Idhoans - Is Staircase done? N. Fork? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-15-2004   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
Idhoans - Is Staircase done? N. Fork?

Hey guys.

I see the Lowman guage is like 430 and Deadwood is nil.
Does this mean Staircase is done for the season?
I was thinking of coming to the Payette basin for Sunday and Monday.
If the S. Fork is toast for the year, what about the N. Fork?
I am getting to the point where I would consider my first class 5 run. Have done a good bit of class 4. Is the N. Fork a reasonable first class 5? And if so is there anyone in the Boise region who'd be willing to take me down the N. Fork Sunday or Monday? And would it be a bad idea to do it in a Dagger Id? Is a creek boat required?

Thanks, all.
-Mike G.

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Old 09-15-2004   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 328
Not a Idaho boater, but I've been to the Payettes a few times. I don't know what the North fork is at right now, but I suspect that it is going. However, I would not really consider making the north fork your first attempt at class V water. The lower five is not too bad. I would say that the lower five is comparable to Gore Canyon at moderate flows. But the upper and middle five are a whole different ball game. Just my opinion though.
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Old 09-15-2004   #3
loveland, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 337
good togo

I've done staircase and the canyon as low as 250. There must have been rain up there lately. Bottom 5 with a creeker is recommended. N. fork usually flows thru september and you can hook up with someone in Banks.
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Old 09-15-2004   #4
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 121
The main payette is 1660. There is 900 in the NF right now. A little low for this time of year. All the shit I talk about it going into Oct. has come back on me. This is still a very fun level. The middle and lower sections are a bit bony by ID standards. If you like the bump and grind go for it. I think it is fun. There is good class IV-V in there. Jake's is still beefy. The upper section is still tons of fun with at least one solid V and more IV+ stuff. Totally worth the paddle for someone in the area. If your jonesing (sp?) its worth the trip. Don't know if it is a great run for 1st class V experience. The rest of the water comes from the SF. So I guess that is 600 or so. Nice float. Lots of eddies. Not a huge whitewater experience. Then there is Big Falls up in the canyon on the SF. This is a good level for it and you can lap it 100 times if you want. then there is Bliss to surf on the way. So there you have it. The low down on the Payette river system. Rumor has it the NF may go back up. Here is a link.

These are the correct flows.

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