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Kolob: More Questions

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by James B Wadsworth, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Thanks to all of you for so quickly responding. It's like having a bunch of big brothers watching over me. :)

    More questions:

    There seems to be some conflicting info on how much flow is too much. Tom's site says no more than 5cfs until it is impassable. Shane's says no more that 3cfs. Some one side banded me and said that 3cfs is a "serious undertaking" and that the flow was about 3cfs during the 1993 disaster. This article says it was running at 29cfs.

    http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=409

    The skills of my group are pretty solid. Not a lot of moving water experience. I am a little extra paranoid since I was originally invited on the trip in 93. That was my old scout group. I dodged that bullet and have no intention of repeating their mistakes.

    Help me out, James Wadsworth
  2. Stevee B

    Stevee B Guest

    James, You are wise to be cautious. You can be sure that those who look nonchalantly at Kolob now, certainly did not on their first trip there; those who didn't got spanked (i.e. Tom in his shory, the infamous scouts). Most everyone approaches their first descent here with game face on and rightfully overprepared - and it won't be overprepared if flows rise for any reason.

    I would strongly urge anyone without prior experience in Kolob to stay away at flows over 5 cfs. After that, "passable" becomes fairly subjective, depending on your swiftwater canyoneering abilities. It should be noted that in swiftwater situations, there is very little grey area between "perfectly safe" and "dead". Minor injuries are rare; accidents most frequently have the highest consequence.

    Before our first trip down it, we had a BBQ and practice/gear sorting session at a buddies house, where we practiced descending and ascending ropes as well as using whistle signals. We ended up with much higher than average flows on game day, but our preparation carried us through enjoyably and easily.

    My tip: everyone in the party carry whistles and use agreed-upon signals. Steve

    > There seems to be some conflicting info on how much flow is too > much. Tom's site says no more than 5cfs until it is impassable. > Shane's says no more that 3cfs. Some one side banded me and said > that 3cfs is a "serious undertaking" and that the flow was about 3cfs > during the 1993 disaster. This article says it was running at 29cfs.
    http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=409
    > The skills of my group are pretty solid. Not a lot of moving water > experience. I am a little extra paranoid since I was originally > invited on the trip in 93. That was my old scout group. I dodged > that bullet and have no intention of repeating their mistakes.
    Help me out, > James Wadsworth
  3. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Stevee B" <SteveBrezovec@h...> wrote: > I would strongly urge anyone without prior experience in Kolob to stay away at flows over > 5 cfs. After that, "passable" becomes fairly subjective, depending on your swiftwater > canyoneering abilities. > Steve > Stevee is right on. With no swift water experience 3-5 would be max > I am a little extra paranoid since I was originally invited on the trip in 93. That was my old scout group. I dodged that bullet and have no intention of repeating their mistakes.

    James, really? Yikes! Sorry for your loss and thankful for your good fortune. Way too close for comfort. It is a great canyon. Sure it will go well. Give us a report afterwards.

    RAM
  4. Does the NPS issue permits for flows over 3 cfs? It was my understanding that 3 cfs was the cut-off.

    Shane
  5. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "James B Wadsworth" <jjkwadsworth@m...> wrote: > Thanks to all of you for so quickly responding. It's like having a > bunch of big brothers watching over me. :)
    More questions:
    There seems to be some conflicting info on how much flow is too > much. Tom's site says no more than 5cfs until it is impassable. > Shane's says no more that 3cfs. Some one side banded me and said > that 3cfs is a "serious undertaking" and that the flow was about 3cfs > during the 1993 disaster.

    Round numbers baby. Guide-web-site-caution. Range of experience. Your mileage may vary. One person's "very experienced and competent" gets another person's "accident waiting to happen", or perhaps your ropes stuck on the last rap of Heaps cause you don't figure it out.

    Your group ready for rapping with water pounding down? You a pack dangler? Helmet wearer? Single liner? Or perhaps you wear your 40 lb, non-draining pack on your back, wear no helmet or glove, and rap double on 11mm worn out climbing ropes with a figure 8 - but you're "way experienced".

    Kolob is the intro to cold water immersion. At least it was mine, and wearing two shorty wetsuits was, shall we say, substantially foolish. There's really no problem solving, but even doing long slippery rappels while hypothermic and having no depth perception was challenging.

    3cfs is basically just fun. 5 cfs is extra challenge. 8 cfs requires careful technique. More? Possible, but requires REAL flowing water skills. Bring Rich along for that one.

    29cfs - clearly suicidal. It is a small canyon.

    > This article says it was running at 29cfs.
    http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=409
    > The skills of my group are pretty solid. Not a lot of moving water > experience.

    Hmmm. Contradictory statements.

    > I am a little extra paranoid since I was originally > invited on the trip in 93. That was my old scout group. I dodged > that bullet and have no intention of repeating their mistakes.
    Help me out, > James Wadsworth

    There's a log upstream from the cairn anchor - can use that, but the pull is not so good.

    The desk asks you to certify that you have talked to the Water District. Be sure to call them during business hours.

    7mm wetsuit or dry suit. Very beautiful canyon. Mucho enjoyable when not freezing your calf hairs off.

    Tom
  6. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Shane Burrows" <shane@s...> wrote: > Does the NPS issue permits for flows over 3 cfs? It was my understanding > that 3 cfs was the cut-off.
    Shane

    The NPS is responsible for our safety???

    Just don't go in the Park.

    Tom
  7. Unsure, I was told 5 CFS. Anybody know for certain?

    Neil

    Shane Burrows shane@sisna.com> wrote: Does the NPS issue permits for flows over 3 cfs? It was my understanding that 3 cfs was the cut-off.

    Shane



    Mail is new and improved - Check it out!
  8. > Stevee is right on. With no swift water experience 3-5 would be max > James, really? Yikes! Sorry for your loss and thankful for your good > fortune. Way too close for comfort. It is a great canyon. Sure it > will go well. Give us a report afterwards.
    RAM

    Thanks for the advice. Not really a personal loss for me. I met the leaders of that trip in passing. A couple of the surviving kids were good friends of my older brother and I went to school with one.

    They had invited me on a boating trip about a month prior. I went but was treated like crap since I had stopped going to church about a year before. So when Fleischer called me about a camping trip I told him no thanks without really listening to what they were going to do. Had he explained it better I probably put my contempt for the church and got my face on the ten o'clock news.

    James Wadsworth
  9. Tom,

    First of all I hope you took no offence to my comments about your web site. I was just getting conflicting numbers. I think your web site is the best Utah canyoneering web site there is. (Take that Shane!) I understand that I as a user have to take the info with a grain of salt.

    I never said I was "way experienced". But I am a far cry from a learned how to rap last weekend, harness made of webbing designer jeans warring, Kelsey guidebook following, flip-flop warring newbie. What I meant was our dry and standing water skills are solid. With the exception of Subway never did a canyon with flow. That's why I want to go to Kolob under low flow. Enough challenge to learn not enough to kill me.

    I called the backcountry desk they said anything over 5cfs and they will not issue a permit. They say that I must have the current numbers from the Washington County Water Conservatory. When I called the WCWC they gave me the release schedule. They said I could call back on the day of (or Friday before) and the engineer will give me the current flow rate. Or she said I could call the Park and they would have the current flow rate. When I told her the Park said to talk to the WCWC she replied, "due to its dangerous nature, we suggest that NOBODY do this hike."

    Funny. Let the disclaimers begin!

    James Wadsworth

    > Round numbers baby. Guide-web-site-caution. Range of experience. > Your mileage may vary. > Your group ready for rapping with water pounding down? You a pack > dangler? Helmet wearer? Single liner? Or perhaps you wear your 40 > lb, non-draining pack on your back, wear no helmet or glove, and rap > double on 11mm worn out climbing ropes with a figure 8 - but > you're "way experienced".
    > The skills of my group are pretty solid. Not a lot of moving water
    experience.
    Hmmm. Contradictory statements.
    > There's a log upstream from the cairn anchor - can use that, but the > pull is not so good.
    The desk asks you to certify that you have talked to the Water > District. Be sure to call them during business hours.
    7mm wetsuit or dry suit. Very beautiful canyon. Mucho enjoyable > when not freezing your calf hairs off.
    Tom
  10. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "James B Wadsworth" <jjkwadsworth@m...> wrote: > Tom,
    First of all I hope you took no offence to my comments about your web > site. I was just getting conflicting numbers. I think your web site > is the best Utah canyoneering web site there is. (Take that Shane!) > I understand that I as a user have to take the info with a grain of > salt. > Thank you.

    And sorry if I was a little testy. Standard guide-site testiness - 3cfs, 5 cfs, whatver - you got a brain, use it.

    The interesting thing is to be in there and think about 29 cfs coming through. Got to be kidding!! Think washing machine. Or locomotive.

    Many people have taken Rich's ACA Courses, which teach techniques that work well, in competent hands, in these flows. With training AND experience, some level of flow can be really fun.

    Kolob manages well using wet techniques - setting rope length, ropebag, single line raps, wearing a helmet. Techniques that also work well in dry canyons but...

    Uh oh, shouldn't really get into that discussion...

    Tom
  11. > Kolob manages well using wet techniques - setting rope length, > ropebag, single line raps, wearing a helmet. Techniques that also > work well in dry canyons but...
    Uh oh, shouldn't really get into that discussion...
    Tom

    I don't get it.
  12. Koen

    Koen Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "James B Wadsworth" <jjkwadsworth@m...> wrote:
    Kolob manages well using wet techniques - setting rope length,
    ropebag, single line raps, wearing a helmet. Techniques that also
    work well in dry canyons but...

    Uh oh, shouldn't really get into that discussion...

    Tom
    I don't get it.

    I think Tom is referring to the attitude some "dry CP canyoneers" have towards wet canyons techniques - they figure they don't need them because all they do is dry or nearly dry and/or think they're at the top of the food... ahum... canyon chain ;-)

    Tom, next time swallow your keyboard ! We're probably off for another one of those threads....

    Koen
  13. >>The NPS is responsible for our safety??? Just don't go in the Park. << TJ

    HUH!?!? That didn't answer my question....... but yeah, at least the NPS feels they are responsible for my safety.

    >>I called the backcountry desk they said anything over 5cfs and they will not issue a permit. << JBW

    Thank you..... that was the information I was looking for.

    See...... I knew the NPS had taken control of my safety. Thank god for the federal government, I don't know how my ancestors survived without their interference. And best of all if you are a real dumbass and get yourself killed while under NPS supervision your family can sue the NPS for millions. Think of it as the canyoneers early retirement plan!

    Shane
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