SOUTH FORK OF THE POUDRE - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-18-2008   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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SOUTH FORK OF THE POUDRE

we paddled by the confluence of the south fork yesterday (not to be confused with the BIG south) and noticed it was carrying a lot of water. Has anyone out there paddled it yet this year? We are interested in how much wood there is in the river and what you thought of the run?....cheers, Scotty

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Old 06-18-2008   #2
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Is this the Little South everyone has been talking about along the Pingree Park Road?
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Old 06-18-2008   #3
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffy View Post
Is this the Little South everyone has been talking about along the Pingree Park Road?

Yes, thats the one....
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Old 06-18-2008   #4
 
Horserump, Colorado
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If all the rocks at the mouth are covered it's good to go. However if they are not all you need to be in boater hell is 50' overhanging walls and a river that never ends.
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Old 06-18-2008   #5
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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little south

Quote:
Originally Posted by yak1 View Post
If all the rocks at the mouth are covered it's good to go. However if they are not all you need to be in boater hell is 50' overhanging walls and a river that never ends.

Water is not the problem as it appears to be close to 2 feet...our big concern is whether there are trees in the river or strainers that cannot be avoided...I read a post from several weeks ago that stated that there were 12 strainers and one of them could not be avoided and the others may not have eddy's as they did it at one foot and the eddy's would probably not be there at higher water.........thank you for the response
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Old 06-18-2008   #6
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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is that 2ft on the new wooden gauge? the one facing the highway in the river-left eddy at the confluence with the main stem?
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Old 06-19-2008   #7
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
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We ran it a couple weeks ago - real low at about 3/4 on the gauge at the confluence (58 on the gauge at the putin). Floated by on Sunday and the gauge at the mouth was ~1 on the downstream side and 1.25 on the upstream side (water piles up on the gauge). There are two rocks by the big pine tree (on river rt of the S Fork, yes I know that's a lame description ...) that I use as a gauge - one was well covered, the other just above water. My reading is that means it's good to go, and medium or probably a bit below what I'd call med at that time. Today is probably the peak and I'm sure it's better.

On the run: First there's a NEW TREE just above the 'big rapid' - the big one with the scout/portage on the left, towards the bottom. THIS IS REAL IMPORTANT. There's been a tree in there for a few years, but the new one is just above the old one, and if you wash into this you're history. The old tree was really ugly, but I heard a couple guys washed into it and survived - the old tree is river-wide, and has a set of very stout branched down into the water. They apparently threaded the needle where there's a small (and I mean like 2' wide) slot. That option is no longer available because of the new tree just upstream of the old one. My landmarks for this MANDATORY scout/portage is a big cliff on river left, all the way to the water, and a big rock (size of a small garden shed) on river left. Good eddy above the rock, funky pull-out below on an 'island' (get out and then wade across a small channel).

On other trees - lost of them. We lost count of the number of portages - mostly very short - but my count was 13. There are a couple you can weasel your way by, depending on your comfort level.

Gauges: the best gauge is on the upstream side of the bridge at the putin, or river right. 60 on this is a very low, but possible. 75 is a really nice level. 85 is seriously rocking- no beginning creekers, and if you swim plan on waking out. Above 85 and you better be real good at grabbing trees and punching the couple holes that line up next to the cliffs. I'd guess that 1 1/2 on the confluence gauge would be high, and if it's really 2' on the confluence gauge, hold on tight because it's going to be HUGE. Don't think I've ever even seen it that high.

Opinions vary, but I think the Little South is a really pretty, long wilderness run. At moderate water levels, not many adrenaline-pumping rapids, but enought to keep you attentive. At high water it's a great trip.

johng
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Old 06-19-2008   #8
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
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Little South Gauge

When the Poudre is high, water backs up the Little South channel and gives a false reading on wooden gauge on river left (and it's high enough to be doing that now). Better to use the two rocks by the pine tree on the water's edge on river right opposite and slightly above the gauge.

If water is pouring over the rock right by the tree (the higher of the two rocks) then it's game on - take your dancing shoes.

The rapids are not the big deal in this run at high water, it's seeing the wood and finding eddies for the portages. Pagel should know, he has done it at this level sans paddle!

Marty
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Old 06-19-2008   #9
 
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Pagel's paddle

Marty hit it right and reminded me: we found Pagel's paddle on our trip. I have the blades and Steve has what remains of the shaft. The blades aren't really usable any more, but they might have sentimental value.

Mike -- I'll toss the blades in the car - are you going to be at Randy's memorial this weekend?

(and Marty - thanks again for retrieving my breakdown from there a couple years ago! funny how these things go round)
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