Salt River 3/13 Trip report and new 3/31 permit - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 03-20-2004   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 16
Salt River 3/13 Trip report and new 3/31 permit

Hi,
Just returned from the Salt river on Thursday. Great trip!! looks like we hit the peak runoff for the year at nearly 2700. Right now it's still at a very healthy 1950 and it should hold up for the launch on the 29th.

Everyone on the trip have a great time and we came through with no injuries, no significant damage and extra food. We took a layover day at Gleason Fats and enjoyed some great hiking through the cacti forests.

Weather is predictable for AZ this time of year. Nights are cool and crisp and sleeping under the stars is nice even for the timid. Days warm up quickly with the sun and can get beach-like in the afternoon. The cool water is refreshing and several in our group went swimming (some intentionally). Bugs are virtually nonexistent and spring flowers are starting to bloom.

The river is very technical in spots and boaters should try to minimize weight. Currents can be strong, but predictable if you allow a few extra seconds maneuvering. Quartzite is a nice drop and is all it's said to be (especially at our flows). Smaller boats are recommended, but we had several 16' rafts that performed fine.

It is defiantly a top-notch wilderness trip that should not be missed!! Please contact me if interested at "[email protected]".

Cheers,
Jethro

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Old 03-22-2004   #2
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,825
Salt very worthy

I too just returned from running the Salt. Jethro is right about everything. We had a great time although our trip was too rushed. I ended up rowing everything but the flatwater 'cause none of our kayakers inspired enough confidence for me to give them my boat. I did get tp spend several hours surfing at ledges, while we waited for the kayakers to return from shuttle.

As he said light boats would be much better. We had 11 people's stuff on two rafts. With all of the beer my boat must have wieghed either side of one ton. It took EVERYTHING I had to miss some of the rocks. I am incredibly sore today.

The Canyon was beautiful, and the (internet inspired) crew I went with turned out great. Meals were well planned and very tasty. If you get a chance to go on a trip with "56" you won't be dissapointed, unless you prefer sobriety, as there was little of that at camp.

All the drops are very easy for competant kayakers, but there were a few that taxed my rowing abilities. At the levels we saw, (1700 dropping to 1600 over the 3 days) maze was the toughest, and the only one that really required a scout.

I could see this being much harder and much more fun with more water.
The begining of the run had lots of bony rapids that were hard to pick clean lines for a heavy boat. I managed to broach within sight of the put in, but things cleaned up wihtin the next several miles.


It took us a long time (1.5 hours+) to wait for the eddy and then scout quartzite. If you find yourself faced with this option, just line up left and be ready to ship your oars when it tightens at the bottom.

All in all a good time was had by all. The drive is every bit as bad as you've heard. Doing 80 most tof the way it took 12 hours from Denver to the put in; 14 hours from the take out back. DO NOT let Roy drive your truck. EVER.
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Old 03-22-2004   #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 27
I can't wait - we are putting on this Friday. Sounds like you both rowed the trip - were most of the Kayakers in spud boats or more of a river runner? Just trying to decide if I should take my POP which is much better for play but slow or the Riot Booster which is better for river running and speed.

Looks like it is holding at 1500ish for now - hope it at least stays at that level.
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Old 03-22-2004   #4
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,825
paddle what you will be comfortable in

Depending on # of days you're doing, you might have some long ones. Don't avoid your play boat due to concerns about dificulty, but don't paddle a boat you don't want to be in for 5 hour stretches. While there were some good holes, the play isn't top notch and you want a boat that can catch fast waves on the fly.
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Old 03-23-2004   #5
Charc in = charc out
 
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
did 56 bring his super-heater pageant-winning girlfriend along? is she really the bee's knees like everyone claims??

questions that need answers ...
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Old 03-23-2004   #6
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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She did not float the river with us, but did camp at the put in and see him off. The title is for real.
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