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going on a ruby/horsethief/westwater trip over easter. Will be running westwater in a day and was wondering with the water high, what are the chances for play, should I cram into my play boat or be comfortable in a bigger boat like my creeker? Is there any play at this high level or is it just fast and big?
 

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If you have a raft, take your playboat for Little D Hole in WW. It's great at many levels. At 4200, the hole at Lower Cougar is also nice, but I don't know what it's like at these higher flows. Even if the playspots all wash, you can still catch air hucking wavewheels.
 

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make sure the boat is comfortrable, if you have to paddle out. You definitely don't need a creek boat, but you will want something fast if you are to catch some waves on the fly. I think big hummer has a one shot wave that is pretty sick if you get on it.
 

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Westwater is not at highwater. Take your playboat. I'm with Flaco, it isn't high water until it is over at least 8500.
 

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I've only done WW at 3,000 and 3,500. what exactly is "high water?"

I recall last year that rangers were restricting all traffic during peak runoff because the water was so fast and intense. On the paddle out, you can see entire trees suspended about 20-25 feet up in the canyon wall that were pinned during runoff. What CFS does all of this translate to?
 

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5000 is a great play level

Back before the drought, Westwater wouldn't drop below 4000 until January. I'd say that after about 8500, most of the play is gone. That's still not "high water", as in normal years you can see flows up in the teens and twenties. People don't talk about those flows 'cause they're just not that fun. The play is completely washed out and the eddy lines wreck havoc with small boats with sharp chines. I've been down at about 18,000, and although it was quick, you just stay in the middle of the current and avoid the eddies until you're past Last Chance. Lower levels are the shiznit.

As for Easter: 5000 to 7000 is still very fun, although not ideal for some of the traditional playspots such as Little D and the waves past Marble, especially in the short boats. Longer playboats would be ideal for anything above 5000; you'll be able to surf more waves and be more comfortable for the paddle out. A creek boat would be boring as well, unless you're just not confortable with your roll and / or you only have a G-Force 5.9.
 

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WW

3500 is the best level for play
it doesnt wash out until 6000 or so
take your playboat
it's worth the pain
 

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Yeah, I definitely didn't mean to give the impression that this is high water, just higher than the optimum play levels.

I would be rather surprised if the rangers were restricting traffic last year. 14-15K was high for recent years, but it used to regularly get much higher than that. I was there near peak last year (14,400cfs) and there were commercials with duckies swimming all over the place. I watched them in several drops, but they all walked Skull. Two BLM rangers and a Utah state guy were there the whole time. Avoiding eddylines is all that matters at those levels.
 

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westwater

i ran it on sunday and it was 4000-4500, i was in a kayak most of the way and the river is flowin, no flat spots constent current, so dont worry bout that part. there is some good play at the first gorge, little d is kickin, but still nice, everything else was not a problem. take a play boat for sure, and have fun
 

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Caspian, I'm not sure but I was there in June and thought the level was 16,000. I think it was 22,000+ last year at the peak. I remember watching it come down as my permit came up. I'm not sure where to confirm the actual peak. A group of Euros flipped their raft in Skull right after us, it was pretty damn funny.

Do you think the Big Sur with happen? I have never been but would like to go this year. Is 20,000 the magic number to jump in your car?
 

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What flow does the Room of Doom literally become a room of doom? The only time I was there everyone, including the rafts, eddied out in it on purpose.
 

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I hit westwater last year at about 13,000 and it was definitely at the room of doom level. There was about a 1-2 foot drop on the eddy line from the current to the eddy.
 

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Yeah, rafts tend to avoid getting caught in the Room after about 8K or 10K, the eddy line gets pretty much impossible to break in a raft.
I doubt Big Sur will run, it usually only comes up when the lower elevation snowmelt coincides w/ the higher mtn runoff. This year the lower stuff is already gone. :cry:
 

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cosurfgod, yeah I think you're right, it did peak higher than I said last year.

As for the Room, it's plenty bad at the levels noted above, and the eddyline tracing out from the Rock of Shock (the border between the Room and the main flow) is TERRIFYING. It looks like it would take a swimmer down all the way to China. I've heard (place grain of salt here) that the BLM has plumbed the river just below Skull and it is 200 feet deep. Hmmm...
 
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