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Howdy. We are launching on Nov 3. There will be a High Flow release beginning on Nov 10 and lasting for 4 days. It will begin to hit us around the time we reach Phantom. This means we will be lining up for some of the biggest holes on the river at the peak of the flow. Horn, Hermit, Granite, Crystal at 37,500 CFS! Either really terrifying or crazy fun - probably a little of both. Has anyone seen these rapids at this level? Would be grateful for any beta on what to expect.

Cheers...
 

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I'm jealous! I hope you are taking big boats - the only rowing I've done at those flows was on the Nenana in Alaska and I wanted every foot of our 18' boats. Sadly both of my grand trips have been at 6,000-12,000 cfs so I have no specific beta to offer. If you want high water specific rowing advice I have that to offer.
 

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you're gonna have fun. my first trip in 99 was at about 33K after the little colorado. i don't remember a whole lot (too much beer on that trip) but the pieces that made an impression were the enormous first two waves on sockdolager. i think lots of things get easier at higher levels, horn for instance and we were able to run left on hance, which may not be an option after the flood down red canyon. hermit was a roller coaster blast. granite had huge waves but it was just straight down the right side. that was the only trip i've been able to do the left run at lava which i think was easier than usual also. i do remember being pretty puckered up about making the cut right of bedrock but it worked out.

since that was my fist trip, my memories are probably skewed and inaccurate but that's what i recall. the next trip i was shocked that the waves at sockdolager weren't terrifying.
 

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Awesome opportunity

Dawdle a bit the first severl days and let the high flow catch up to you before hance. Maybe camp at 75-mile on the 4th (?) and then DO THE GORGE IN A DAY! Hance to Crystal in a day is totally fun at 30K+ Watch out for Waltenburg above 30K
 

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I ran it the first time they ramped it up to 45k. Big water but hugely fun with many of the rapids getting washed out - Horn being one. I agree with AZJefe and dawdle as much as possible and let it catch up to you above the gorge. The eddys and eddy lines can be crazy, but that was mostly in the 20's.
 

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i do remember being pretty puckered up about making the cut right of bedrock but it worked out.
As a non-boatman on a 25K Grand trip, I recall the consensus being that making the cut at Bedrock was easier than usual, the high flows allowing entering much farther to the right.
 

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Hearing that you can enter bedrock earlier on to make aright run would have been good for me since the last time I did it I didn't make the cut and wound up on the left side. All was good but I would imagine I would not have fared so well if I took that line at 35k.


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Sounds like a great opportunity for a multi-day layover!
 

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If you're at Crystal with the high flow I'd go left at the rock garden. I can't say what the left side of the upper part will be like.

And, don't forget to be careful at the jewels, esp. Sapphire and Serpentine.
 

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Yep. Ran it at about that level. Granite and Hermit were super cool wave trains. Crystal is fuzzy in memory. Think we ran it right. Pay attention to how you tie up and your camp. We were at Cremation and had to retie and move as the water came up. I was in my 14' Hyside. Kind of weird watching your tube get sucked under water in eddy boils.
 

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Jealous! Have a blast and give us a TR.

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No beta really, I did it at 24K to 27K flow range. Left at Lava and it was still pretty big. Horn was huge and I nearly flipped after getting surfed??? on one of the entry laterals.

Granite looked terrifying but wasn't bad and Hermit was so much fun. A couple of those waves I started to lose steam and wondered......am I going to make it over?

Jealous. What a great time to be out there.
 

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Kind of weird watching your tube get sucked under water in eddy boils.
The 25K trip I was on, the closest we came to a flip was when a tube of a 20ft (TWENTY FOOT) raft got sucked under in a boil. Until someone taco'ed their raft in Bickerson's Corner at 205.
 

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If you're at Crystal with the high flow I'd go left at the rock garden. I can't say what the left side of the upper part will be like.
Biggest I've seen was in 2011 at 27K. They kept it high that whole summer trying to fill Mead. Lot of boats got in trouble trying to run Crystal right then left of rock garden. Big mistake. If you start right, stay right. Very hard to make that move in so much water.

Tons of video on youtube from that summer. Search it and watch the videos. Bedrock is easy as you cruise right over the debris fan on the right. Left lava run is great, just be sure to scout from the left and hit your markers. There are many videos of boats going right into the ledge hole that year.

The 20's and gems pretty much washed out. So did the hole in Upset. I prefer lower water as more rapids are fun. You have some great advise here. Wait for it, run the gorge, layover and let it pass.

Have a great trip!
 

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We were at bass when the high flows hit. A lot of camps are under water. The list of good camps was not accurate. Some rapids were easier and some harder. I was in a mini-me with a frame. Lava was the one that worried me. Have fun!
 

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In 2008 we were there for a high flow. We did a double layover at Rattlesnake camp to wait for the the water to catch up to us. We wanted to go through the Inner Gorge and beyond on the high water. We were glad we did! You're gonna love it.

I looked at my notes of that trip. A lot of info already written here is good.

At Hance, we scouted from the right side looking down onto it. We had good runs, and with all that water covering the rocks and we could maneuver fine around the holes.

Sock and Grape were BIG at their tops, be careful there. We did read and run.

I don't have any notes about Phantom to Horn, but be aware of the big eddy swirls.

At Horn, we split the horns and had good runs. We scouted from the right.

Granite and Hermit: I agree with comments from others. Big, fun waves.

At Crystal, we scouted from the hill and it gave us a look at the whole rapid, top to bottom. Bring binoculars for this. We all ran the right side of the top. Nobody wanted to go left. Now I'll disagree with Husker and agree with David L. We all wanted to run left of the rock garden and made it there without any problem after first running down Crystal's right side.

As for the rapids after Crystal. whether you call them the Gems or the Jewels, they are definitely NOT washed out, not all of them. There were some crazy waves at Nixon rock, and a couple of rapids further down were wild. I don't remember which ones, but I'm always careful to know when I'm at Sapphire, so maybe that was one of them. We didn't scout any of them.

If it helps any. we had 14 and 16 foot boats. All did fine. We did read and run for a lot of the rapids. Make sure every rower can read and run, and react quickly to what he sees! Whichever rapids you scout definitely talk about what you see.

Call Katrina at BuRec (801-524-3635) to get details of the flow ramp up and down, and try to know if it will catch you at night. If so, be careful with your boat parking with such a big flow change. The high flow might be a constant flow with no day/night fluctuation.

Have a great time!
 

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Thanks for all that info! I'll be putting on with a group the 30th for 21 days so looks we'll be in there with you. I rowed the canyon Aug of 2012 between 9 and 19k i"m pretty excited to see a little different water, high and lo, this time down. Have a blast!
 

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