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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several of us, who paddle upper and lower Woody Creek below Aspen, have been perplexed by the grossly inaccurate flow readings posted for these runs. After searching the location used for these flows, I discovered that the gauge used for these readings is located upstream of a Hunter Creek, which is upstream of Aspen.

This is a serious problem because newbies or others unfamiliar to the area may think that the Roaring Fork is only running 400 CFS, when in reality it is running four times that level. The Slaughterhouse reading will be closer to the actual reading because it's gauge is apparently below Maroon Creek. But even the Slaughterhouse reading may be lower than the actual Woody Creek flows because Owl, Brush, Woody, and Snowmass Creeks enter the RF below the Slaughterhouse gauge.

This is a potentially serious safety issue that should be addressed by the appropriate authorities in my opinion.

Steve H
 

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The gauges were not put in for recreationalists. They are just a tool we use for reference. Mountainbuzz is another resource we use and the usefulness of the gauges for the Woody Creek runs has been discussed before. When it is running high many factors need to be considered before anyone safely runs these sections especially because you are limited to smaller crafts due to low bridge clearances and very small eddys. Ultimately each person needs to consider all the risks and shouldn't rely solely on a misinterpretation of a gauge.

That said, I had a blast paddling it at 2200 cfs on Friday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How did you know that the Woody Creek section was running 2200 CFS on Friday, when the Mountainbuzz info describes 700 CFS? That is my point. Your disclaimer that we all need to make a sound judgement based on conditions as we see them is a given. But how can anyone make any preliminary plans whether to paddle that stretch of river based on such false information? Shouldn't the Mountainbuzz info at least use the gauge below Maroon Creek? It would be lot closer to the truth than the current reporting.

I bring this up because i know of at least one paddler who was not from this valley and showed up with a play boat expecting something like 700 CFS, finding 2200 CFS and having to bail out after traveling almost 100 miles to make the run. We should be able to do better than this.
 

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How did you know that the Woody Creek section was running 2200 CFS on Friday, when the Mountainbuzz info describes 700 CFS? That is my point. Your disclaimer that we all need to make a sound judgement based on conditions as we see them is a given. But how can anyone make any preliminary plans whether to paddle that stretch of river based on such false information? Shouldn't the Mountainbuzz info at least use the gauge below Maroon Creek? It would be lot closer to the truth than the current reporting.

I bring this up because i know of at least one paddler who was not from this valley and showed up with a play boat expecting something like 700 CFS, finding 2200 CFS and having to bail out after traveling almost 100 miles to make the run. We should be able to do better than this.
As adults, it is up to us to do our due diligence and make a decision based on that. Expecting others, or websites, to present all info in a pre-packaged manner is irresponsible at best, self-centered and shortsighted at worst.
 

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I get my flow data from Riverbrain.com. It allows you to edit run descriptions to input accurate information but realize it is all user entered. I see you are looking at American Whitewater from the Mountainbuzz link to flows. They are currently updating their site and I'm sure they would love your input and support!
 

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Looking up flow data IS due dilligence....

The guy is helping ensure that folks who actually take the time to look into things are provided with accurate information. What could your point possibly be in endorsing inaccurate date and then slamming those who did the right thing in looking before they commit to the trip???

Sent from my SM-N900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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The flow page should be fixed so that the most relevant gauge is displayed for the run. Afterall, "Mississippi River at New Orleans" is hardly a good indicator of whether Bailey is running, even if they are in the same drainage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Inaccurate Flow Data Woody Creek

After reviewing the replies and talking to fellow paddlers, it appears that the most accurate estimate of flows for Upper and Lower Woody Creek would be to use the gauge on the Roaring Fork near Emma. The readings are on the USGS web site, but not in the flow data on Mountainbuzz. Whoever is responsible for maintaining the flow information on Mountainbuzz should make this change, IMHO.
 

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I have found after years of research that the most accurate flows are on the USGS site, which is just below the Aw site. Unfortunately, one must know which guage goes with which section of river, so you must do some studying on that end. It is really best to keep your own journal on put-ins and take-outs, flows the day of run, type of run, etc. I have kept a simple journal since I started Inflatable kayaking, logging over 1ooo river miles, and 20 different runs. It really helps with safe and sane river levels for each run.
 

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There are a currently number of errors on the AW site for rivers in Colorado, which is presumably the 'Mountainbuzz' flows referred to. My impression (... not based on any real knowledge ...) is that many current issues were introduced with relatively recent revisions/updating to the underlying web site code. As you note errors, it would be very helpful to report these to the webmaster, clearly describing what's wrong and what's needed to fix it. I understand AW is working hard to fix things that were broken (some in rather perplexing ways), improve info, and generally keep the site functioning.

AW is relatively small organization that relies on our input. There really isn't a "they" that is responsible - it's our resource and the quality and currency of information will reflect what we do or don't contribute to it.

To add to the confusion, in some cases the older Colorado guide (CRC) and the new one (WWSR) refer to different gauges for the same run. An example is Gilman gorge, where one guide references the gauge at the top (noting that you need to add in Homestake Cr) and the other a lower gauge. So as noted above, at least in Colorado, web site users still need to carefully read the guides and flow details to be sure what they're getting.

As an aside, I think AW has done a very impressive job with their web site. It seems like it's increasingly difficult to track and comply with evolving web standards, maintain info and links to outside data sources, and deal with the plethora of security issues. They deserve our support.
 
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