Flathead River - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-13-2011   #1
 
Red lodge, Montana
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Flathead River

Anyone out there boated Schafer Meadows out to Essex at high flows? I yakked it a few years ago but at much less than the 11,000 cfs it's at now. I know folks have been on it lately, but any info would be good .

Thanks Holmes

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Old 07-13-2011   #2
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Huson, Montana
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Ask LHowemt... she knows all the rivers up here
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Old 07-13-2011   #3
 
Kalispell, Montana
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yes, 2 years ago it was at 6.5 feet and running very fast not positive on the CFMs. The upper stretch you need to scout, lots of potential for logs across and it can be clean one day and overnight have debrie. 3 forks is very tecnical water quick decisions the river drops very quickly with lots of corners and drops the first 6 miles. Castle Lake is a great camp ground, we saw a few Grizzly bears it was very cool. Spruce Park is the last section and its a fun heavy white water section class 5 my opinion the upper 3 forks is much worse only because you cant see whats next until your on top of it. I personally wouldnt raft it at that high again, i would make sure to be rested up before the asault on 3 forks. I wouldnt be in anything smaller than a 14 foot boat at high levels. It was a beautiful float and we were very lucky we had several mishaps on three forks and lived to tel about it.
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Old 07-14-2011   #4
 
Red lodge, Montana
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Thanks all..flying in Friday as a safety kayaker and it sounds like it may be a wild ride. I'll post what 11,000 runs like....
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Old 07-14-2011   #5
 
Kalispell, Montana
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You should have a blast the river is comming down quickly, weather looks like tin will be good. If you find a 9 foot catarac blue oar on top that would be mine from my last trip.
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Old 07-08-2014   #6
 
Missoula, Montana
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Ootek,

Did you end up doing this trip around this flow? I am going in this weekend (currently 9000 cfs on West Glacier gauge), and wondering what our group is going to encounter as far as whitewater goes. 3 kayaks and a super puma.

I know high is rowdy, and low is bony, but this flow seems right in the middle. Hopefully its a perfect combination of both.
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Old 07-08-2014   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman83 View Post
Ootek,

Did you end up doing this trip around this flow? I am going in this weekend (currently 9000 cfs on West Glacier gauge), and wondering what our group is going to encounter as far as whitewater goes. 3 kayaks and a super puma.

I know high is rowdy, and low is bony, but this flow seems right in the middle. Hopefully its a perfect combination of both.
I did it with 5000 on the gauge last year and thought it could take a lot more water. 9000 and dropping is probably good CL IV flows without much rocks but not blown out. Also consider the gauge is way downstream and includes major tributaries which from visual estimation doubled the size of the river from where the river meets the road.

Have fun it's a cool trip.
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Old 07-08-2014   #8
 
Red lodge, Montana
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Yes I did do the trip, it actually came up a bit too. The kayaking was great, one raft had difficulty with the log jam in Spruce Parks, but was mostly due to stupidity. Friends just got off it 10 days ago @ 15000 I believe, and all were smiling....Have fun !!
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Old 07-08-2014   #9
 
Heaven, Wisconsin
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We were in there at 15,000cfs a week and a half ago with kayaks. Beautiful run. I think we psyched ourselves up to think it was going to be way gnarlier than it was, due to high water beta from locals. Everything was scoutable and boated fine, one super easy portage due to an iffy single log situation, most lines were pretty defined. There was a log jam in Spruce Park Gorge that only went 3/4 of the way across river. Looked iffy from the water, but the scout showed an easy sneak. Have fun. Castle Lake is super high and if you want to hike beyond the initial inlet, you will have some serious bushwacking to do.
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