Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

A few friends and I are running the SF Salmon this weekend at 1.6. I am the only one who has run it before, and I ran it at 3 ft in my kayak.

I have 2 friends that want to R2 a 10 ft raft through it (including the 22 miles on the Main...).

Obviously, since they will carry the beer, I'm rooting for them. But I have a feeling that this is a bad, bad idea.

They are good boaters, and low-water boaters at that. They are Middle Fork guides who got loaded 14 footers down the Middle Fork at 1.43.

But still, how bad of an idea is this?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
I don't think it the worst idea ever. Elk, gray hound, and fall creek might be tight but all easily scouted and ported if need be. Other than that you should style it! It aint going to be the MFS at 1.43. Its going to be way more action. Plan for 11 hours of light and some bumper boating.. All in all its usually way colder this time of year so go get some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
I don't think it the worst idea ever. Elk, gray hound, and fall creek might be tight but all easily scouted and ported if need be. Other than that you should style it! It aint going to be the MFS at 1.43. Its going to be way more action. Plan for 11 hours of light and some bumper boating.. All in all its usually way colder this time of year so go get some.
Interesting DBK when you kinda busted my balls for saying 2.0 to 2.1 was too low to reasonably suggest for a cat run, based on my own experience at that level. 😀

That being said, depends on how tough they are and their pain factor. Beautiful time to be in the backcountry right now, no matter the cost of passage.

Boicatr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Here's a report for 1.8 feet
riverlog: South Fork Salmon

We ran it this summer between 2.05 and 2.15 feet when some rain bumped it up. Everything was very fun. Although it was certainly low, it wasn't too low. The exception was that the Elk Creek rapid sneak was barely runnable due to the rocks at the bottom. I'd say go for it! It's still going to be very fun. Just don't take any rafts. The rafters went through hell, even at our relatively higher flows.

I didn't see that they want to take rafts. That's a big HELL NO!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Never done it that low...

But personally, when I'm planning an overnight hiking trip I usually don't plan on carrying a raft. You see, it's really not fun to carry a raft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Interesting DBK when you kinda busted my balls for saying 2.0 to 2.1 was too low to reasonably suggest for a cat run, based on my own experience at that level. ��

That being said, depends on how tough they are and their pain factor. Beautiful time to be in the backcountry right now, no matter the cost of passage.

Boicatr

Yes Boicatr I did bust your balls. But since then I made 2 1.9s and a 1.7 and I paid attention to how wide the channels really are. Also how much slower the water is at 2 compared to 3. Your view of the river was on my mind durring those floats and I must say in a public forum.

"Boicatr you were closer to right than I was and I have adjusted my lower limit by atleast 500 cfs."

;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Haha no need for bold text.

A year like this lets us push our knowledge. Did not do the MF late at 1.4 but my buddies did and said it was actually "not that bad". Like I said, depends on how bad u want to be there.

Take care
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,900 Posts
Matty - how much can it really hurt? Pain is temporary. Glory lasts forever. According to the NOAA 10 day you might be getting some precip but not terribly cold. I have never made it on this run so I am only offering general encouragement.

Think whiskey instead of beer. It's lighter per buzz.

Just got off the MF at 1.45 in my 17 footer. No problem. Almost 500 cfs. I really only got stuck a handful of times. Out of the boat three times maybe. Most wouldn't believe that could be possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Matty - how much can it really hurt? Pain is temporary. Glory lasts forever. According to the NOAA 10 day you might be getting some precip but not terribly cold. I have never made it on this run so I am only offering general encouragement.

Think whiskey instead of beer. It's lighter per buzz.

Just got off the MF at 1.45 in my 17 footer. No problem. Almost 500 cfs. I really only got stuck a handful of times. Out of the boat three times maybe. Most wouldn't believe that could be possible.
Taking sweeps down at 1.43 this summer definitely redefined my conception of what's possible in low-water!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
TRIP REPORT:

Well, we made it! We brought 2 fully loaded kayaks and a 10 ft raft down the South Salmon at 1.6 ft.

The trip was defined by lots of rocks, a couple of bad sticks for the raft, a cracked Jackson karma, and a lot of bewildered looks from hunters in the area wondering what the hell we were doing out there.

There were no portages (except for my buddy who portaged the entire Main due to his cracked boat).

Devil's was insanely fun. With all the huge boulders, everytime you made a move, it felt like you were going into a different room of a huge house. That one was very clean.

Surprise gave the rafters a tough time. They missed one crucial move and had to take a micro-channel to the right, picking up the raft over a few dry boulders.

Elk was interesting. The 2 kayaks took the left line, but the rafters decided to take the center line, bony as it was. It mostly worked out, with the exception of a funny stick near the bottom.

Greyhound was awesome. Took the left line in a kayak, and so did the rafters. They styled it, much cleaner than both the kayaks.


Plot twist: About 3 miles above Fall Creek, my buddy Chris suddenly proclaims that he has "a metric fuck-ton" of water in his boat. Eddies out to find a 13-inch crack in his hull. We try to make a quick fix with some gorilla tape, which still leaks about a gallon of water per minute into his boat. This translates to him draining his boat every half mile or so.

After the 4th time draining his boat, we decide to put him and his boat on the 10 ft raft until fall creek. Our plan was to make it through Fall Creek that day, but as we arrived at Fall 1 with only about 45 minutes of light left, we decided to camp at the beach right above Fall 1.

Tried to repair the crack that night with a spoon, a jetboil, and some spare boat plastic, which made it semi-dry.

Woke up in the rain and ran Fall Creek with big smiles. Fall 3 at low water presents a really fun move where you need to move hard left right after the entry move and go around those boulders that usually create a nasty hole in the middle of the rapid.

Made it to the Main and Chris's dry top once again was making him look like Pop-eye the Sailor man due to the pressure from so much water leaking into his boat. At the confluence, he puts his boat on the raft again and they R3 this heavy, tiny boat out of the Main.

Got to Vinegar and what do you know, our car isn't there. Shuttle dude fucked up, so we float down to Carey.

Phew, car is at Carey. Drink beers, eat burgers, go home. Success!

Attached some pictures, don't know if they worked or not.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Glad you made it ok. I had a feeling that surprise and elk creek might give you trouble. The slot at Surprise was a somewhat-tight move at 2.15 feet, let alone 1.6. Devil's Creek is a fun and somewhat gripping rapid... probably my favorite along with Surprise. You might have the distinction of doing the lowest decent in a raft. Congrats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Awesome work! Great to see some ELF action doesn't stop folks!! Done in style!

I've heard that sticky tar roofing tape is a good field repair for these situations....

good on y'all!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top