Owyhee High Water Inquiry - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-15-2018   #1
 
wsmckinney's Avatar
 
Durango, Colorado
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Owyhee High Water Inquiry

Hi Buzzards,
What is the highest flow you have boated the Owyhee river? Looking for stories of over 8k at Rome, curious about the South Fork and middle stretch.
Wade

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Old 11-15-2018   #2
no tengo
 
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Baytopia, Colorado
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11,000. Launched above widowmaker. its pretty big. we had one flip at widowmaker and there were some swimmers at ledge and another flip some random place. basically grand canyon style waves and holes in a small riverbed.
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Old 11-15-2018   #3
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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18,000 cfs (SF Pipeline to 3 forks) ditto on Grand Canyon sized waves. ifin you know the Google, you will find a story and videos of this trip. PS - great flow, would do it again 100%. Cabin Rapid was large, the man-eater hole in Cable was reeeaaal, Sentinal had grand canyon style haystacks.

To be accurate, the river rose to around 18,000 cfs midway during our trip, it started around 4,000 cfs and when we took off it was round 9000 cfs.
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Old 11-16-2018   #4
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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Also curious about your interest in this topic. Any thing that specifically sparked posting this thread?
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Old 11-16-2018   #5
 
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Durango, Colorado
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Love of the river

Mania, thank you. Shapp dynasty, wish I could have been there. I am thinking about a run down there at the start of April, 45 to Birch, was inviting a friend who said he wouldn't want to be in there when it was on the way up, and I thought to myself shit, I wish I was running it when it spiked to 40k, but maybe I don't understand the hydrodynamicgalastics of this majestic drainage, better ask the experts.
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Old 11-21-2018   #6
 
boizee, Idaho
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Ran the middle at 26000 dropping to 23000 at Rome. Launched at North Fork Crossing on NF Owyhee since access to 3 Forks was impassable. The hydraulics were indescribably huge, our cats were doing tailstands in the Eddy lines and whirlpools.
Flipped at entry to Half Mile and was one of only two times in a long boating career that I genuinely did not know what the outcome was going to be and that it could be curtains. Widowmaker. Scouted it for hours and considered hiking out. Scariest thing I've ever done, and quenched my desire to try the Stikine later that year that Cramer and I were planning.

Did Rome down in 1993 at 20000. Now that's just shits and giggles!

Boicatr
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Old 11-21-2018   #7
 
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Durango, Colorado
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Boicatr, dude, thank you for the reply, sounds like some epic trips. Soooo you ran Windowmaker at ~24000?!?! Portage not really an option? You were considering taking a cataraft down the Stikine?! That is how you etch your name into eternity my friend. Would you recommend the whole run at 25k, or not again, you were just happy to escape with your life?
Thanks to all who reply.
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Old 11-25-2018   #8
 
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Nampa, Idaho
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I've had several Idaho paddling friends paddle the Three Forks to Rome run (mostly in a single day) at 15,000 - 22,000cfs +. Needless to say it becomes a class 5 run at these flows that should probably be avoided by almost all inflatable boaters (I haven't heard of any raft descents of the entire run at these highest flows, although I'd love to hear more about boicatr's trip) and it pushes hard into each of the rapids, making it more difficult to scout the big ones. I haven't heard of anybody walking around Widowmaker at these highest flows.

-Micah
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