GC low water advice? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-12-2018   #1
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 7
GC low water advice?

I got a message from the NPS today saying that the November flows for our trip this year, which will be outside of the HFE dates, will be between 6-9000 cfs. Hopefully the December flows will be higher.

So you guys have any recommendations or experience from a low water trip through here? Thanks for any advice!

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Old 10-13-2018   #2
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,433
I have one recommendation...BRING ME ON YOUR TRIP!

Haha...mostly kidding...mostly (but not really).

I think you are getting plenty of info on the Facebook post and most of it rings true. We had a weird weekend low flow event on my trip in 2017 when we hit Horn...and it was a scary but a ton of fun. I did a center to right run and hit the big hole at the bottom right. I hear it gets more beefy the lower it gets...so just keep an eye out. I get the feeling that small differences in flow make a much bigger difference at low flows, so definitely scout.

Otherwise, I think it probably just gets more technical and rock dodgy, but its still flows that would be flood stage on some rivers...so I doubt it will be uber technical. Flatwater/riffles become waves and holes, Waves become ledge holes, ledge holes become rocks...you get the gist of it.

I think the combo of the high flows for a few days and low flows for the rest sounds like a hoot. Have an awesome trip and take pics and video.
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Old 10-13-2018   #3
St. George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 236
I have run it several times on those flows. They did some steady 8000 cfs flows years ago. My experience was you move about as fast as normal flows because there is less eddy action to slow you down. Not much in the way of rocks at any flow in GC. Plan on getting to Horn in the afternoon to get the highest water. I have run between the horns several times at 7-8000 or the right to left run is what some prefer, either one works. Right at Lava will be most likely and you can go left at Crystal pretty easily.
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Old 10-13-2018   #4
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 617
I ran it in 2000 with a steady 7000 cfs flow, not a lot of rocks to deal with that weren't there at higher levels, however Hance and Horn were the 2 that got me. Hance is a huge rock garden, we ran it on the right and made it, but the scout was next to worthless due to all the submerged rocks, it was a read and run rapid from the instant we dropped in. Horn, what a PITA, but we all just gutted it right down the middle, I got washed out of my dory at the bottom, but had I been in a raft likely this wouldn't have happened. Lava, run on the right, not a lot to get you other than 2 compression waves coming off the wall about 1/2 way down, just hit them straight and get doused.
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Old 10-15-2018   #5
Aspen, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
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