I did a crossing of the MF Kings at Simpson Meadow this year on June 13. Before the trip I had looked at information provided here to get an idea if it was feasible to cross that early even on a low water year like this. I did not find too much information on early season crossing but did see one post from someone that had crossed in the third week of June in a low water year in the 70's ('77?). With this year being probably close to a record low snow pack I thought that it would at least be worth a good look.
http://www.dreamflows.com/ provides a flow estimate for the Kings at Rodgers Crossing. I used this flow estimate to get an idea how much flow there might be at Simpson Meadow. At that point in the runoff just about all flow is coming from the high country and I guessed that the middle fork and south fork drainages are about the same size, so half the flow to the middle fork and half to the south fork. When you look at the flow information for Rodgers Crossing realize that flow probably occurred 10-12 hours earlier at Simpson Meadow. So I was basically looking at the daily high and low flow to get an idea of the flow level and the trend. Right before I started on June 11 the high level was about 1800 cfs for Rodgers Crossing and the low was in the 1300-1400 cfs range. The flow had been trending downward while the temperatures had remain constant, somewhat indicating that the whole runoff was in decline. Additionally the first couple days of the trip were suppose to be slightly cooler. So I suspect that when I did get to Simpson Meadow on the 13th that the daily flow cycle had probably dropped some, say 1700-1300 cfs.
Hiking down canyon I arrived at Simpson Meadow probably around 1pm, flow probably had come back up from its low point, but still probably pretty low on the daily cycle. I knew to look for crossings between Goddard Creek and the meadow and thought that it did not look too bad. My first probe of the river reminded me of the power of the current. I could see I was going to have to find the place with just the right depth and current. After a couple more probes I found a crossing just above the meadow where there was a shallow gravel bar most of the way across the river. Most of the water and current flowed over the shallow part of the bar and the other end of the bar dropped off deeper but at that point near the far bank there was little current. Turned out to be an easy crossing.
So using the flow information from http://www.dreamflows.com/ for Rodgers Crossing may provide some indication as to when it might be possible to safely cross at Simpson Meadow. From my experience I would say that when the low flows at Rodgers Crossing get in the 1400 cfs range there is a reasonable possibility of making the crossing. I'm pretty sure that Dreamflows calls it an estimate due to the lack of a gauge on that part of the river. The estimate is based on other nearby stream gauges and other information.
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MN2CAPisco wrote:maverick wrote:Your route is way over the top, even if you had crosscountry experience, which
you indicated not having in your initial post. . Your are passing thru some of the best
crosscountry routes in the Sierra, there is no need to try to run thru it, in an way
over ambitious, dangerous, see all, one trip.
Haha well there it is. I guess over-ambitiousness is not foreign to me, so I shouldn't be surprised to get a response like this and have to reel back a bit. I certainly appreciate your honesty.
In retrospect it's the northern portion of the trek that we'll have to scrap. It makes sense instead to bag Split Mountain and then head back down the JMT south to Bench Lake ->Arrow Pass in whatever duration we can. If we're feeling good perhaps we even grab the Summit of Arrow Peak. Dusy Basin and Amphitheater Lake will still be there for our next adventure.
I've been reading up a fair amount on the Arrow Pass to PV traverse which I thought might be my main roadblock for this trip, so any advice on that part would be appreciated. I'm considering taking a weekend up that direction prior to the trip to scope out the route beforehand, though I'd be ascending from PV rather than dropping down from Arrow Pass.
Here is a trip report on the Arrow Pass to Paradise Valley route. We are doing this route in mid August, from Paradise Valley up to Arrow Creek lakes and then over Arrow Pass. I hope this helps.
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