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Narrows Flow

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Barnes, May 24, 2016.

  1. Barnes

    Barnes

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    Does anyone know if the park uses its own link on its website to determine the flow rate of the virgin river? They keep saying the narrows will open when the flow rate is under 150 CFS for 24 hrs. So, I've monitored the flow off their own website and its been under that for more than 24 hrs now but it still shows it closed. Of course the back country desk never answers the phone so who knows. Anyone know if they are opening it up? Thanks
  2. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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  3. Barnes

    Barnes

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  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Glad you got your question answered, and that The Narrows is open. However, I do not understand your question.

    There is a gauge on the North Fork near Springdale that is operated by the USGS, with assistance from the Park. You can view the real-time data from that gauge here: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?09405500

    Tom
  5. Barnes

    Barnes

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    My question was even though that same site you linked has said the flow was lower than 150 for 2 days now- the Zion website still showed it as closed. Just thought they maybe used some other means to determine flow. I'm sure they just hadn't updated the site yet. All is well
  6. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Actually yesterday was the first day where the CFSs stayed at or below 150 for the entire day. I assume that you didn't look at the data correctly about being below 150 for two days (I have also been watching it). Yesterday it hit 150 twice, but didn't go above. The last time the river was above 150 was at 11:30 PM on May 22, thus the opening today. If you looked at the website early this morning, it had'nt been changed yet. It usually takes until 8 am until the NPS updates the permit part of the website.
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Since we are deep in the weeds on this, let me point out that from a practical point of view, the NPS makes the decision at 8 a.m.; so a more correct statement is that: "The Narrows opens at 8 am if the river has been at or below 150 cfs for 48 continuous hours at that point."

    Tom
  8. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    "The Narrows opens at 8 am if the river has been at or below 150 cfs for 48 continuous hours at that point."

    Actually 24 hours.
    ===============================================

    Anyway, if anyone is looking for an exact value (such as 150 CFS), it is often more useful to click on the table to see the numeric values rather than to only look at the graph:

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?c...od=&begin_date=2016-05-21&end_date=2016-05-24
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  10. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    As said the narrows is closed for 24 hours anytime it goes over 150 cfs for bottom to big springs and 120 cfs for top down for snow melt events.

    It will open after any warnings for flooding and the river has dropped below the above # for rain events (there is not a 24 hour weight period),

    It spiked over 150 yesterday and this morning due to rain and was reopened this evening bottom up but still closed top down.
  11. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Tom-

    Any insight into getting a permit to packraft it, with or without stopping to camp? Dates, flows etc?
  12. yetigonecrazy

    yetigonecrazy living legend

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    Boating the Narrows has become difficult because about 10 or 12 years ago some idiots from Boulder decided to drop in completely unprepared for the trip or the canyon, one of them needed to be rescued and the other spent the night in the canyon. As a result the Park said you aren't allowed to boat the Narrows when its over 500 cfs. That level is actually still somewhat low for the whole stretch; the bottom half fills in decently enough below Deep Creek, but it can be a long drag/sufferfest getting down to the confluence down the North Fork. I'm also pretty sure that just like the hiking, the "500 cfs" figure means it has been below 500 cfs for at least 24 hours. It used to be a lot easier to boat but thanks to the [name redacted] and his wank job partner, its become a lot more difficult to time it right.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There was a lot of carnage that year. The Narrows was published in a guidebook and was suddenly popular. Since it was only Class 3, a lot of people thought they were ready for it and it would be casual. Perhaps the description underplayed the difficulty. Boating is not my thing, but I believe the proper rating is "Technically Class 3, but with Class 5 consequences". Also seems like people did not expect to drag their kayaks 8 miles before finding enough water to float; thus they started the actual boating late in the day when it was gloomy and hard to see; and the problem in there is strainers, which are hard enough to see and avoid with good light.

    The Class 5 consequences are that if you become separated from your boat, such as having to bail at a strainer to keep from drowning, your boat is likely to go downstream without you. At which point you are hiking... but there is no where to hike. The Park was not amused.

    In most years, there is a riff-raff barrier in that the road up to Chamberlains is rarely open when the river level is appropriate. This year... maybe not.

    If you go, bring a spare boat.

    There were also some issues with overnight camping. I think they may have changed their minds on this as doing it all in one day is a bit much.

    So my answer to the original question is: Tom don't boat (this kinda thing). Tom have no idea about boating permits etc. Call the Wilderness Desk.

    Tom
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  14. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    That's ok.

  15. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Tom, which book was this? I have always heard that the run is class 5 and for experts only.
  16. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    ratagonia likes this.
  17. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    In a lot of the whitewater community this is looked at as a Class IV run- the actual whitewater may only be class III+, but its long, committing and the penalty points are high. The whole escapade was caused because a few people didn't give nature enough credit and they paid the price. They read something in a book, and expected it to be more recreation than adventure. It doesn't matter what you read, not giving respect to something like that, regardless of how easy it is supposed to be, is a recipe for disaster. If you dont respect the Zions, she gonna leave you cryins
    John Diener and ratagonia like this.
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