Soap Creek Rapid - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-27-2015   #1
colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 45
Soap Creek Rapid

I heard that Soap Creek flashed and changed the rapid in the Grand Canyon. Anyone been down and could provide info on the change? Thx

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Old 08-27-2015   #2
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 495
Nobody is answering because there was another thread on this subject a few days ago. Use the search tool, and I think you'll get your answer.
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Old 09-08-2015   #3
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 163
Tom Martin of RRFW provides this description of the changes in Soap Creek rapid:

Recent monsoon rainstorms have produced flooding in many of the side canyon tributaries to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. This includes Soap Creek, where on August 9, 2015, 1.5 inches of rain fell in twenty minutes, causing a temporary closure of Highway 89A and a change in Soap Creek Rapid. The rapid is located 11.4 miles downstream from Lee’s Ferry, the put-in for river trips on the Colorado River heading through the Grand Canyon.

Prior to the August flooding, the rapid was run right down the middle into a few large waves. Since August 9, there are a series of holes in the center and left side of the rapid, especially sharp at lower water levels. These holes can easily be passed in a channel toward the right side of the rapid. The new holes are not show stoppers, like the Ledge Hole at Lava Falls or the hole at 209. On the contrary, the new holes in Soap Creek are more akin to the holes in the center of Unkar Rapid. The new holes in Soap Creek may be run with momentum in an 18 foot fully loaded raft without serious incident so long at the raft is not floating sideways. Smaller craft may find these holes more challenging.

In the 1-10 desert rivers rapid classification scale, Soap Creek was rated a 5. It now is rated a 7 at low water. Scouting this rapid on river right or left is possible. Until river runners become familiar with the changes in this rapid, scouting is recommended. The changes in this rapid may evolve, especially after the next High Flow Experiment (HFE), typically conducted in November. As of this release, no schedule for the next HFE has been set.

Videos of the rapid taken September 6, 2015 are on-line for your review at the River Runners For Wilderness VIMEO page here:

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