I have a permit to do Westwater on the 8th of Sept. I have done it in higher flows 15,000 and 8600. What can I expect at flows of 4800 - 4000? I will be rafting, not yaking. Sock it to me was big at 8600. Opinions?
Features start washing out as flows get above 8K, so anything below that and above 3000 is really the optimal flow for Westwater. IMO, 4800 is just about the perfect flow for both rafts and kayaks- low enough to be an excellent play level, but still enough flow to move rafts out on the flats. Have fun- Fall is the best season for that stretch. Sock-it-to-me and Skull are fun but aren't boat-eaters. Lots more river features at 5K =/- 1000cfs.
Sock- watch out for magnetic wall at this level. A few more rocks come out in general along the run. Closer to 3000 you have to deal with Razer Rock on the left line in skull, though it won't consider cutting parts of your raft until below 2800 or so? Rubber Rock will be out on the bottom right side of Funnel.
Typically it gets slower and slightly more technical. Fun stuff.
Is Sock it to me something I should scout? I've always just read and run before. Eddyflower mentions that sock gets the biggest between 4-7K. So how does magnetic wall come into play at lower levels? Seems like at lower levels, you could run sock to the right with little trouble? Thank for the replies.
From the cockpit of my kayak I've seen the cut to the right at Sock It work for rafts at the 4500 through 7000 level. At roughly 4500, I've seen rafts take it up the gut and row away from the magnetic wall. I think it all depends on what you are comfortable with. Boat scout is pretty easy from the eddy on river right above Sock It, however a raft might be set up for a poor angle from that eddy.
In a raft, hit Sock It with lots of momentum straight on for fun and action then head to the right away from the magnetic wall on the left and you should be fine. Lots of momentum all around. It is hard to scout because it does put you in at a bad angle. It is a big lateral wave no rocks. There is a little bit easier way to the right. . . It seems to be hit or miss for me tho. Have a great time!
Agreed- it is difficult to scout Sock in a raft. There are basically three lines to get through the rapid, with a 4th alternate if you take speed into consideration.
1) enter left to right. largest hit in the rapid. go straight into the catchers mit, squaring up straight down the gut.
1a) hit it at normal to quicker speed- most fun, but is also the most likely to send you into the magnetic wall on the left. If you're getting washed towards it you can race it and try to pull the boat to the middle of the river, but if you hit the wall you'll pin since the raft will be dead sideways to it. Or, if you're going towards the wall you can straighten the boat up to address the wall, possibly bouncing off the wall which will either send you into the eddy on the left upstream of the magentic wall, which is called 'the closet. It could also push you off the wall back into the main current.
1b) do the same line, but be pulling up stream to slow the entry into the rapid. When you hit the wave you'll stall out, typically filling the raft with lots of water, then get kicked left into the closet. Since you'll be going so slow, the magnetic wall won't even get near the boat.
2) run from right to left, hitting the meat. slightly smaller hit than option 1, and keeps you more in the main current- do an upstream ferry towards the right and the magnetic wall isn't an issue.
We just ran Westwater on August 25th and it was running at 4300-ish. Sock it to me was running with a NICE sized Catcher's mitt. We ran the raft center right at it and the raft punched right thru no problem. The magnetic wall was pretty easy to avoid with a few strong backstrokes off of it. It shouldn't be too bad in a raft at all, in fact it should be quite fun! We also scouted it from river right about 50yds up stream no problem. Just a quick scramble over some boulders. Have a great time!:-D
I ran it straight up the gut with speed, and had absolutely no trouble pulling away from the magnetic wall. I actually always seem to pull too hard and eddy out on the right. Scouting from the boulders on the right is also easy and you have plenty of time to line up properly. I think its a much easier scout than trying to pull over before skull.
Well we ran it last Monday the 8th. Was running about 4500. Pretty uneventful. Skull was a little more technical. Had to miss razor rock on river left. Pretty easy. Sock it to me was a non event. Ran it slightly center to right, right up the gut. Hit it hard, and punched through. No issues. The sneaker hole in Little D almost flipped one of our boats. He sat and surfed for a while till he got his oar in the water. Perfect trip. Perfect weather.
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