Early season Selway advice - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-03-2018   #1
Park City, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Early season Selway advice

Hey Team! Looking to do an early season Selway trip(~April 29th launch). I've done the Selway before, although during the permit season. Any advice for access and conditions would be great.

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Old 04-03-2018   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 76
How do you plan to get in to Paradise?
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Old 04-03-2018   #3
kayaker's Avatar
in a van down by the river, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 134
April access into Selway

Tools for you to help make your decision:
Idaho Northern Snotel data for the Selway Basin, (Mountain Meadows, Nez Perce Camp, Twin Lakes, etc) is currently ranging from 27" to 51" snow water equivalent.
based on: https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reports...Idaho+Northern

Eyes on the road - get a friend from Darby to report the expectation of all the east facing slopes and their current snowpack on the roadways.

Weather trending at https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/nwcc/ye...type=statelist

NRCS https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref...mal_update.pdf
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Old 04-03-2018   #4
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 46
I think What Idaho h2o is saying (not to speak for him/her) is that there is a lot of snow still here in MT/ID and the road to the launch is not likely to be clear of snow. Still winter here and got a few inches last night, and it was 10 degrees on my way to work this morning. We got more than a foot of snow over the last weekend in addition. There is a ton of snowpack in the area and Nez Perce Summit will likely not be free of snow by April 29th. Maybe not may 29th this year. We have gotten the most snow in about 15 years here in Helena. I have had troubles with snow on the road into late June some years when I worked over on the Lochsa and ran Selway Shuttles years ago. Good for powder skiing however. I'd love to hear from anyone that is familiar with/knows how much snow is on the summit? Any guesses as to when the road will open?
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Old 04-03-2018   #5
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,604
The USFS is very aggressive about plowing the road open by the start of permit season. I think in 2011 they were delayed by a few days or even longer because of the deep snow. While our snowpack is huge, it is not huge in the mid and lower elevations so much. It will definitely not be open for an April 29 launch.

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Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 04-04-2018   #6
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 152
Sounds like a good packraft/skimo opportunity
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