When is da Poudre - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-26-2007   #1
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
When is da Poudre

When is the Poudre supposed to start running? I am new to the Fort and trying to figure out how these controlled rivers actually run.

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Old 04-26-2007   #2
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 137
its usually running by now... its getting really close though. I was up there yesterday and pineview rock is reading about .6. I think what's been happening is that the temp. in the high country has been pretty mild in the last couple weeks. Im pretty sure with all the really warm weather forecasted for the next week that it'll probably begin to run this weekend. My guess is that its gonna shoot up a ton sunday, since thats going to be a very warm day.
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Old 04-26-2007   #3
Steamboat, Colorado!
Paddling Since: 2005
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Not that I am the world's expert on this, but last year this time it was running at 2.3 (I only know cause we thought about doing a birthday run and thought 2.3 was a little low, oh what a disappointment that I ran trips with customers below 1).
So it should start running here any day , but let's all pray that the weather stays cool so we can see some high water or at least some water in July! Word is that the snow pack and water levels are over 100%, but again this can all change very rapidly.... And I am sure this situation can be weighed in on by other Poudre paddlers that know a lot more than me!
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Old 04-26-2007   #4
Palisade, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
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controlled river?

umm...the poudre is not controlled.
pure, rocky mountain snowmelt...
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Old 04-26-2007   #5
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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be patient. the river will come up when the temps warm up a bit. just hope for more cooler, rainy weather to make the melt last well into july and hopefully august.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 04-27-2007   #6
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
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Originally Posted by peak View Post
umm...the poudre is not controlled.
pure, rocky mountain snowmelt...

Yes, water in rivers comes from precipitation but the Poudre is controlled. The city of Greeley gets something like 80% of it's water from the Poudre and the city owns six high mountain reservoirs on the Poudre River - Barnes Meadow, Comanche, Hourglass, Peterson Lake, Seaman, and Twin Lakes that collect the spring snow melt for distribution throughout the year. Greeley also owns the Laramie-Poudre Tunnel which diverts water from the Laramie River (which flows into the North Platte) through a tunnel under the mountains into the Poudre. At times you can see the waterfall that the tunnel water creates up around Poudre Falls when they are diverting.

My guess is that the reservoirs aren't full yet.
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Old 04-27-2007   #7
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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The good news is that the South Platte basin just isn't melting yet. You need a few nights where the high country temps stay above freezing for melt to start. Last year March was hot and the snow blew its load early. The cool high country temps suggest a strong and prolonged runoff. Even at my place at 7000 feet, there's been ice on the dog bowl almost every morning. Check the snowback:
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Old 04-27-2007   #8
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by protopyre View Post
When is the Poudre supposed to start running? I am new to the Fort and trying to figure out how these controlled rivers actually run.
Soon... real soon. A few of us were up there yesterday and the level was .4ft. Given the weather outlook for the weekend, I suspect the Narrows should be good to go by Sunday or Monday. As for the rest of the canyon, usually things start getting exciting sometime around May 15th or so, or whenever we get multiple days of above freezing temps in the alpine.

Here's the weekend weather outlook from CAIC for our zone. Meltdown madness is just around the corner:

High pressure and warming temperatures will prevail this weekend. Expect generally mild weather including light winds, unseasonably warm temperatures and only high thin clouds statewide. Flow backs to the southwest and moisture increases in the San Juans on Sunday, bringing a chance for thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. An increasing chance of thunderstorms is expected statewide next week. The snowpack is in for a major meltdown.

The winter-like conditions from earlier in the week are quickly changing in the backcountry. Snow is rapidly settling in the high country while melting away completely at lower elevations. However, you can still find cold dry snow on high elevation northerly slopes. Thursday's convective activity left 4 inches of new snow. Strong winds out of the WNW quickly transported this snow forming fresh slabs on easterly aspects. An observer noted a new natural slide off Loveland Pass on Friday, where a collapsing cornice triggered a soft slab on an east-facing slope above treeline. Expect to find wind slabs on cooler high elevation north and northeasterly aspects. These slabs will become less reactive with time and mild temperatures.

Wet slides will be the biggest avalanche concern this weekend. Very warm temperatures are expected with little to no freezing overnight. We generally see the most activity with the first big warm-up after a storm. The stage is set. Pay attention to the moisture content in the snow in addition to the depth you are sinking into the snow while standing in your boots. Its time to move to a cooler slope when you begin sinking in past your ankles. Consider aspect and elevation while planning spring tours. Lower density new snow on the surface will initially be more reactive to the warm up than lower deeper layers. However, observers noted moist snow underlying the newer snow on E-S-W aspects, particularly below treeline. This means deeper layers are primed for future activity.
Pay attention to changes in the snow surface as the day warms and reevaluate your stability assessment frequently. Mild overnight temperatures translate to wet slides earlier in the day. Loose avalanches and sluffs will occur shortly after the sun comes out, and could entrain quite a bit of snow. Be careful on steep, sunny terrain. Wet sluffs move slow but pack a serious punch if they catch you. Lastly, warm temperatures increase creep rates in fresh slabs. This may initially lead to touchier conditions on aspects less affected by the sun, so use caution on all slopes.

With any luck, yesterday's great powder will turn into tomorrow's great corn!

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Old 04-27-2007   #9
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Lets thank Frenchy for shooting it straight and handing down some real data. I was up there with him last night and the old river was not above .5 by any call but with the warm temps coming, we may see some water and thanks to Holley and her crew of champs narlows may be a fun time by Sunday, thanks again for getting rid of that tree!! Go out and get some, still may be low on the lower streches this weekend but by all means bounce on down.

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Old 04-27-2007   #10
Charc in = charc out
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by frenchy View Post

Soon... real soon. A few of us were up there yesterday and the level was .4ft. Given the weather outlook for the weekend, I suspect the Narrows should be good to go by Sunday or Monday.

bear in mind that i will be arriving in your fair city on sunday, which will ensure plenty of cold nasty weather to shut down any flow bump you might be anticipating. always works that way.

meanwhile, my neck o' the woods? yeah, everything's freakin' perfect & i'm leavin for a week. always works that way too.

anywho francois ... do you & ms.francois got room in that pimp pad for a night or two? & more importantly, should i really pack some paddleboating gear? questions that need answers.

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