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Kara,
Thanks for all your information on water flows this year. Any idea if the Big T will run through the weekend at its current level?

Thanks,
Arn
 

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Hi Arn and everybody,

Yup. They'll be making a change on Olympus Dam's gate after lunch today, so the upper section of the canyon should be running at 368 cfs by late this afternoon (perfect for that after-work run, I'd imagine).

We've got a good situation for kayaking on the Big T right now. Because we are doing some maintenance on the Charles Hansen canal, all water deliveries are being made through the Big T river. The maintenance will probably last another week. Agricultural demands for the last crop rotation will probably stay on through the majority of October. If the weather stays warm, these higher flows just might continue in the Big T. But, those are the three main factors: canal maintenance, agricultural demands, and weather.

So, keep your eyes on the gage, and feel free to give me a holler if you have any questions.

Best,
Kara
 

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Thanks for the info Kara, paddling the Big T has been a great september suprise! I feel especially lucky that I got on it at 500cfs! I'll be there this evening if anyone else want to show up, run from the hair down to drake..

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Kara,
I don't even know you and I feel like I love you. You are the best. Muchos Gracias por la bonita beta.
Check out the Big Thompson fall action @ http://coloradokayaking.com/main.php?pageid=Stories&storyid=BigTfall415446c8de2ca
"Got to get her while you can." Big T is still flowing strong and rising. This is unprecedented. If you're not feeling up to the gnar, run the sections below it. Big T does not, I repeat, does not run this long very often. It's a beautiful day, get out there and get her done. And don't forget to send in your stories and river reports. Peace.
Evan J. Stafford
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tears of joy

I am so happy I may just pee myself!!!
Possibly (knock on wood) another week? This is to good to be true!

Thanks to the water gods
patrick
 

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Patrick,

If you pee off the bridge over the Big T behind the shop, then race downstream, maybe you'll gain another 1/2 cfs!

Cheers,

Doug
 

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Are there any III-IV sections of the Big T, even any short sections of harder runs if you're willing to portage a few rapids that someone can recommend? Everything i've read about in CRC is IV+.

Jonesin for water,
Andrew
 

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Anybody going to be up there tomorrow AM? Dumb question I know but Three of us would like to get out w/ someone who knows the IV section. I am not worried about a IV at all but I think there are some portages we need to know about.

Call on my cell as I will not have e-maile access in a few.

JP
720-273-8636
 

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Thanks to all for beta on the bigT runs.

Andrew, you can see last weeks bigT thread for more thorough descriptions.
But this is what I've understood from everybody's inputs.

mix of II to IV from estes down to the handicapped fishing spot
(weren't some guys talking about running this? if so was it worthwile?)
knarly Vs as pictured on coloradokayaking.com (sweet photo essay!)
mostly III, occasional IV-, and two easily scouted/portaged IV+ between the hair and drake
(one of the IV+ is easily seen from the road, thanks for the details badkins)
III-IVish ? from the 1st damn below drake to smith viestenz park
2 "sporty" rapids shortly after the park in a fun canyon away from the road
longer II section from the non roadside canyon to the next damn
(don't worry, great eddy on left just above the damn)
continuous III from the damn to the mouth of the canyon
(look out for left overhanging rock with tons o water going under it by hwy bridge)

All I've done so far is beat up some newish class III friends on 2 runs from
the park to the canyon mouth. See my trip planner post if you want to do III, IV on sunday. I'll likely portage the two IV+ drops depending on how they look.
-Mike
 

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Hi Kara,

As always, thanks for the great information. The Big T's been a lot of fun and it has been great to get out and paddle so close to home this late in the year. I was wondering though, with the recent moisture and levels dropping off this morning, do you know what we might expect for flows on the Big Thompson canyon over the coming days/weeks?

Also, what do you know about flows for Gore Canyon (Colorado at Kremmling, or outflow from Green Mtn reservoir)?

And, Bailey (north fork of the South Platte River, or Chatfield Reservoir outflow)?

Many many thanks,
Brian




klamb said:
Hi Arn and everybody,

Yup. They'll be making a change on Olympus Dam's gate after lunch today, so the upper section of the canyon should be running at 368 cfs by late this afternoon (perfect for that after-work run, I'd imagine).

We've got a good situation for kayaking on the Big T right now. Because we are doing some maintenance on the Charles Hansen canal, all water deliveries are being made through the Big T river. The maintenance will probably last another week. Agricultural demands for the last crop rotation will probably stay on through the majority of October. If the weather stays warm, these higher flows just might continue in the Big T. But, those are the three main factors: canal maintenance, agricultural demands, and weather.

So, keep your eyes on the gage, and feel free to give me a holler if you have any questions.

Best,
Kara
 

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Kara doesn't deal with Bailey. As she mentioned, for Bailey we need to contact the Denver Water board.

Would be nice to know predicted flows from the Denver Water board!
 

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Hi all,

I hope those of you who were going up to Big T yesterday still found it runnable. We started scaling back Tuesday night and I believe as of yesterday, flows were back down to 240 cfs.

I've been asked several times to predict what is going to happen next on Big T. Apparently, this is a hard prediction to nail down. The recent rain is playing havoc with the maintenance work. It is also changing municipal demands on the river almost hourly. So, our partners and water contractors are discussing how to handle the water delivery situation. When they come up with a solution, they will meet with us and we will make the final decision on how to adjust releases from Olympus Dam to the river.

But, that decision might not come about until late this afternoon. So, if you're planning on hitting Big T in the next 24 hours, keep a close eye on the gage. There is a possibility it could drop considerably in the next 24 hours. Or, it might not. I wish I had better data for you guys. Hopefully, tomorrow morning, I'll be able to shed more light on the cfs issue.

As for Bailey and Gore--cstork was right. I am not involved with releases on the S. Platte and don't know much about Bailey. Denver Water is your best bet. Give me a call and I'll see if I can't dig up a contact name for you over there. I have a guy in mind...

For Gore, as you all are probably aware, quite a few reservoirs contribute to the Colorado River flow through Gore. Green Mountain is just one of a handful. I try and keep current Green Mountain posts on this site. I'll run through my brief knowledge here really quickly, but this gets long, so consider yourself forewarned:

Upstream of Gore sources: We also own Granby and Willow Creek up by Grand Lake--but the drought has kept them pretty low the last few years, so there hasn't been much to report there. Even though we own them, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District operates them for us. When and if the drought lets up here, I can look into their release schedules for posting to this site.

Northern owns Windy Gap up by Granby and they are the sole operator.

Closer to Gore are Williams Fork and Wolford. These reservoirs were the results of west slope and east slope water wrangling and compromising. I believe Williams Fork was part of the compensation for Windy Gap and maybe also for some of Denver's development. So, I think three entities: Northern, Denver and the Colorado River Water Conservation District, contribute to the operations and releases of that reservoir.

Wolford is the result of compromising between Denver Water and the River District. I think--but I'm not sure and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong on this stuff--but I think the River District owns the majority of the water there. I think the two agencies work in tandem for those releases, though. Of all these upstream reservoirs, Wolford is closest to Gore, just north of Kremmling.

Gore flows are also partially dependent on if, and how much, Kremmling ranchers are checking and pumping their section of the river. There is also an old irrigation ditch there that runs, the "Big K", I think. So, a lot of water management happens in the stretch just before Gore Canyon.

The Muddy flows into the Colorado before the Blue, but I don't think it adds much. But, to keep tabs on all of this, the best contact would probably be someone from the State Engineer's Office. I'm not sure who the proper contact would be. But for Northern and the Colorado River District, I have names and numbers. :) Just let me know who you want to call. :wink:

Hope that beta is helpful and not too boring. Sorry to ramble on and on!
Best,
Kara
 
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