liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

South Fork Salmon Notes

Ran it K-1 self support July 7-10, 2012
Self support notes elsewhere
2 beers in the bow of my embudo balanced the trim
None of us knew the run: Bruce, Jim, Ken, David, me
We scouted all the V's, took conservative lines
Read and ran most IV's, some needed scouting, can't trust the notes you know

Flows 3.3 at launch, 3.1 at takeout, felt medium for the riverbed, est: 3,000 CFS
Technical big water: granite boulders and powerful clear water, gradient 42fpm
3 nights to vinegar was leisurely, in camp by 2 every day
campfires at night, fire rings present in 2/3 campsites
burned on rocks by water when no ring
90-100F hot weather, oven-hot winds, wandering t-storms last day/night
River temp cool but enjoyably swimmable

We saw one other group on the SFS, 9 professionals from Ketchum
They had supplies brought in by road to trip midpoint,
Then flew out from airstrip at confluence to the tune of $250/head
Did SFS in playboats in 2 days, back to work on Monday

White coarse granite weathered round
Mica and amethyst
Fantastic river gorge visible from above on drive in

Black bear sightings every day! Two on day 3. Usu in am and far from houses.
Osprey, jays, LBBs
Marmots, squirrels
No snakes seen and we were looking

Smell of sage in the air when slopes heat up
Ponderosa grasslands, fireweed blooming pink in burn areas
Poison ivy in damp places
Blueberries and thimbleberries ripe and bounteous YUM


2012 driver: Ken Boatman 2zero8-6three3-1669
has been in biz for years, skinny guy in boots, jeans and flannel
one vehicle is $250, price reduces with more vehicles
he met us at Secesh/EFSF confluence camp and putin
bring at least 2 sets of keys, one for us, one for him (one spare)

Putin on EFSF: Deadman
camp and put in at "Deadman" campground
located 10 miles or so up the EFSF Salmon before it joins the SF Salmon
river is along the road until we join the SF Salmon, then wilderness begins
from McCall pick up the "Lick Creek" road, drive 50 miles on it to the confluence of the EFSF and SF Salmon. From there it is 10 miles to the Deadman campground and put in.

The SF Salmon changes dramatically in intensity as flows increase. Most people who run this river agree that it begins to step up to much more of a class 5 river at around 4.3’ on the Krassel gauge. At 4.5’, this is extreme boating. Because the gauge is located above the confluence of the EFSF and Secesh rivers, which have no gauge, levels on the SF Salmon can vary from year to year even with similar gauge readings. Levels in the low 3's are probably most conservative for kayakers, but are considered low by these notes which were originally written from a rafting perspective.

No camping is permitted on Main Salmon with the easy permit you get for paddling out. Boaters coming off the SFS onto the Main Salmon on June 20th or later must get this permit, which is available for the asking from the Krassel Ranger Station in McCall. The rangers will leave your permit in the mailbox outside their office if you are coming through after they close.

in separate post at friends level
because I did not write them (Chris et al did)
ask if you want to see them
36.4 miles of class IV-V whitewater boating

22.? miles to Vinegar Creek boat ramp on L, hidden until you're even with it
we were told the paddle out would take us 3.5 hours, rafts take more like 4 hours
we did it in 3 hours with one brief stop, paddling with downriver racer attitude
we took off our drysuits/tops and paddled in shirts only, felt great
"flatwater" paddle out includes swirlies and small rapids
one rapid 2/3 down had very big waves
Left wall shot rapid just before Vinegar on the left
takeout took less than an hour: five kayaks
IPA's are the best beer for drinking warm
back in Portland by 11pm
home by midnight
Tags: beer, idaho, river, whitewater

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