Mamma Chama Log/Portage. - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-03-2019   #1
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 226
Mamma Chama Log/Portage.

Two logs across the river on a right hand turn just above the Momma Chama Rapid.
On 4/27/2019 at 3,000 cfs these logs were at surface of water and required an easy portage on river right around a large rock. Last year at 350 cfs we floated beneath the large log, but it appears to have fallen upstream and closer to the water. Projected high flows over 5,000 cfs will likely float both logs on down to the next rock features so beware.

And El Vado Reservoir is so low there is no flat water in sight, making take-out tricky. Natural runoff level is being passed along down stream until Elephant Butte reservoir reaches minimum 20% capacity.
North ramp access roadway gate is scheduled to be unlocked second weekend of May, but contact Heron Lake State Park Superintendent Anthony Marquez at 575-588-7470, [email protected]

Current info, videos and more pictures are also posted to (Adobe Whitewater Club) AWC CHAT, and New Mexico Whitewater Facebook sites.

It is a good season so "Boat Up!"
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Old 05-03-2019   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 256
Thanks for the update. I have a 6/2 launch but I'm not sure I'll have water to float out 6/3. Does anyone know what the regs are on cutting stuff like this? I see lots of people reporting logs but no one taking a chainsaw to them.
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Old 05-03-2019   #3
Rojo's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 226

Note, this obstacle is on the 19 mile section upstream of El Vado Lake, not on the permitted Rio Chama Wilderness section. Both are flowing high now so water should not be an issue for awhile until they slow the release and start to re-fill El Vado.

Hopefully, the spring peak will push these logs further down, but likely right into the next feature, or into the Momma Chama rapid feature. Folks do cut out strainers in most cases, whether legal or not, for safety, but may need to wait until lower flows allow safer/easier work. This particular obstacle is on a right hand corner, but is easy enough for small boats to avoid with an easy scout/portage on river-right.,+NM+87520/@36.6582243,-106.6874314,317m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x873d8143f632a903:0x84652 16bcf8d3854!8m2!3d36.9030679!4d-106.5794793?hl=en

There are also two over/in-river utility cables and an easy irrigation dam in the inhabited upper 1/3 of this run. Still worth it all!
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