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High Water

Discussion 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.
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Re: High Water

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:30 am

I do not think we "blithly" state the facts. Data shows that water has peaked in the major drainages. As a hydrologist, I know what that means- the receeding limb of a hydrograph can take weeks, even a month, to come back down to "safe". I conceed that others may misinterperet this as water is "low". Yes we need to be careful how we say this. I also qualified that statement with words to the effect that higher localized ungaged streams with lots of snow above the point where you need to cross may have yet to peak. It is all a matter of judgement at the point you decided to cross. The one word we all need to practice is "turn around". Nothing wrong with retreating when needed. I am the queen of retreat.



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Re: High Water

Postby richlong8 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:05 pm

Another good site for river water flows is Dreamflows, which is a rafting oriented site.


I often follow the Kings and the Kern rivers. If I see the cfs still in the 1000's, I know the streams feeding them higher up have to be running hard too. I am just kidding myself if I think otherwise.

This is a safe ford of the South Fork Kern we did a couple of weeks ago. Water clear, can see the bottom, wide, etc;
Image

Here is an iffy ford just a mile upstream......
Image

thanks everyone for all the great info
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Re: High Water

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:40 pm

Just heard on the TV that someone went over the falls in Yosemite. Be careful out there.
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Re: High Water

Postby gary c. » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:22 am

I just saw a clip and it said that 2 men and and a woman went over. No bodies had yet been recovered. He said that it makes 8 people that have lost thier life in Yosemite this year.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
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Re: High Water

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:47 am

gary c. wrote:I just saw a clip and it said that 2 men and and a woman went over. No bodies had yet been recovered. He said that it makes 8 people that have lost thier life in Yosemite this year.


"Witnesses said a man and woman climbed over the guardrail for a better view of the 320-foot waterfall and then reportedly encouraged their children to climb over too.

Before the children climbed over the rail the parents began to slip. A male family member who jumped over the guardrail to help also reportedly fell over the edge of the falls"

Wow.

Source: http://www.ksee24.com/local/Search-Resu ... 95658.html
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Re: High Water

Postby EastSideClimb » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:43 pm

I was just hiking at Nevada Falls on Fri on my way up to Half Dome. The water is simply raging right now. Sad to hear the news, but from what I have gleened, it was 4 people in their twenties ignoring several calls from onlookers to return. Here is a link: not for the faint of heart. Judging from the amount of recently extinguished and discarded cigarettes I picked up off the trail along the way, this area gets a lot of people walking through it with little regard for the dangers of the wilderness.

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/07/19/246 ... swept.html
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Re: High Water

Postby East Side Hiker » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:36 am

I'm sure people will have different opinions, but I've had a hard time getting though some of the reports, I must admit. The difference, to my eye, and my camera's eye, between last year and this year are barely different - "visually." I'm sure there are hydrologically measured differences, but when it comes to safety, a few inches higher or lower in a channel do not make it safer or not.

I was on the Stanislaus, Mokulumne, W and E Carson, and several tributaries, the same exact weekends of the last two weekends of May through the end of June the last two years, and there wasn't a "perceptible" difference in flow. The flow last and this year has been aggressive and dangerous; can someone debate the "degrees" of danger when a life is involved. What about the Kern?

The Yosemite problems this year have highlighted a "run-off" interest. And has attracted people.

Backpackers are not "usually" traipsing around famous waterfalls or visitor sites; where people are trying to get photos of their "presence." Those are the places where people have made mistakes, which have been made many different years throughout history. Ecept for lightning, of the 48 or so years of backpacking (probably more if you count Cub Scouts), relative to the "main" attractions, it seems to me there are significantly less deaths (Handrails in the Wilderness) in the backcountry. People are a "little" more careful when they're far from roads. How much trouble is it to go upstream to find a crossing? One might even find a cool hidden population of leopard lilies... or elephant heads...
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Re: High Water

Postby Cross Country » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:23 pm

I wonder if anyone has crossed the river at Upper Paradise Valley.
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Re: High Water

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:44 pm

Cross Country wrote:I wonder if anyone has crossed the river at Upper Paradise Valley.

Isn't there supposed to be a bridge there now? The log sucked.
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Re: High Water

Postby Cross Country » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:29 pm

This is the kind of year in which bridges get washed out. I wonder?! I hope someone answers this soon. I'm curious. Has anyone been to Upper Paradise yet and seen the river or bridge conditions?
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Re: High Water

Postby ManOfTooManySports » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:04 am

The bridge is there at Upper Paradise Valley. No problems with any crossings on the Rae Lakes Loop. I'll post a trip report in a while.
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Re: High Water

Postby Cross Country » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:06 pm

How support conditions (eg: bridges) have improved over the years (and decades). Good stuff! Thanks ManO.
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