Flooding the Colorado River

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 60 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Nov 21, 2012 - 03:15pm 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 - 03:24pm 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 - 03:30pm 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 - 03:54pm 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 - 05:23pm 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 - 06:44pm 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 - 07:00pm 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 - 07:06pm 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 - 07:12pm PT



















"hes taking the middle course of the river" hilarious














onyourleft

climber
Smog Angeles
Nov 21, 2012 - 07:18pm 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 - 07:19pm PT
Recognize this off highway 65????

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat
wilbeer

Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
Nov 21, 2012 - 07:24pm 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 - 07:26pm PT
ya mon
Bano, my bitch!
(:
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 21, 2012 - 07:53pm 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 - 08:32pm 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 21, 2012 - 10:49pm 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 21, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
"...really intense experience underwater..."

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

climber
Hobart, Australia
Nov 21, 2012 - 11:17pm 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 - 12:03am 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 - 06:22am 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
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