Main Salmon Whiplash? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-23-2017   #1
 
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Main Salmon Whiplash?

Hi,

Does anyone here have pics or video of Whiplash Rapid at high water, like when it gets real ugly?

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Old 05-23-2017   #2
 
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
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Nope...too busy swimming at 40K +

It bucked me outta the boat after the 2nd big wave....i swam so hard to the right (away from the wall) i could have given Phelps a run for his money. I have never been so scared as when i came up for air and realized i had to get away from that maelstrom. i was tired for 30 minutes after.
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Old 05-23-2017   #3
 
Avon, Colorado
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actually i wrote about Chittam, with the wall left and whirlpool. I dont even remember Whiplash at high flow. Just Elkhorn and Chittam.
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Old 05-23-2017   #4
 
GJ, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmartin1215 View Post
Hi,

Does anyone here have pics or video of Whiplash Rapid at high water, like when it gets real ugly?

It's not that difficult. Stay in the current. Make a tiny move left at just the right moment*. Too far right is bad news. Too far left is a lot of work to get out of that massive eddy.

*That moment is easily recognized from the left side scout.
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Old 05-23-2017   #5
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENDOMADNESS View Post
actually i wrote about Chittam, with the wall left and whirlpool. I dont even remember Whiplash at high flow. Just Elkhorn and Chittam.
Was wondering about this since the wall at Whiplash is on the right.

But OTOH, I really don't remember the wall at Chittam so my memory may be of ltd value.
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Old 05-24-2017   #6
 
boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
It's not that difficult. Stay in the current. Make a tiny move left at just the right moment*. Too far right is bad news. Too far left is a lot of work to get out of that massive eddy.

*That moment is easily recognized from the left side scout.


What Mikesee said. Have done it at just under 100,000 at Whitebird and there is a line off the left bank. Follow it you will be fine. Go to far right BIG hole. To far left BIG eddy fence.
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Old 05-27-2017   #7
JBL
 
Gnarnia, Colorado
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I ran the Main in the mid-2000s, and it was running 97,000 at Whitebird when we launched. I think it was about 11' on the ramp gauge. The river was huge. Lots of wood (think full size trees) to dodge. I had a GPS and we were covering ~25 miles in 2 hrs each day. At one point along the trip my GPS said our raft hit 22MPH.

Whiplash was by far the rapid most of our crew was scared of before launching. When we got there we stopped 1/2 mile or so above the rapid and scouted from river right. We had three 18' oar rigs and three 17' dories. The far left line looked ok-ish but we watched our safety kayakers get hammered over there (they were in creek boats) and thus opted to run right of center, which was scary as hell. The holes were big but the whirlpools, eddy lines, and boils were worse. All boats made it through upright. Only one dory had any issues and nearly flipped but made in through without flipping.

The rapids I really remember at that level were Killum, Big Mallard, Elkhorn, and Chittham. They were big, pushy, and hard see what was coming.

Have fun and try to enjoy yourself.
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Old 06-06-2017   #8
 
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

Does anyone have videos or pictures of Whiplash when it is big?
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Old 06-08-2017   #9
 
Bountiful, Utah
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Sorry, no pics. I ran Whiplash at high water (at least for me) in 2011. We had launched a couple of days before with the water level around 8' on the gauge at Corn Creek. I haven't done a ton of rafting, but have rowed the entire Grand Canyon, Middle Fork 3x, Main Salmon 4 x, Westwater, Yampa, etc. In all of that by far the most terrifying rapid I saw was Whiplash on our high water trip. At least in Lava Falls in the Grand, if you swim you know you are going to end up in flat water eventually. At whiplash there is a risk of being recirculated in that terrible eddy and being ground against the cliff face. Plus someone in our group had flipped at Elkhorn, just above, and we had just completed a rescure. We scouted it for a long time, from both sides of the river. At our levels it turned out there was a sneak, very far left, and running it was no big deal. But I was very glad when we made it through.
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