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Been in Zion Narrows at 200 CFS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PG Rob, May 9, 2016.

  1. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    Currently the narrows is averaging around 200 CFS. Permits are not given at over 150 CFS. Anyone been in there in similar water? What is it like?
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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What kinda boat you got?



    ---

    But seriously... I was in there from Mystery down one year at about 170 cfs, when they mistakenly issued me a permit. I could stand, but I could not really move. Ended up sitting down and (whoosh). Kinda not that fun with 2 ropes on the packs. Of my two companions, one did well and one ended up on the wrong side of the stream at the Veranda. Below the Veranda, the stream runs through rocks (ie, dangerous). I went across the river without my pack and we did the technical, 2-person crossing.

    In other words, It's technical. If you have swiftwater training or experience, or both, could be OK. Highly unpredictable. Ram used to go up from the bottom with a crew each year, to see how far they could get. Size and strength matters. It's good to be lucky.

    And of course, it would be illegal.

    :moses:
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  3. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    I like 60 CFS or less. I have been in 80 and it was sporty in places. Can only imagine what 150 would be like!
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  4. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    Here is a You tube video of a Zion Narrows kayak in 2011 by Billy Rankin with 550 cfs.

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  5. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    What I am really wondering about is what a walk/float out would be like from say..... where Imlay drops into the Narrows
  6. W.B.

    W.B.

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    I was there between Mystery and the Veranda at an estimated 200-400 CFS. (Spike that day at 600+ if I recall correctly, can't verify since the online records don't go back that far). Depth at Mystery was 3+ feet and difficult to impossible to stay still, perhaps impossible if you are lighter and smaller than me. I pulled the ropes on a ledge just above the water. I echo Tom's assessment. It was not safe and the easiest (or perhaps only) way was just to float. If a foot or ankle had been chocked it would have been bad. It's about as safe as being out of your kayak in Class 3+ is.

    Don't know what the actual CFS was, but would not want to come down from Imlay at that flow. Haven't seen the Rankin video above before. Brought back some memories. I've always discounted the spike I saw in the gauge at the time by the presumed travel time to the gauge. If the Rankin video was 550 CFS I wonder now what the level really was when I was there.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    (There is a dirty little secret. The gauge says what the gauge says. The gauge this year may not mean the same as the gauge last year, as the gauge 5 years ago. It is a fairly good system, but certainly not a calibrated, nearly perfect system.)

    :moses:
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  8. Barnes

    Barnes

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    I did mystery a few years back and it began to rain all around the Zion area. Ended rapping mystery falls in the dark into a 200 CFS narrows. On top of that the rope got stuck and I had to climb back up the slippery rappel with my little tibloc acsender. The river was wild and we were a bit lucky to get out. Wouldn't recommend it.
  9. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    I got my answer.... 250 CFS is fairly easy downstream. Upstream would be interesting
  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Maybe. For some people. On some days.

    :moses:
  11. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    Agree 100%
  12. Mike

    Mike epic blarneys

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    P1070259.JPG Went top down yesterday at 220cfs. When you are not in a boat, you find out pretty quickly how the power of the river and shallow rocks can make you feel. I flipped once and that was more than enough to make sure not to do that again. Icing my bruised leg as I type.
  13. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    who's that man in the super suit?
  14. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    Maximum respect.
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  15. W.B.

    W.B.

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    Hmmm. PG Rob, I see you replied to Tom's latest post. Not sure how to interpret your post and quote of Tom's post.

    Perhaps I'll put it this way. If I absolutely needed to get out from Imlay and had to go down the Narrows I'd think there was a unreasonably high chance of injury or worse on the walk (float) out at 200+. I think I'd do it if I had reason to believe I could not wait for the water to go down, but I would not put myself in that situation to begin with if I had any control over it.

    Fairly easy might be one way to put it as I doubt that it would take much skill. Not exactly the term I would use for something that involves a fair amount of potential objective risk. Perhaps I'll agree with Tom again, it's good to be lucky.
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  16. Cristina

    Cristina Cristina AmatDiSanFilippo

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    But the narrow is officially close right now on the NPS website. Did you got a waiver to be able to do it?

    Sent from my LENNY using Tapatalk
  17. Mike

    Mike epic blarneys

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    Closed to hikers, open to paddlers. We had a permit.
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  18. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I've done the whole narrows from the top down a day or two after it opened years ago. So I guess that would have been around 150. It was never scary, but it seems our experience of floating a pretty good bit of it is pretty unusual. I wouldn't have minded trying it with a little more water in it.
  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The actual flow when it opens varies rather widely from year to year. It CAN be dangerous at 150 cfs, or it CAN be mild.

    Attachment to the meaning of the number stated may cause suffering.

    Tom
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