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okeefe
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  Quote okeefe Replybullet Topic: Sultan Release
    Posted: 28 Mar 2012 at 11:24pm
Sultan will be releasing 500 cfs from the dam next Tuesday (April 3) from 8am-2pm for fishery purposes. Once we get the new put-in trail done in 2013 these will happen on weekends and we will have a water budget to supplement fish flows, but if anyone wants to check it out there is an opportunity. I have heard there have been a couple new landslides on the upper part (between Culmback Dam and the Everett diversion dam) so bring back beta if you go. If you want to avoid the upper part, and the unknown variables of landslides, you could hike in to the diversion dam and run from there down. This would be a nice flow for that.

If anyone wants more details please drop me a line.

-- Tom
Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater
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septimus prime
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  Quote septimus prime Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 7:13am
Im off next week, if someone wants to rally for this, but Tom wasnt 900cfs the ideal flow for the upper based on the flow studies?
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  Quote okeefe Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 8:30am
900 would be a very nice flow for the first half of the upper run. 500 is still a good time. I have run as low as 175 and would not recommend that unless you just want to see the canyon. For those who remember the formal flow study, the releases from the dam for the three days were 325, 700, and 900.

You can study the complete results here:

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Document/view/documentid/521/

Here's a summary of the key findings.

Boaters identified 300 cfs as a minimum to use the river for transportation, but these trips are lower quality. Flows about 450 to 500 cfs are required for acceptable technical trips in kayaks, but these would not be boatable for rafts (which require about 700 cfs). Standard trips occur from about 750 cfs and continue through 1,200 cfs (slightly less on Segment 2), but optimum standard trips start about 900 cfs, with better whitewater and more routes through rapids. Higher flows (over 1,200 cfs) provide “big water” opportunities.

Segment 2: Below Culmback Dam (access from miner's trail) to Everett Diversion Dam
Lowest boatable flow 300
Lowest acceptable technical trip 450
Lowest optimal technical trip 600
Transition between technical and standard trip 750
Lowest optimal standard trip 900
Transition between standard and big water boating 1,000
Lowest optimal big water boating 1,200
Highest safe flow 2,000
Single flow preference 1,000
Lowest of “two flow” preference 900
Highest of “two flow” preference 1,200

Segment 3: Everett Diversion Dam to Powerhouse
Lowest boatable flow 300
Lowest acceptable technical trip 500
Lowest optimal technical trip 650
Transition between technical and standard trip 750
Lowest optimal standard trip 950
Transition between standard and big water boating 1,200
Lowest optimal big water boating 1,350
Highest safe flow 2,000
Single flow preference 1,000
Lowest of “two flow” preference 900
Highest of “two flow” preference 1,100
Thomas O'Keefe
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American Whitewater
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huckin harms
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  Quote huckin harms Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 10:22am
I'd be interested in making this happen... but only if putting in at Diversion Dam midway thru run.  I think the upper putin at the dam would be a lot of work and potentially some postholing through snow, not to mention the lower flows.  The upper was mank with wood as I remember, though its been few years, with the better rapids below the diversion dam.  SO, if a group is interested in hiking in at the diversion dam, then I'd likely be game ....
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  Quote brig Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 5:30pm
I might be down for that as well, Spring Break FTW
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  Quote flowtorch Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 5:35pm
I don't know what this means, but I want in.
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  Quote septimus prime Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 5:55pm
Looks like we got something coming together. Sultan Bakery early am?
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  Quote Sam_Graftton Replybullet Posted: 29 Mar 2012 at 8:37pm
I'm in!
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 10:19pm
So did Y'nz get in there? How was it? I did it back in '07. Lost my drain plug on the hike in through the chocolate cake and ferns. It got trampled into the mud by 10 kayakers behind me. Two peeps broke boats. Brad broke a paddle. Did Y'nz find my drain plug? Goes to my old Diablo that got stolen. So I guess I don't need it back. Anyway, I'm w/ Tom:

I want a FULL REPORT!
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  Quote PowWrangler Replybullet Posted: 30 Mar 2012 at 10:53pm
I remember that, think it was the first time we paddled together.  Paddling a cracked Jefe starting two miles into the upper kind of sucked, but added a little spice I guess.
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huckin harms
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  Quote huckin harms Replybullet Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 9:07am
Hey JP ... the release is on April 3.
 
I am out.  Not going to do this trip.  Checked my notes, and last I was in there was 1k, time before was 670 and I know that I don't want to do it any lower than that.  So I will be waiting for the next releases, hopefully with more water.
 
BTW, how is a one day release with so little water supposed to help fish habitat?
 
 
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  Quote Travisimo Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 10:26am
So who's goin?  I think there will be plenty of water...  I'll do the upper if anyone will rally with me (and this depends a bit on snow...).  2 paddlers headin up here...

Call me or PM

too oh six nine tree won six for ate six

-Travis
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  Quote Fish Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 12:20pm
I'll be heading up to the Sultan tomorrow to do the entire run.  
 
Im interested to see the changes in the river since the last time we all went in there for the flow study back in 08.  At 500 cfs the flows will be low but runnable for the top section, and just fine for the others,  obviously twice that flow would be better...  but hey, if they release the water i'll show up!
 
I'm looking to get an early start as the water is being released starting at 8am.    
 
Who else is in?
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 1:31pm
I filed that run in the "Been there done that" section of my river log. I don't have a burning desire to return. Other than the details of losing my drainplug, scott being "chairman of the saftey comittee", two cracked boats, and X-Man breaking his paddle, I can't remember a thing about the run itself.

-Oh yeah: I remember Fish was in a red Draggo Rosi PLAYBOAT. It was one of if not the very first river trip I did with him, and I remember thinking "who is this nut?" Oh yeah: he's that IK paddler I saw running the Cooper solo at high(er) water. Man Boat'n (no layers on his chest other than a PFD) with, like, a six pack of beers spilling out of his PFD/IK as he was boofing ledge drops. Each beer was systematicly retrieved, BTW, as he charged on by. And I thought, "who is this nut?"

Well now I know. Its been great boating with you, dude.

But anyway, the Sultan is cool to go do, but having done it it doesn't really tug at me or my boat. We're gonna keep pickin off runs we haven't done, but otherwise sticking to the classics.

Ici season is right around the corner!
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 1:58pm
I'll do the lower half of the upper with anyone who is so inclined.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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  Quote Travisimo Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 2:00pm
Gotta chime in here... I've done it several times and rate it up there with about any run I have done...

9 miles of class 4 goodness that NEVER runs.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I remember ledge after ledge and rapid after rapid in a beautiful canyon.

Surprised more people aren't chomping at the bit to get back in...  I'm constantly shocked at how little interest there is in many rivers here (Chelan etc).  There would be a traffic jam on the road up there if this was on the east coast.

Do we have too many good rivers or too few paddlers?  Is it really just the cold that keeps people away?
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  Quote fiddleyak Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 2:06pm
Gotta agree with Travis. There's no need to discourage others if you didn't think the run was that great.
Wish I could take the day off and I would be there too. I think it's always worth it to run something once so you can decide on it for yourself. Especially when the takeout is an hour from home.
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  Quote Fish Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 2:28pm
For any paddlers out there that say the Seattle area lacks quality class 4,  you should consider tomorrows trip and future runs on the Upper Sultan River.
 
Like Travis and Ben said,  this is a beautiful canyon that contains miles and miles of class 4 whitewater (likely w some portages)  it rarely ever runs, and is less than an hour from Seattle.
 
In the past 4 years, the Upper Sultan has only been in ONCE,  and that was in the middle of the night after an epic week long rain event...  you get the idea, it NEVER runs...  
 
Tom at American Whitewater is helping our community secure releases on this classic stretch and i plan on taking advantage of it, even if its at the lower range. 
 
Don't wonder what its like,  come experience it!
 
 
 
 
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  Quote BRoss Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 4:08pm
I've wanted to run that since before I moved here.

Can't get tomorrow off though - guess I'll have to wait until the scheduled releases or the elusive high water...

My guess is that there is a LOT of interest in the Sultan - its just hard for weekend warriors (like myself) to get a tuesday off on short notice.
"That boated a lot better than it looked." "It always does until it doesn't."
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  Quote dave Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 5:01pm
I think we have a smaller population here than the east coast and less paddlers too. Plus we have SO MUCH WHITEWATER here that is close. I dont think they have that overe there. So our rivers are much less crowded. I remeber in the 90's when I spent a year in Colorado kayaking that the lines at all the playholes were always 8-15 kayaks long. We rarley ever see that here unless your in a big group.
Wish I could get out tomorrow, I love the Last Nasty section, it's like a creek, but you playboat it and it's full of play!
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  Quote flowtorch Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 10:47pm
I know I'm late. What time are you dudes meeting and where?
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 11:01pm
I wasn't trying to discourage anyone, just saying I don't remember anything distinct about it. I had fun, and I'll run anything once. Of course its something every local class IV boater should try to catch, as rare as its in. I did, I'm just not compelled to return.

Gosh you chaps are easily provoked. Over sensitive.
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  Quote Fish Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 11:05pm
7am  at the standard lower Sultan takeout.   Doing the whole run!  
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  Quote okeefe Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 11:08pm
Here's the word from the PUD earlier this evening:
"FYI – The crew will be heading to the dam at around 6 AM with the final portion being traversed using a snow cat."

If it were me I would keep things simple and just hike in to the diversion dam--I have done my trip post holing through the snow up there--but if someone does hike in at the top I am really curious to get beta on the new landslides

To the question earlier in the thread regarding the fishery benefit, the 500 cfs is to assist with juvenile outmigration and flush (clean) the reach of accumulated organics. As soon as we get the new trail done we will be able to bump up flows, schedule on weekends, and provide more notice.
Thomas O'Keefe
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  Quote flowtorch Replybullet Posted: 02 Apr 2012 at 11:22pm
Thanks all! A shorter day would suit me better. Anyone doin a later lower half start? I need to handle a little bidness before heading out.
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