers in tow. Just a thought.

You gonna be available the friday after next for some paddling? I'll be in town for three days. Hoping to do dumont-golden early on Sat the 28th.


Joe
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Old 05-16-2011   #8
 
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Joe I'll be down for that. See ya then. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCKeck1 View Post
Haha. Maybe just embrace it. The great Escalante flow debate is an awesome right of spring. It forces you to call other boaters and re-connect after the winter. I always look forward to the first panicked "What's Escalante at!!!!!?" Mountainbuzz thread every year. Plus, it's not like people regularly get skunked at Esca, we always have a pretty good idea what the flow is like thanks to the Chamberlains and all the other jonsin' boaters getting after the first 5-star run. Plus I like the wilderness feel of Esca. A painted gauge or something clearly man-made would be an awful shame. If you were gonna do it, someone should just mark the minimum flow at the takeout to boof off the center of Waterslide. That's the only move that is critical and hard to judge in advance with a huge group of first-timers in tow. Just a thought.

You gonna be available the friday after next for some paddling? I'll be in town for three days. Hoping to do dumont-golden early on Sat the 28th.


Joe
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Old 05-16-2011   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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Good points Joe. Maybe I should just embrace the uncertainty of an escalante trip and revel in the excitement of peering into the gorge for the first time that season.

The engineering gauge geek in me is always striving for better, faster, more accurate data to help make paddling decisions.

Out for front range paddling on memmorial day weekend Joe. Heading up to Steamboat on friday for a long weekend with the family.
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Old 05-16-2011   #10
 
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Sat the center boof at waterslide was in and fine. Don't know or care inches, just know there is water and go paddle it. Way to much crap! Escalante is in and until the falls has water going over all of it consider it Med.. Be safe
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