First Middle Fork of the Salmon Trip - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-01-2013   #1
 
Vail, Colorado
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First Middle Fork of the Salmon Trip

So I lucked out and picked up a permit for May 31st. I am currently doing as much research as possible. We currently have a 16ft raft and 14ft raft. Looking for any and all advise (hikes, hot springs, lines, temps, camp spots,etc)! My primary concern is getting to the put in due to snow and super high water. Not sure at what point high water becomes an issue or it becomes powerful but washes out. Very excited.

Thank you,
James

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Old 04-01-2013   #2
 
Boise, Idaho
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With this spring, you might not have any snow or high runoff (it might all happen this month).

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Old 04-01-2013   #3
 
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You will probably have to float Marsh Creek because of the road to Boundary may not be open

Look at the regression curves. Its said that if you catch it on the downslope it can be safer because you don't have to worry about giant trees getting washed alongside

They will let you cancel at the last minute if the level is unsafe. After doing research you may wanna do that earlier instead of later if its a concern

High water it can definately be class iii-IV solid until velvet
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Old 04-01-2013   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
With this spring, you might not have any snow or high runoff (it might all happen this month).


Yeah could very well be true. My guess is this year the road to boundary will be open well before your launch date. But we could easily plunge into a cold spring that brings us some more snow and stops the melting. Check out the NOAA seasonal forecast. As far as water levels go around 6 feet is when people start thinking about maybe not going, especially those whom haven't run the river before. It can be really wild if you can't sneak Velvet falls to the left and you have to run it. That rapid probably creates the most carnage that time of the year. There is a good hole about 1 mile downstream (Murphs) that has been known to catch people off guard and has also flipped a sweepboat. If you are a savy high water boater as are the rest of the people in your group you will most likely be fine. But should be able to prepare and react to carnage at all times. Some rapids in the lower canyon become massive (cliffside) A good guide book is the one by Matt Leidecker, analyzes every freaking rock and riffle in the river, but it will give you a good idea what to have to contend with.
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Old 04-02-2013   #5
 
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May 31st and the road to boundary might be open. Hard to know for a while. If you haven't already joined the Idaho Whitewater Yahoo group - do it now. You will find posts there about the correlation on the Banner snotel site and the road to Boundary opening.

Marsh Creek is mostly continuous class II-III, but, and this is a big but, it is full of blind corners and sometimes river-wide trees and logs forming potential death traps. Sadly people have died rafting on Marsh. However by late May several parties will have likely rafted down and posted reports about the wood situation - although it can and may change. There are several avalanche paths that end on Marsh Creek so as the snow melts they can release trees into the river. If you have capable class IV-V boaters in kayaks or lightly loaded cats running 10-15 minutes in front of the gear rafts with waterproof radios you can add a significant margin of safety to your trip down Marsh.

High water on the Middle Fork can be a lot of fun - if you are comfortable with high water class IV. It gets faster, eddies disappear, camps disappear, huge waves and holes form. Some rapids do wash out, others just get bigger. PM me if you have more questions - I've done several mid to late May trips - they have been a blast.
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Old 04-02-2013   #6
 
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There a real good chance that you'll drive into boundry this year. Yes you'll be looking at high water but only time will tell how high. I'm going out there and making a prediction of 5.324 feet. Sunny and warm.
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Old 04-02-2013   #7
 
Vail, Colorado
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Thanks for all the replies and PMs!
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Old 04-02-2013   #8
 
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oh man, the impassable canyon is like a friggen interstate at high water, its the most amazing thing. Eddy dodging....
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Old 04-02-2013   #9
 
seattle, Washington
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Originally Posted by Avatard View Post
You will probably have to float Marsh Creek because of the road to Boundary may not be open

Look at the regression curves. Its said that if you catch it on the downslope it can be safer because you don't have to worry about giant trees getting washed alongside

They will let you cancel at the last minute if the level is unsafe. After doing research you may wanna do that earlier instead of later if its a concern

High water it can definately be class iii-IV solid until velvet
Ran june 5th two years ago at 6' It was chit show.Meet up with a crew who had lost a boat(Found 3 days later at the bottom of cramer) at murphs and were flying out at the strip. Ran into a few groups with sad stories of broken spirits and lost gear.Not that this is a hard run but to call it a 3-4 seems light.I just read of posts on the rogue saying it was solid 4 and I've had friends run that in 7' fish finders with no problem.
Theres lots of options for flips and boats seem to run for awhile. I'd call any trip in may or early june a solid four, bring a drysuit. Forget who posted on you tube but he's got play by play narative with some flips,great vid look it up .
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Old 04-02-2013   #10
 
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Originally Posted by bucketboater View Post

Ran june 5th two years ago at 6' It was chit show.Meet up with a crew who had lost a boat(Found 3 days later at the bottom of cramer) at murphs and were flying out at the strip. Ran into a few groups with sad stories of broken spirits and lost gear.Not that this is a hard run but to call it a 3-4 seems light.I just read of posts on the rogue saying it was solid 4 and I've had friends run that in 7' fish finders with no problem.
Theres lots of options for flips and boats seem to run for awhile. I'd call any trip in may or early june a solid four, bring a drysuit. Forget who posted on you tube but he's got play by play narative with some flips,great vid look it up .
There are like four named rapids on the Rogue and unless you run Rainey (and not the class ii fish ladder) there is just a class IV at Blossom (with death a likely consequence if you fall out of your boat, get tangled in a rope, get pushed into an undercut, or die of a heart attack. For most the consequence is oh shit who has a z drag and where are those kayakers when you need them.

To me, a description of solid 3-4 means just that. The eddies if you can find them are the threes. they can be tricky to reach and if you flip you will swim a long ways without support. The rogue (save for a few times a year) is solid class 1 with occasional 2's and threes

There is a reason the MF doesn't penalize you if you cancel before you launch and the level is over 5'

June 5 is typically the peak and you will get all sorts of river hazards to deal with. End of may is usually pre-peak, which is not as safe as the same water flow on the way down.
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