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Higher water, lower water
https://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46419
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Author:  Allan Jacobs [ November 29th, 2017, 5:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Higher water, lower water

My experience:
Higher water generally means faster water and so less time to react and so more danger.
Lower water generally means slower water and so greater likelihood of having to get out and drag.

Same for you?

Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ November 29th, 2017, 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

I sure dragged my boat a lot in low water in Manitoba this past summer.

High water also can make for dangerous put ins and take outs. Especially take outs. This is very dangerous for inexperienced paddlers who plan to portage all the scary stuff.

Author:  recped [ November 30th, 2017, 4:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

Allan Jacobs wrote:

Same for you?


I've been trying to reply to this for quite some time.........

In the end the best I can come up with is: Yeah, maybe, depends, not sure I agree!

Author:  jedi jeffi [ November 30th, 2017, 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

Recped said
Quote:
In the end the best I can come up with is: Yeah, maybe, depends, not sure I agree!


Which I have to agree with. 8)

As a general rule, but not written in stone if you can't get any up to date beta on a river it is a good warning.
And generally a really low level will mean a lot of dragging.
But depending on the river sometimes rapids/features are washed out by higher water.
But sometimes in lower water there may be obstacles that can be hazardous but still paddle-able by many.
What rapid river I find easy can be at the extreme end of someone else's skill level.
Allan are you trying to rate rivers?
I know in the 60' early 70's there was a river rating scale similar to that of rapid ratings.
I might still have it in my 60's river guide book but I will have to wait to I get back to Ontario in a few days.
Jeff

Author:  pmmpete [ November 30th, 2017, 7:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

It depends on the river, your skill level, and your preferences.

Author:  DougB [ November 30th, 2017, 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

High water
+: big rocks under water, ledges and smaller drops smoothed out, sneak routes often appear close to the shore of bigger rapids
-: powerful current and eddy lines are hard to paddle and swim in and out of, where holes form they are bigger and stickier, swims are often long, beach and shoreline campsites potentially underwater, additional hazard of trees/wood in the water

Low water
+: bigger rapids can be downgraded or sneak routes found through them, more shoreline offers more opportunity to line bigger rapids and ledges, less stressful
-: some rapids become impassable, dragging, boat abuse

Generally I come back from really high water trips commenting that I'll never go back under those conditions. I return from really low water trips with the same comment.

Author:  Allan Jacobs [ November 30th, 2017, 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

Thanks to all who replied.

Jeff: My hidden agenda concerns the death of Arthur Moffatt on the Dubawnt River in 1955.
http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/09/08/main-text/

Author:  jedi jeffi [ November 30th, 2017, 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

Thanks for the link.
I had followed your posting on myccr on this subject.
As for guessing the rapids info he had and what he was experiencing is a very tough call.
Rapids do change not only by levels but by floods.
There are a ton of variables in play on this trip and in particular this point of the trip.
A paddler with todays equipment would/should have a hard time trying to put themselves in those boats at that time.
Seeing images of that rapid and at a close to their level would help, (from river level)
Another question is was the river rising fast as they paddled, that would have changed the information that he had come to rely on.
Even boats that I paddled in the late 60's had some great WW improvements to what they paddled.
As for paddling technique I have seen some very good B & W movies from that time period on what was being run.
It is a tough call.
As for the day of the incident a lot of those variables came into play.
Jeff

Author:  recped [ December 1st, 2017, 1:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

It's too bad none of the gauges were installed that far back, the oldest one in the region goes back to 1960.

Author:  Allan Jacobs [ December 1st, 2017, 8:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Higher water, lower water

recped. Thanks for the gauge information.

I should say that I initiated this discussion in an effort to prove myself wrong regarding the cause of Moffatt's death. In addition to suggestions of higher water and lower water, I have seen the suggestion that an earthquake altered the river.
But I cannot, in good faith, enter here my arguments (I have next to no evidence) regarding all three suggestions.
And so perhaps the cause of Moffatt's death is a side issue for this thread.

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