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It is nice to know that crazy's are still out there who like portaging rafts , snow camping sucks, trying to find dry wood sucks, having sissy yakers climb up on my boat because their hands and ass are cold really sucks, just dead weight and they never contribute whiskey, beer or squat...dead weight, all of them.
Harsh but true.

However, I read a book last year about a dude named Mike Horn. "Conquering the Impossible" In August 2002, Mike Horn set out on a mission that bordered on the impossible: to travel 12,000 miles around the globe at the Arctic Circle - alone, against all prevailing winds and currents, and ... And I might add mostly self propelled, through two Arctic winters and essentially non-stop.

There really are tough people out there that relish suffering. Salute to you squeaks2.
 

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Anybody get this today?
Gage height of 9.13 ft exceeds subscriber threshold of 4.5 at 2021-01-26 10:30:00 MST
13309220 00065 MF SALMON RIVER AT MF LODGE NR YELLOW PINE ID
Notification interval, no more often than: Daily
 

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Anybody get this today?
Gage height of 9.13 ft exceeds subscriber threshold of 4.5 at 2021-01-26 10:30:00 MST
13309220 00065 MF SALMON RIVER AT MF LODGE NR YELLOW PINE ID
Notification interval, no more often than: Daily
Well, that flow should blow out some of the slides and logs. Usually such flows result from rain on snowpack. That might cut down on snow base hence avalanche dam potential making an April run "easier(?)". Just wondering.

I just looked at the weather and flow conditions for the gage at MF Lodge. No reason for this instantaneous flow of 9.13'. I think the gage is out of wack.
 

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Well, that flow should blow out some of the slides and logs. Usually such flows result from rain on snowpack. That might cut down on snow base hence avalanche dam potential making an April run "easier(?)". Just wondering.

I just looked at the weather and flow conditions for the gage at MF Lodge. No reason for this instantaneous flow of 9.13'. I think the gage is out of wack.
Ice, more than likely. No recent snows or geological activity that may have dammed the river. My guess is ice tipped the gauge over and gives us the resultant reading.
 

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Ice, more than likely. No recent snows or geological activity that may have dammed the river. My guess is ice tipped the gauge over and gives us the resultant reading.
Another alternative would be an ice dam downstream of the gage.

One rock, two geologists, three theories.....
 

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62210


This is from May 15th on Marsh Creek. There were many, many of these on the way down. By May, they had all melted out, but had we been there a few weeks earlier, I bet there would have been a lot of portaging. The rapids on Marsh Creek aren't that hard, but it's the unexpected wood that would scare the crap out of me. The writeup on American Whitewater kind of sandbags the difficulty.
 

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Another alternative would be an ice dam downstream of the gage.

One rock, two geologists, three theories.....
Theory four! How about an upstream ice dam blowout. Consider Ancient Glacial Lake Missoula! Well may not be much concern of that. But consider the volume of water contained by a dam the height of a dam shown in cuzin's photo above. Or a larger avalanche dam blowing out? Mostly just funning. Hummmn, maybe shouldn't be sleeping on the river bank or river ice during avalanche dam season.
 

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Let me add to that ice dam blowout idea and relate it to tsunami processes. Such as, if suddenly the ocean recedes and fish are flopping about or the river dries up for hours or a day:unsure:, it is not an invitations to pitch a tent, RUN! Or, jump in your boat and prepare for the ride of you life!:p
 

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Or, jump in your boat and prepare for the ride of you life!:p
Or the ride to your death. I went down the Grand with an Idaho catarafter that later died on the Middle Fork after struggling down Marsh Creek through all the wood.
 

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I’ll disagree with your much earlier comment. Portaging Dagger (even though light years easier than that avalanche pile) is no cakewalk. Esp by ONE person with a cat, frame, and gear. Fortunately at that time of year you prob don’t need a cooler 😀. Have you even seen it? Gonna be lots of trips.....
 

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Discussion Starter #34
At this point, we’re up to a party of two, with two more probables, so the bodies are there to help. A portage is the last resort. I intend to run it, as the rest of the party does. I have not walked the portage. It looks like it’s about 1000’, by a wide track, from what Google Earth has to show me. It would have to be a really dangerous rapid before I’d do that amount of work to pass it by. Like if it were blocked off with strainers.
From what I can see, there’s a pretty nice line through it.
But to your point, I think I could move my boat and gear in about 4 or 5 trips. I’ve given some thought to it.
 

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This is roughly what I’m expecting for conditions. The whole point of the early start is to get low flow.
We launched Marsh Creek in early May (10th or 12th) one year with flow on the Middle Fork at about 3.2 feet or around 1,500 cfs at the gauge near the Middle Fork Lodge. Which has definitely not seen 9 feet of flow this winter. There is not enough unfrozen water in the entire drainage to make a 9 foot surge this time of year. A kayaker on the trip sent me a picture at one point looking downstream at several boats. Then he asks if I know what was unique about the photo. I couldn't see it. He then says 'every single boat (some cats) in the picture is stuck.' I, of course, was stuck as well. I probably have close to forty low water trips on the Middle Fork. By this I mean under 1,000 cfs or 2 feet on the gauge, with 15 or so of those being under 700 cfs (1.65 feet) but I still had my ass kicked by Marsh Creek at 3.2.

Now I am not a safety nazi or even close. At low water I rarely wear a PFD ( and I don't need to hear anyone's shit on this...I don't care what you think), I don't wear a helmet as a rule unless paddle boating and I advocate for adventuring all the time. If you have not seen this stretch of water I am advising you not to go. There are multiple spots with braided channels, there are also several significant avalanche slide paths that consistently make it to the river. I have floated past 20 foot tall slide debris paths with 80 foot trees sticking out like a mutant pincushion.

We have had some big avalanches up here this year too. Weak faceted snow layers from early are continuing to release very large slides all over central Idaho. I would be more surprised if you didn't have some snow tunnels to deal with than if you did.

But hey I have only done Marsh about 8 times at flows from 3.2 to 7 feet....and I think this is a bad idea. But I have also had the USFS pull up and ask us to help look for the body of someone who flipped on a log jam so I am a little less nonchalant about the dangers than someone who has never seen it. Put a little somber side on our kayaking that day.

Also your video of 'what you expect' - the flow is about 7 feet which I think is about the easiest level for Dagger. Lots more steepness to the drops at lower flows and lots more sharp rocks. So I would expect something much different looking than that.

Here is another cautionary tale of Marsh Creek. These guys had multiple Marsh Creek trips and were trying to follow good safety protocols. Marsh Creek don't care. I met them at Boundary Creek. Their trip was over. Five shredded boats and one broken ankle I believe out of their trip.

Then there is this (pic below): Below the main drop at Dagger and very hard to see from above or below at river level. We had to climb out on a cliff and look almost straight down to see it. Photo taken May 17th last year the day after the road was opened.
62987


The picture below also shows the log in the right line (that showed in the earlier picture from August in this thread) so it is very doubtful that the x logs above were blown out by higher water. But maybe you can limbo under them. Someone said a couple of kayakers had run it and flipped over to miss the logs then rolled up, but not sure what kind of clearance your cat has. Also note logs in both of the main drops. One barely visible in the top one and one submerged in the bottom drop. So Dagger Falls may not care at all that you aren't planning to portage. Steep ( and likely snow covered) hill to climb up to start the portage and steeper hill to slide, stumble, roll down on the other side...if it's not snow covered...then it will only be slide unless you fix ropes.

62988


Found the pic of all the stuck boats. Not great quality but still....

62989
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Thanks for taking the time to give me advice...it’s appreciated, and well taken. We’re not going to go in there all “damn the torpedoes”, and full speed ahead. We’re going to fly the river first, and take a close look. The Main will be a possible fallback plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I should point out that the reason I wanted to go so early is to avoid getting my ass handed to me on Marsh (and lower). The plan is to take a 13’ cat, and go backpacker light. My personal cutoff for doing Marsh is probably around 2.0’ on the MFS gauge. Once things go up and the logs start moving I want no part of it. Really low water I’m ok with. Hauling the boat over avi debris piles would suck, but is bearable for making the trip happen.
Has anyone done Marsh at say, 1.5’ to 2.0’?? I’d like to hear their opinions. Thanks!
 
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