Wisdom needed for Salmon Trip - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-02-2012   #1
 
nessles's Avatar
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Wisdom needed for Salmon Trip

I'm in the process of planning a 12 day trip on various sections of the Salmon, and need a little beta to get things going. We'll be putting on the Goat Creek section of the South Fork of the Salmon around May 21st and taking out at Heller Bar on the Snake around 12 days later so we'll do South Fork Salmon into Main Salmon, continue down Lower Salmon, then hook up with the Snake for 20 miles until the takeout.

What are roads like in Idaho in mid-May - is it ludicrous to drive shuttle from Heller Bar to Goat Creek? If there's snow is this a no go?

I've never done anything beyond two nights self supported in a creeker. What's the max food and gear one could stuff into a Nomad 8.5 (I was thinking 4 days of gear and food, is that reasonable)? What do you guys think about drop shipping food rations into towns like Riggins or White Bird?

Any spectacular hikes along the way we should look into?

Thanks for any advice on this!

- John
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Old 12-02-2012   #2
 
idaho falls, Idaho
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Access to the southfork might be tough; there is still a lot of snow even in late may. I think they plow South fork road (074) so that should get you to where you want to be.

Why are you going so early?
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Old 12-02-2012   #3
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And what are you going to do when you reach The Slide on the Lower? Water will likely be high at the end of May. You best be knowing what your getting into with that- I would use serious caution at levels above 30 grand.
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Old 12-02-2012   #4
 
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What does it turn into at 30 grand. I spoke so someone that said one of the high water Salmon runs was a Stikine preparation run.
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Old 12-02-2012   #5
 
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I assume the south fork at high water is the stikine prep you refer too. From what i've heard slide isn't crushing at 30k, but is a tree eating beast at 80k taken on only by stunt-minded 30 ft snout boats.
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Old 12-02-2012   #6
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Hey CQ- I see your posts on here now and then...

The slide above 30 grand is gnarly. It is gnarly at 25. Huge wave/hole. Sucker eddies on both sides- no portage and a terrible scout. I have done it at 30 in a fully loaded 18 and we barely made it. Just saying, it could be a serious mood crusher and is indeed the only reason why most outfitters wait till mid summer to begin their commercial trips down there. Except for Barker. YouTube it... Good luck and rig to flip.
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Old 12-02-2012   #7
 
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Hey justin! I'm aware of that, but If he is looking to do the sfs the end of may, slide will be the least of his worries. I don't recall off hand where goat cr comes in, but if it's above surprise etc it is for a different caliber than 99.9% of boaters.
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Old 12-02-2012   #8
 
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If you haven't done the SF Salmon yet, I would do that at a lower flow than what May should be. Just pull the permits and start on Marsh Creek instead for a MF trip (I think your dates are pre lottery?). Slightly smaller, and super quality whitewater, more other stuff. Consider a larger boat. Sounds sweet either way.

If you go for SF Salmon, be prepared for big, blind whitewater with ginormous waves. And don't swim. Ever.
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Old 12-02-2012   #9
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I guess first things first right? SF before the Slide... I have done the SF too but at low water and I still made one portage. But I have always been warned of the high water on the SF. It does seem like this gentleman may need to make make some reconsiderations. I line the idea of starting on the MoFo.
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Old 12-03-2012   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nessles View Post
I'm in the process of planning a 12 day trip on various sections of the Salmon, and need a little beta to get things going. We'll be putting on the Goat Creek section of the South Fork of the Salmon around May 21st and taking out at Heller Bar on the Snake around 12 days later so we'll do South Fork Salmon into Main Salmon, continue down Lower Salmon, then hook up with the Snake for 20 miles until the takeout.

What are roads like in Idaho in mid-May - is it ludicrous to drive shuttle from Heller Bar to Goat Creek? If there's snow is this a no go?

I've never done anything beyond two nights self supported in a creeker. What's the max food and gear one could stuff into a Nomad 8.5 (I was thinking 4 days of gear and food, is that reasonable)? What do you guys think about drop shipping food rations into towns like Riggins or White Bird?

Any spectacular hikes along the way we should look into?

Thanks for any advice on this!

- John
Fluid Glass Network
I am going to assume that you have the skill and there is always a line through the slide in a kayak. Hell you can port the slide in a kayak. The Lower at 80K and the stikne have nothing incommen what so ever.. Not even close! Next you should be able to get to the goat section via warm lake by car or snowmoble for sure. You can atleast get to the sfs well above goat run. Lick creek road may or may not be clear. You can get supplies at Mackay bar and riggins. Drop shipping is doable but you can just bring cash. It shouldn't take more than 2 days to run out the SF and then another 2 to riggins. Then no more than 4 days to get from riggins to heller. You'll need to layover and take your time to streacth it out to 12 days. The shuttle is 1 hour from ltown to heller. 3 hours from ltown to mccall. 2 hours over lick creek or 3 hours via warm lake. The road over lick creek is beautiful. 4 days of gear is reasonable. But you'll never need more that 3 days considering all stops alone the way.

PS. Lay over at riggins and get a ride up the little salmon for a day.
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