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High Water

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.

Re: High Water

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 17, 2015 6:02 pm

This is a useful web page. check out the "Snowmelt Runoff Volume Forecasts"

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/rivforecasts.html

Looks like most streams are still rising, with probable peak flows between 5/24 and 6/10. Probable peak flows are the most likely 50% probability; maximum peak flows are 10% probability. A few examples.

Merced at Pohono- probable peak flows at 5/27, maximum peak flows at 6/5
Tuolumne at Don Pedro- probable 5/24 max 6/8
King at Pine Flat- probable 5/29 max6/9
Keweah at Lake Keweah- probable 5/23 max 5/31
Kern at Lake Isabella - probable 5/28 max6/9
Carson at Woodford- probable 5/26 max 6/8

These predictions change daily as new weather data is gathered. Peak flows up in the headwaters will occur earlier by a few days.



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Re: High Water

Postby SSSdave » Tue May 19, 2015 7:45 am

Deep layer of dust here haha. Led me to some links I had not seen before. CDEC has a history of changing their web pages frequently.


Also like this page for assessing what is vaguely going on in particular river basins. Numbers at bottom calculate from what has occurred during the month. The % of Historic Averages is a good measure of water conditions. Shows the Kern basin has averaged just 11% of average over May so far with just 283 cubic feet per second down at Isabella reservoir. That says one is likely to find easy spots to ford most everywhere on the main branch. On the other hand the Tuolumne River is much higher at 30% of normal with a current flow of about 1800 cfs because the last few weeks storms have focused in that region.

Daily Full Natural Flows for May 2015

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/stages/FNF
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Re: High Water

Postby Harlen » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:26 pm

Thanks for the useful thread. May I include a probably "useless" point from our family backpacking history? Never let your wife (or at least my wife, if you happen to be with her) attempt to chuck her boots across the river before the barefoot crossing. Her underhand fling once sent the boot straight up, landing in the middle of a freezing stream, and guess who had to chase it down? Yes, I recommend you just leave my wife out your next trip. Harlen. :smirk:
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Re: High Water

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:42 am

(Adding useful info to this old thread.)
I originally used to wade streams barefoot despite the pain. The worst issue of hiking barefoot is most stream bottoms at crossing points have rock cobbles that one's feet slide about on smashing painfully into the spaces between. The cold water well before feet might end up numb, become painfully hypersensitive as the cold reaches down into the bones of the foot and compresses fluids including nerves inside. And that pain also causes one to move slowly in order to not jam against rocks.

Because of that even though I rarely see explanations as to why haha, are recommendations to instead wade in one's hiking boots. Besides preventing foot pain, boots also allow one to move across like a bull quickly, more balanced, and stable.

Well that might not be much an issue if one has lightweight mostly synthetic boots because they don't take that long to dry out reasonably. However as boots become more leather and more heavy duty, like mine, it can take a long time to dry out. In winter snow conditions are likely to remain wet inside a remaining trip while in summer, until one has a sunny layover day where one can put them out in the sun a few hours. In other words an issue to consider, hiking in damp, chilly, unpleasant, more blister tendency, boots a few days or a painful wade that is more likely to cause a slip and fall.

What we have been using the last few years are Wiggy's Waders that weigh just 10 ounces that I've plugged a few times on this board because it is an obscure product that hardly anyone is familiar with:

http://www.wiggys.com/clothing-outerwea ... ht-waders/

WW are obviously not robust, light duty, intermittent use, thus likely to require leak checking after any use that can be done simply by filling them with water. They are no use if depth is more than low thigh deep as water will pour in from the open top that is somewhat loose, but if deeper than that then one has more serious issues anyway. We have used mine numbers of times over a few years now and it makes a huge difference. They do take time to put on and take off so not like someone wearing Crocks in shorts just barreling across. However with Crocks, one will still have to endure some cold while not with WW. However we are most often hiking in long pants during mosquito season so would otherwise have to strip down or change to shorts anyway. I will recommend getting the largest size in order that in a group with larger people everyone's boots can fit down inside easily. After each person gets across, they remove them, put a smooth rock inside, and toss them back across at a narrower stream spot.

Now what if a wade is above low thigh depth or one does not have WW's or Crocks? That is a reason to carry a few small thin mil weight kitchen plastic trash bags and duct tape. At a crossings before I bought WW, at wades, I would remove my long pants into shorts, remove my socks, then put both into my pack, and put the sock-less boots back on. Next put the plastic bags over my boots, then wrap duct tape around the top of each bag to my leg. Doing so then wading across will not prevent all water from seeping down below the duct tape top as that will start to fail since the adhesive has not had time to set, however as long as one moves across reasonably quickly, one's boots will be far less wet, often just a wee damp on the outside.

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Re: High Water

Postby rlown » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:42 pm

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Re: High Water

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:53 am

Tragedy again at Wapama Bridge. Another person washed off the bridge on Falls Creek. Link has an interesting video.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/M ... o-13010239

snippet:

A hiker slipped on one of the bridges spanning Yosemite's Wapama Falls last week and tumbled into the raging cataract above the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, park officials said. The 66-year-old man was killed in the plunge. His body was pulled out of the reservoir, the source of San Francisco's drinking water.

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