Fraser Canyon beta, please? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-25-2005   #1
 
pbowman's Avatar
 
Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 249
Fraser Canyon beta, please?

I was wondering how the Fraser might be looking this weekend, specifically:

1. is current flow of 4-500 acceptable, or is it bony and no fun? last time I ran it was huge flow of 1500+ (on peak day i think) in 2003.

2. put in - what is the best? is the small tributary (Ranch Creek?) put-in, behind tabernash, useable? i have seen a group launch here, but don't know if there are rapids and/or fences to be aware of or if current water level would allow. Last time we put in near the pond(s?) off HWY 40 just upstream of tabernash, and were very worried about barb wire fences for the next mile until we reached tabernash. any suggestions for easiest put in?

3. take out - is sol vista still complaining about using the public road behind there golf course? this is our plan, unless someone local alerts us to conflicts here.

4. run beta - i know the markers to scout Thumper (RR tunnel w/ low power poles) and White Mile (RR bridge, eddy out above). any other rapids at this low flow?

looking for a mellow run for wife and I for the weekend to avoid flood stage water on most other rivers. this is a pretty canyon that I think she would enjoy. any and all info appreciated. thanks.

phillip

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Old 05-25-2005   #2
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 11
Your Beta answers:

1.
Quote:
is current flow of 4-500 acceptable, or is it bony and no fun? last time I ran it was huge flow of 1500+ (on peak day i think) in 2003.
--- 4-500 is pretty benign and somewhat boring. LONG PADDLE! Some surf, not very challenging compared to 1500.

2.
Quote:
put in - what is the best? is the small tributary (Ranch Creek?) put-in, behind tabernash, useable? i have seen a group launch here, but don't know if there are rapids and/or fences to be aware of or if current water level would allow. Last time we put in near the pond(s?) off HWY 40 just upstream of tabernash, and were very worried about barb wire fences for the next mile until we reached tabernash. any suggestions for easiest put in?
--- Best put-in is probably in Tabernash - next to the RR trax. Don't know if Ranch Creek has enough flow to use. Not sure about fences on that tributary either. Go to the Northeast edge of T-nash, by driving through town, across RR trax. Park next to idle trax on East side of town and walk across active trax to river.

3.
Quote:
take out - is sol vista still complaining about using the public road behind there golf course? this is our plan, unless someone local alerts us to conflicts here.
--- We have been warned by the sherrif not to use the traditional take out - just past the golf course. Notices were left on our cars last season. So, we now park in Granby at the softball fields (right after the Hwy 40 bridge). This ads a good mile, or more, of flatwater meandering paddling to get to the takeout. There are 2 different fence wires that lie about a foot above the surface on this section that could be problematic at higher levels. Kind of hard to see, but not seriously dangerous right now. The main issue is the length of the paddle out.

4.
Quote:
run beta - i know the markers to scout Thumper (RR tunnel w/ low power poles) and White Mile (RR bridge, eddy out above). any other rapids at this low flow?
--- Now other significant rapids than Thumper, but Thumper is an issue right now! There are 2 river-wide obstacles on either end of Thumper.
At the top there is a fallen tree, basically from bank to bank, that all of the water is flowing under. Not fast water, so getting out is not a big issue, but the eddies are VERY small here - a flip above this could be nasty! If the water gets much higher it could dislodge this tree and send it somewhere into Thumper, becoming a dangerous issue. This tree is HUGE!
Immediately following the last rock in Thumper there is a rope (and attached oil slick sponge) strewn across the river - bank to bank. It was placed there by the RR to soak up diesel, which was spilled into the river last year by a derailment. It sits right on top of the water, where current is strong, and is unavoidable. This obstacle can be paddled over, but if you flip before it or get highsided by it (as did one of our party recently) your body will go under it as your boat floats over it. A VERY dangerous situation if you were to get hungup on it! High water will make this obstacle deadly!

The rapid is runable, but requires a scout and evaluation of your skills and acceptable risk.

Quote:
Looking for a mellow run for wife and I for the weekend to avoid flood stage water on most other rivers. this is a pretty canyon that I think she would enjoy. any and all info appreciated. thanks.
--- This is definitley a mellow run for a class III+ boater, whom can stay upright. LOTS of flatwater! High on the scenic meter, low on the excitement meter at these levels. Good place to practice eddy and ferry skills - watch out for sleepers. Little if any surf.

Qualifier - All of this info was gathered by me about a week ago, at about 280cfs. Conditions surrounding said Thumper issues may have changed.
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Old 05-25-2005   #3
 
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Cody, Wyoming
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 249
Excellent beta holmes, very much appreciated! We should be running it Sunday afternoon if you are interested.

I knew in 2003 some issues with Sol Vista were brewing, but we chose the gravel road take out because the structure under the HWY 40 bridge at Granby had a terminal looking hydraulic (very nasty) due to high flow - we deemed it unrunnable that day. Do you know if the structure runnable at current flows?

Also, I am going to see if I can track down a contact for the RR and suggest that it is time to remove their clean up device. From a clean up perspective, this should not be left in place for long periods for the risk of releasing the captured pollutants, in addition to the risk caused to boaters.

Thanks again holmes for the great info. Later.

Phillip
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