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Old 02-05-2010   #1
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 10
Middle Fork Salmon = Success, Planning info needed

My wife was lucky enough to pull a permit on our first attempt, Launch = July 15th. Hoping that flows stay high enough to run the whole trip without a fly in. We will be running a 16ft jacks daddycat with 14-16ft round boats for the rest of our party (Yes, I am very sorry to say it is a full trip at this point)...
I have read most related posts (some great early season epic reading!), but it would be great to get some inside info from the collective. I'll be getting the rivermaps guide as well as the nice looking comprehensive guidebook, but let me know about 'don't miss' hikes, camps as well as logistical considerations and all that.
Reading a 4 page thread of mostly denials has us feeling pretty lucky...
Thanks!

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Old 02-05-2010   #2
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 82
I have starting a boating Web page but it is mostly empty at this point. However I have completed most of the section on multi-day trips and have a section on the Middle Fork. It is at
Middle Fork Boating Page

-Chris
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Old 02-05-2010   #3
 
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Christopher Creek, Arizona
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 311
Most everything one can legally do on the MFS is covered in the Leidecker Guide, including flow characteristics for that time of year. The first thing I would do is go to the FS website and download the page that has all the camps listed with river mileage or just wait for it to come in the permit package you will be getting. Then I would begin to get an idea about how many miles I want to boat on a daily basis, which hikes, hotsprings, ect. the group wants to do and plan which camps accommodate those desires. Then, because you will not get your first choice of camps every time, have one or two alternates in mind. That is where I would start planning. If the flow is 2' and above, I would boat from Boundry to Cache gear and all. There are too many cool features in the upper reach that I would not want to forego with an Indian fly-in and launch.
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Old 02-05-2010   #4
 
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The most recent snow year like this one was 2005.

Mid-July level then was 2.1'.
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Old 02-05-2010   #5
 
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadster View Post
The most recent snow year like this one was 2005.

Mid-July level then was 2.1'.
Actually last year wasn't too far off from this statistically. Low snowpack (70% in MF Salmon drainage) until mid Feb or so. I think it got up to about 100% by April. So it's a longshot, but El Nino tends to bring late season precip to us. Just hopefully it's snow, and not rain. There's a lot of winter potential left up here, that's for sure.

Here's a bunch of good info: More data than almost anyone could want. Info from Ron Abramovich, Idaho NRCS Snow guru
________________________________________

To access the Adobe Acrobat version directly, you can click on the following link or copy and paste it into your internet browser.
ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/ID/sno...0/borid210.pdf

You can also access the report from Idaho Water Supply webpage.
Snow Survey Water Supply and Reservoir Storage Products | Idaho NRCS


We updated the snow indexes and graphs on these pages. The graphs are very interesting and show the chance of snow recovering to April 1 levels or not. Or not even making it to Feb 1 or March 1 levelsby April 1:
Historic Data | Idaho NRCS

Upper Snake River Snow Index | Idaho NRCS
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Old 02-05-2010   #6
 
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Banner Summit, 2/4 SWE
2010 11.8
2009 15.4
2008 20.3
2007 15.1
2006 27.0
2005 10.3
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Old 02-05-2010   #7
 
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at my house, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadster View Post
Banner Summit, 2/4 SWE
2010 11.8
2009 15.4
2008 20.3
2007 15.1
2006 27.0
2005 10.3
Good, plan your trip schedules now, the data is in!
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Old 02-05-2010   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Wow, I did not know it was THAT bad!
Have a May 23 MF, hoping for enough snow that the road is closed AND
there is enough water for Dagger Falls (5'?).

Is it possible that the road could be closed AND there is not enough water to float Marsch Creek?
I know anything is possible but likely?
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Old 02-05-2010   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Wow, I did not know it was THAT bad!
Have a May 23 MF, hoping for enough snow that the road is closed AND
there is enough water for Dagger Falls (5'?).

Is it possible that the road could be closed AND there is not enough water to float Marsch Creek?
I know anything is possible but likely?

Hold my magic want while I get out my crystal ball.

Just flapping shit. Seriously, it's early still, really. I'm going to hold onto my belief/fantasy that it is going to dump in February and on. I remember the winter of xxxxx where it didn't snow until Feb and then didn't stop.

Really, it's bad, bad enough I went boating Sunday, and I've never boated in the winter. That had a lot to do with skiing causing back pain and the need to work the rust out so I can go do some boating in WA soon.

There's been some precip over the last few days, and the forecast is for continued spitting from the skies.

I think last year the snowpack didn't take a jump until late March/April, which isn't all that uncommon. Many people say we get the most snow after the ski areas close. It used to seem like that a lot more than in the last 10 years, except last year was back to that old pattern, what a treat.

Just wait and see and pray for snow and then a cold spring to hold it up there.
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Old 02-05-2010   #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
Hold my magic want while I get out my crystal ball.

Just flapping shit. Seriously, it's early still, really. I'm going to hold onto my belief/fantasy that it is going to dump in February and on. I remember the winter of xxxxx where it didn't snow until Feb and then didn't stop.

Really, it's bad, bad enough I went boating Sunday, and I've never boated in the winter. That had a lot to do with skiing causing back pain and the need to work the rust out so I can go do some boating in WA soon.

There's been some precip over the last few days, and the forecast is for continued spitting from the skies.

I think last year the snowpack didn't take a jump until late March/April, which isn't all that uncommon. Many people say we get the most snow after the ski areas close. It used to seem like that a lot more than in the last 10 years, except last year was back to that old pattern, what a treat.

Just wait and see and pray for snow and then a cold spring to hold it up there.

Yeah, two years ago my daughter and I skiied Brundage, Tamarack and Sun Valley the first 10 days of April. Had great snow, plenty of powder and did not see a rock all week (or crowds). Driving from Donnelly to Sun Valley we scouted the NF Payette and helped a group of Boise catboaters
drag their cats over the snow to run the Lower 5.

PS: is that a majic wand or a broom?
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