Flooding the Colorado River

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John M

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 21, 2012 - 01:50am PT

http://news.yahoo.com/grand-canyon-flood-underway-rebuild-beaches-152937624.html

Anyone going to go check this out? 42,000 cubic feet per second.



ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:57am PT
I hiked down to check out the flood when they did it several years ago. I had a gf that studied grand canyon fish. Anyway, it was awesome- super powerful looking.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:09am PT
http://www.canoekayak.com/whitewater-kayak/speed-run-grand-canyon-record-attempt/

Sweet!
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:03am PT
i'd love to go down there again
dan in lava falls
dan in lava falls
Credit: mctwisted
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:21am PT
I've boated 5k CFS to 50K CFS in the Grand, and still think 18ish is the best.

Would love to be there at any level.

Prod.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:38am PT
me too,way upstream bitd
me too,way upstream bitd
Credit: wilbeer
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:40am PT
this is good!
locker

Social climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:22am PT


Credit: locker
...

10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 21, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Hope his injury isn't to serious, and he can return
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
When we checked it out it was raging. Huge and muddy, logs, debris, no beaches. Definitely hump down and check it out if you are in the area.
John M

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 02:20pm PT
Thanks for that link Brandon. I didn't know if those flow levels were runnable. I don't have that much whitewater experience. What an experience.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Nov 21, 2012 - 02:34pm PT
After the flood the same gf took me down the river on a three week science trip (those were the days!!) with a bunch of other scientists. We took all sorts of measurements on our way down the river. It wasn't a professional trip so adventure was very alive in the rapids. One boat got flipped in crystal, another had its floor ripped out. Snow storm early on. GC is an amazing place.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 21, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
42,000 cfs ain't that much water.
I've been kayaking on whitewater rivers at 100,000 cfs. Now that's BIG.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:44pm PT
hear that slr,was that the ottawa?
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:51pm PT
I've been kayaking on whitewater rivers at 100,000 cfs. Now that's BIG.

Where? Africa? No place that big around here.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:55pm PT

GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Credit: Reilly

wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:56pm PT
oh yes there is brandon,not that far from you,the lachine rapid,st.lawrence river.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 05:57pm PT
and one near me,the whirlpool on the niagara,its been run
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
No kidding, thanks for the heads up man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachine_Rapids
John M

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
The Sacramento River has been near 650,000 cubic feet per second in floods.
The Klamath gets big. Lots of rivers have gotten real big during floods. I have no idea if anyone has ever run them during a big flood. It seems like there would just be too much debris.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_flood_of_1964
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
So, anyone know what the Walker River Canyon was running at at its peak in '97?
John M

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2012 - 06:24pm PT
This site says greater then 13,000 cfs

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=rev&gage=wwbc1

scroll to the bottom and see the flood stages. 10.5 feet

If we are talking about the same river.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Without the main sediment load they are, literally, stirring up weak sauce.

This is a con game on the part of the Bureau of Wrecklamation,

They are NOT restoring habitat and beaches, and every time they do it they are less effective than the last because most of the sediment is trapped by the dam.
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2012 - 06:54pm PT
In 1983 the grand was running at 100k plus. Lake Powell was full. I have a few friends who were there for that. They said most everything was washed out. But Crystal got HUGE.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 21, 2012 - 08:23pm PT
hear that slr,was that the ottawa?


AFFIRMATIVE!

In a squirt boat!

A squirt boat = underwater kayak
A squirt boat = underwater kayak
Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
ya harry you think thats big http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89dDpHpMhYQ
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
^^^^

Ha! I've scouted that part of the river many times (used to live pretty close by the Niagara) and had no desire whatsoever to run that section. I remember seeing a standing curling wave that was 15-20 feet tall, and a monster whirlpool in the eddy at the bottom.

"...he's taking the middle course of the river..."

In water that big you have no idea where you're at. On the Ottawa, I scouted the black tongue and planned to run the big waves right down the middle. But as soon as you drop over the horizon line and into the first trough, you have no idea where you are anymore 'cause you can see over the huge waves all around you.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:06pm PT
yeah man,ive only hiked the gorge,.....size matters ...i can still say holy shit! only run the ottawa once ,,,that is enough
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:12pm PT



















"hes taking the middle course of the river" hilarious














onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:18pm PT
In 1983 the grand was running at 100k plus. Lake Powell was full. I have a few friends who were there for that. They said most everything was washed out. But Crystal got HUGE.

The first week of June, 1983, I was backpacking in the western Grand Canyon off the North Rim. We had entered via the Bill Hall/Monument Point trail and were camped at Upper Tapeats Creek, below the confluence of Thunder River. We day-hiked down Tapeats Creak to the Colorado. When we got near, HOLY SH!T!!!, the river was wall-to-wall across the inner gorge, a roiling, muddy mess. Tapeats Rapids extended across the entire river, as far downriver as the eye could see. There was no beach, which explained the absence of boat parties who routinely tie up and camp there to visit the Tapeats Creek/Thunder River waterworks. We climbed up on a bluff and sat there for a few hours listening to the roar. You could hear a deep rumbling, the sound of massive boulders trundling along the river floor as well as the cacophony of the river itself. My hiking partner and I were completely blown away by the view.

As we sat there, a Park Service Chopper came down the river and hovered near the Tapeats confluence. The pilot and onboard ranger noticed us and maneuvered overhead. They threw out some sheets of paper which blew all over the place due to the prop wash. I scrambled across the talus and retrieved one. It read: "Lake Powell is at full pool and is near the top of Glen Canyon Dam. Yesterday, the Bureau of Reclamation increased outflows from Glen Canyon Dam from 40,000 cfs to 92,000 cfs. Inflows to Lake Powell are estimated at 120,000 cfs. We fear the imminent collapse of Glen Canyon Dam. Camp high.

With that, the chopper turned and disappeared downriver.

We pondered how high we needed to camp and decided that our camp at upper Tapeats was likely safe, being five miles upstream and 500 vertical feet higher. We sat there for a long while and considered how happy this would make Ed Abbey. Eventually we retreated to camp and spent a tense night wondering if this cataclysmic event would come to pass. The next day we went up and over via Surprise Valley to the Deer Creek drainage, where we ran into some folks from a raft party. They were able to beach at the confluence of Deer Creek but were not spending much time there, they were moving rapidly through the canyon, having been given the same warning by the Park Service. We spent the day enjoying Deer Creek which normally flows into talus at the Colorado via a picturesque 100' waterfall. This particular season, Deer Creek fell in a shortened form directly into the main river, a sight that few have seen since the Dam was constructed. Once again, the river was wall-to-wall across the entire inner gorge, but the boaters had been able to land on the talus on river right.

The next day we hiked back out to the rim and the news for the following month was touch-and-go about the integrity of the dam.

Ultimately, the water of Lake Powell crested about six feet above the top of Glen Canyon Dam. It was held back by plywood sheets erected in haste by the Bureau of Rec. The spillway tunnels held long enough to draw down the pool once the inflows from spring thaw in the Rockies subsided.

Read more about the event here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risks_to_the_Glen_Canyon_Dam
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:19pm PT
Recognize this off highway 65????

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:24pm PT
yeah,its less than 100 yards from my house,run it all the time,the ledges of honeoye creek. looks like ,bano.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:26pm PT
ya mon
Bano, my bitch!
(:
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 21, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
Onyourleft, when they dropped flyers telling you to camp high did you stamp out a message telling them to drop rolling papers instead?
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:32pm PT
"But Crystal got HUGE. "

I'm surprised, I would have thought at that level Crystal would have been buried.
...And to see Deer Creek Falls drop right into the main would have been something.

Boating on a Free Flowing Colorado River
http://www.gcrg.org/bqr/14-3/free.html
onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Nov 22, 2012 - 01:49am PT
Another story that came out of the Canyon in '83 was a non-motorized speed run from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs, the full 277 miles, in 36.5 hrs, a feat never equaled since.

Kenton Grua and two other experienced boatmen rowed a wooden dory, the Emerald Mile, non-stop through the night including a full endo in Crystal.

Here's his account:


Did you have any idea what was down there? [At Crystal Rapid in 1983, during an illicit speedrun attempt on 72,000 cfs … just after the rapid had been closed to the public for safety reasons.]

“Yeah, we knew there'd be a big one down there … But basically we were totally unprepared for what we saw. We're just going, oh man we've gotta get through this thing … we look down, we see where we've gotta go, you can see where the lateral starts and you know you gotta be in above that lateral or you're dead meat. But there were rocks there, really shallow rocks. There was a little tamarisk tree out there waving in the current and behind it looked like a pourover and I just went, God, can I go over that? … So I came in just as close to it as I thought I could and I went uhn-UHHHhhhh … I hit that lateral and we just went woooooosh … Got the big surf right out to the very center of the hole and just lined it up and got it straight … I just pushed hard and stood up and went forward with Wren.
Me and Wren were plastered against the bow but you could feel it before you ever got there, you know. There was no way. It just snapped us straight over. I had hold of my oars as tight as I could grip em. I was thinking I'm not lettin' go of these f@#$% oars cause they're tied to the boat! You knew you didn't want to get away from the boat at all and, uh, I hadn't even completed the thought, they just went bing, bing and I was gone. I went down, down, down … felt myself coming back up, still getting tossed around and came up and pfooo! cleared the water out of my eyes and two feet away was the Emerald Mile. I just went yeah, baby! Here we are! … And I hear this gasping and I look over, about ten feet downstream is old Rudi so I stick my foot out for him … We were just going … WHOOAAA … It was an intense flip, really intense experience underwater. It seemed like forever.
It wasn't a regular hole. It was perfection in a hole, you know. You had about, maybe a hundredth of a percent chance of making it through. If you ran it a hundred times in a dory, you probably wouldn't make it through once.
So Wren was about 40 feet away right out in the middle of the river swimming along and the Emerald Mile was headed for the right shore … Me and Rudi got on top of it and loosened the flip line and we were just haulin' ass down the right side and we're going oh man. Now we're gettin' close to the shore. … We got it on its side and almost over, started to come over and flunk! the flip-line broke. Shitty old flip-line and MMMwwhoom! it goes back down and about two seconds later: crunch! crunch! we tag a pourover. But all it did was take off the very tip of the bow and the stern posts …
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 22, 2012 - 01:51am PT
"...really intense experience underwater..."

As if there was any other kind of experience underwater at 72,000 cfs.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Nov 22, 2012 - 02:17am PT
True, 42,000 cfs for the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon small in terms of typical historical annual floods (before the dam); but running the canyon at 42,000 cfs in a kayak is pretty wild and not to be underestimated. I think the biggest I ran it in a kayak was in the mid-high 20,000 cfs range, and that was pretty intense (typical post-dam release flows run from 8,000, which is super low, to about 20,000 cfs). In big water, some of the rapids get washed out and are easier, but many get way more rowdy, not to mention the wicked whirlpools that pop up out of nowhere. One time in high water, with Roger Dale, we pulled into an eddy mid-rapid (Sockdolager or maybe Grapevine--somewhere in the gorge) and were sitting there for a moment when suddenly I got repeatedly sucked under and tossed about underwater for what seemed like an eternity (like being in a washing machine), popping up to the surface at a wild angle, grabbing a breath before getting sucked under again for another eternity--Roger watched amused, after three or four bouts of this, I was eventually able to snap a roll as I surfaced and get the heck out of there.

Harlan, who made the speed attempt, is one of the most bad-ass dudes I've ever known (super humble to boot). He's done some amazing adventures that no one's ever heard about, and if he was into climbing, he'd make most of us seem pretty light. He and I have worked together in the canyon a few times on various guided river trips, as well as some fun paddling around Arizona and Colorado. As a kayaker, he's one of the best around.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Nov 22, 2012 - 03:03am PT
Biggest I've run it was somewhere between 26K and 29K.
The standing waves at Hermit were the biggest waves I've ever seen in my life.

I jumped off the raft in the V right above the first one a few years later when it was running around 15K-what a wild one that was.

And Deuce, I've gotten the suck down before too...kind of scary really.
bob

climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 09:22am PT
I've been just as impressed with 7000 cfs in a canyon that normally runs 3000 at hits absolute highest, as I have been with 50,000 cfs in a canyon that normally runs 25,000 at its highest.

A river flooding is a river flooding and it always blows me away the power that we stand near, play on, or just watch from afar. Amazing stuff that water. It scares the sh#t out of me and has provided me with some of my most intense experiences to reflect on by far.

No kayaking photos to share. :(

Bob Jensen
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 09:57am PT
A recent attempt for the speed record was thwarted in grapevine. He hiked out at phantom ranch.

http://www.canoekayak.com/whitewater-kayak/speed-run-grand-canyon-record-attempt/

In 83 the run in Crystal was so for right that you were stroking the tops of tamarisk trees.

Prod.
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Nov 22, 2012 - 10:35am PT
mikey!
mikey!
Credit: mctwisted
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 22, 2012 - 10:36am PT
Interesting thread. Looked into the 1983 event and what strikes me is that even with some improvements to the spillways that damn could fail. Infact it seems that it is a time bomb that will fail.

If it fails the Hoover could be overtopped. Dunno if that would cause the Hoover to fail though.

hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Nov 22, 2012 - 11:02am PT
I've got friends boating it right now. Interesting...
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 11:38am PT
McTwisted, is that you in an open boat?

Here I am in 04 in Hermit, 18K CFS

Credit: Prod

Credit: Prod

5th hole.....

Credit: Prod

Prod.

mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Nov 22, 2012 - 11:44am PT
nice prod. this is my friend mikey. its pretty wild you guys doing this kinda thing in an open boat. good stuff!
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
i did take his boat down a class 3 down there, and it tripped me out. had to jump back in my kayak
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 11:53am PT
McTwist.

i did take his boat down a class 3 down there, and it tripped me out. had to jump back in my kayak

I feel the same way about Kayaks.

I have a pretty solid roll in my open boat, but I didn't get a chance in Hermit. When I hit hole 5 it broke and yanked me out of my boat. I'm in there pretty tight, so much so that it is somewhat hard to bail. So I was a little surprised to be swimming next to my boat. I also made a bilge pump that runs on a dewalt 12v battery. That makes all the difference in the world. I mounted it under my saddle.

Cheers,

Prod.
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Nov 22, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
prod. i tried to learn to roll miky's boat in some flatwater but couldnt send, which supprised me since i could hand roll on both sides with my kayak.
then i went on down river for some flat section for a couple miles to check it out. i should have gotten out of his boat at lunch but instead was into it, we come around the corner and we could here the thunder of the oncoming rapid, all 16 of my party was looking at me, so i decided to step up and give it a go, went through sideways and backwards full of water. thought my heart was going to bust out of my chest. totally out of control bracing. but managed to stay upright, as my kayak buddies shouted yells of support from the eddy. that was about the last time i was in a canoe, you guys are badass. watched bill russell go down the green in one, pretty awesome
onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Nov 22, 2012 - 12:11pm PT
Today's update on Harlan Taney's attempt to beat the '83 speed record found on the GCPBA website:

Harlan Taney's speed run was on track to easily beat the Dory speed
run done in 1983. There was a huge support system, set up for him.
But Grapevine rapid ultimately got him. He ran into the wall in lower
Grapevine and tried to roll up 5 different times. The spray skirt on
his 18' long fiberglass kayak popped off accidently and he had to
swim. It took him awhile to pull it all back together, but by 83 mile
he was regrouped. He did injure his elbow, but it is not broken. At
Phantom he made the hard decision to finish the trip and hike out.
He carried his kayak and all of his gear up the South Kaibab trip
where he met friends and family, yesterday afternoon. The hike out
alone, is a huge task.
He'll be back again to try it in the future. An amazing feat to say
the least.
onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Nov 22, 2012 - 01:08pm PT
Interesting thread. Looked into the 1983 event and what strikes me is that even with some improvements to the spillways that damn could fail. In fact, it seems that it is a time bomb that will fail.

If it fails then Hoover could be overtopped. Dunno if that would cause the Hoover to fail though.

Yes, the speculation in '83 was that if Glen Canyon Dam failed, it would likely take out Hoover and Parker and scrub the channel clear to the Gulf of California. Many, Ed Abbey especially, were waiting with joyful anticipation of such a catastrophe. Alas, it was not to pass. The plywood held...
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Nov 22, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
you don't need any people around for dams on the Colorado and their eventual catastrophic failure. It's happened more than a dozen times.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC21407/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205100014.htm
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 03:10pm PT
Here is a 36' motor rig flipping in the main hole in Crystal.

Credit: Prod

Awesome slide show of 1983 in 2 parts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpo0pY3bHFw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5Gmtlq3B1k&feature=relmfu

I miss that place.

Prod.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 22, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
nice posts prod and mctwisted,i am w/you dan ,have tried some c/4 canoeing,and some friends that are totally in to it,as they say ,"half the paddle ,twice the man".....ill take plastic please.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Nov 22, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
I Agree with Ron. Too little, too late.
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Nov 22, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
we flipped the gearboat twice
we flipped the gearboat twice
Credit: mctwisted
this is my buddy tom missing his line on lava, digging deep with the o...
this is my buddy tom missing his line on lava, digging deep with the oars he launched out of the hole, lucky guy
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted
i gotta get back down there! three trips down the river and two hikes down wasnt enough
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 22, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
awesome pics,mc
Prod

Trad climber
Nov 23, 2012 - 11:49am PT
Great pics McTwist.

Prod.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Nov 27, 2012 - 03:01am PT
Here's a cool video of Hermit at high water--I think one of the first trips down after the new "Hermit's Sixth Wave" appeared, which was almost as fierce as the Fifth Wave. I'm the second kayaker going through Hermit's Fifth Wave, getting submerged and surfed a bit in the wave (made it though!).
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1311526354069&set=vb.1407948151&type=3&theater
(from Guides Training Trip 2005)
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Nov 27, 2012 - 04:28pm PT
Whoa, Prod,
I remember seeing the shots of that baloney boat getting folded and flipped
in Crystal. If I recall correctly, there were one or two fatalities.
I think one of them was a heart attack.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Nov 27, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
Didn't they do this "a few" years ago? I seem to recall 100K CFS bubbles.
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