Westwater 14' paddleboat @ high water - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-30-2011   #1
 
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Durango, Colorado
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Westwater 14' paddleboat @ high water

I've got the opportunity to run a 14' paddleboat mid June on WW, flows could be 30,000+. I've only ever seen low flows on WW so don't know what to expect.
Some of the people on the trip don't think this is a good idea.
BTW the paddlers are kinda green and I've never run a big water paddleboat.
Good idea or not?

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Old 05-30-2011   #2
 
durango, Colorado
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I dont know the answer to your question, but I'd like to add the question, when is westwater too high to run? The 20K's are ok I hear, easier than the teens. But the 30K's?
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Old 05-30-2011   #3
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SLC, Utah
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Ran it at 24k. A lot of was washed out. Big huge eddies and whirlpools were the problem. the whole canyon took less than an hour to complete. White knuckling the whole way down trying to keep in the middle of the river and out of the eddies. Paddle boat would be a lot harder to control, so I am not sure if I'd rely on a bunch of rookies in high flow Westwater.

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Old 05-30-2011   #4
 
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Durango, Colorado
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It's not a complete rookie crew, they all have some experience paddling, just not much. More of a novice crew.
Is it better to call off the paddle boat and try for a lower water permit, or just run it?
We will be doing a few local runs together before WW for practice, even though it is obviuosly not the same.
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Old 05-30-2011   #5
 
durango, Colorado
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go for it, westwater flushes out for the most part at super high water, the teens are when you should be most worried but like kazak said i would say that eddies and wirl pools will be your bigest concern
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Old 05-30-2011   #6
ric
 
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Fruita, Colorado
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Just ran it at 26,000 saw couple paddle rafts in there, both 14ft, seemed to do fine.
However the whirl pools are getting huge!!!!!!!! I had to avoid a dory just below SITM, got stuck in one rr, across from M-wall. must have spun around ten times be for getting rocketed out. It was kind of cool but you don't want to be swiming in there. It was there the next day also. mostly stay center all the way, i was in necky jive! If you got it in ya go for it it was a hoot!
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Old 05-30-2011   #7
 
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Greeley, Colorado
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WW in a paddle boat

You don't mention if you will have other safety boats in your fleet. If it is just you and your crew, I would avoid it and go later. Why? Your choice of description of the crew (rookie, novice) would make you roll this over in your head for years if something went wrong. Also, it only takes one passenger going over to screw the whole trip because there is no escape due to the 'washout' effect. Sure, the rapids are even easier but without decent eddies to swim into and the whole river pushing both sides of the canyon walls, it gets to be a long swim. I love a challenge as much as the the next guy but regrets can be tough. With an experienced crew, a safety kayak or two, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-30-2011   #8
 
TOUCHDOWN, Mississippi
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I'd probably do it if I knew my crew's capabilities, and with other supporting boats, safety kayak etc.

Your biggest issue with swimmers at that level is that they float faster in the current than your raft will... Both the raft and swimmer must work actively on the rescue.

Those eddie lines will hold a swimmer under. And the eddies are virtually gone for people to swim to in a flip (albeit unlikely) scenario.
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Old 05-30-2011   #9
ric
 
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Fruita, Colorado
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Well on second thought, If you have to ask maybe you shouldn't be in there.
The whole swimming thing could be an issue! Also my previous post I was stuck in the wp not the dory and the wp was there the next day not the dory sorry
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Old 05-30-2011   #10
 
thornton, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Dogg View Post
I've got the opportunity to run a 14' paddleboat mid June on WW, flows could be 30,000+. I've only ever seen low flows on WW so don't know what to expect.
Some of the people on the trip don't think this is a good idea.
BTW the paddlers are kinda green and I've never run a big water paddleboat.
Good idea or not?
It could turn into an, every man for them self scenario in a hurry.
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