Westwater in late Sept/Oct. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-27-2010   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 477
Westwater in late Sept/Oct.

I'm thinking about trying for a permit for late Sept or early Oct. I have a 17 foot aire cougar. Has anybody done Westwater at this time/levels? I've heard this stretch is nice in the fall.

-Any beta is greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-27-2010   #2
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
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IMO it's the best time for Westwater. Warm water, warm days, cool nights for sleeping. Lower flows (2500 to 5000) are arguably the most fun.
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Old 07-27-2010   #3
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 258

Awesome time of year. Call soon for your permit. Weekends are still hit or miss to get a permit. Mid-week launch is easy.

Have fun!
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Old 07-28-2010   #4
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Oh dear Gawd, you really don't want to go on Westwater at that time of year.

The flow's usually only about 3,500 cfs, you may get snowed on, it gets chilly at night, the water's getting too cold to swim in with the temperatures only getting up into the 70s during the day IF ITS EVEN SUNNY and not RAINING and/or SNOWING on you, you'll have to bring a bunch of cold-weather stuff just for night and even more in case the weather turns on you, you'll need a good stove to prepare hot meals and hot drinks, firewood is a real pain in the butt to lug on your rafts and you're going to need A LOT of it, (because...) it could SNOW that time of year, the days aren't very long, you have to change clothes, like, a zillion times because its cold in the morning, warm in the day, but it may get chilly if it gets cloudy, may get warm when the sun comes out again, then gets chilly when you go into the shade below Marble Canyon rapid after you get splashed and realize you need to dig out that splash top again, and then gets cold again at night, someone could fall in the cold water and get hypothermic, the possiblity of crappy weather combined with the shorter days really cuts your margin of safety in the event of a flip or swim, the rangers are burned out and starting to get irritable and probably won't give you a good campsite anyway, your friends (or girlfriend) that aren't as hardy as you will probably never talk to you again after you take them along for what they thought would be a fun-in-the-sun raft trip and they get SNOWED or RAINED on, lots of other people want to go at that time too for some reason I just can't understand so you might as well not even try calling in for a permit. There will probably be some really good football games whenever you want to go as well since teams will get into their conference schedules. Don't even bother, its just so much trouble, especially if you've never been in the fall - you really don't want to go...

Did I mention that you may get snowed on at that time of year?

That said, if you DO happen to get a permit, please shoot me a PM as I'd be glad to bring a 14' raft, blaster & propane, extra neoprene booties & gloves, wetsuits, spalsh gear, NRS Wing shelter, extra tarps, kitchen gear, and to help plan meals and bring anything else you need for the trip!

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 07-28-2010   #5
SimpleMan's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
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What El Flaco said. Best time of year for Westwater.
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Old 07-28-2010   #6
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Vail, Colorado
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One of the best trips I ever had was a September 20th trip.... BUT Do gear up for the possibility of Bad weather.
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Old 07-28-2010   #7
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,328
What Andy said...and of course you'll need a safety kayaker just in case. Shoot me a PM cuz I'd hate to see you get into trouble.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 07-28-2010   #8
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Knife Fork of the Spoon Paddling Since: 1984
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Lots of Bears err beers
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Old 07-28-2010   #9
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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Nice try Andy - - I think he's going to go anyway . .. .
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Old 07-28-2010   #10
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SLC, Utah
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,390
Troy, it's horrible down there that time of the year. No bugs, flows which won't kill you, water temp that you don't need a dry suit and cold beer actually lasts for a while... who'd want to go then!

But if you need a guide to show you where not to camp I'd love to show you around

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