Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Looking for a partner or need help with logistics? Post here!
Post Reply
danransom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:12 am

Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by danransom » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:19 am

Sitting here in Salt Lake enjoying this massive weather system moving through most of the western US, and have heard from some buddies down in Escalante that huge amounts of snow dropped (heard 36 inches in town itself...) It's got me thinking one thing - floating the river come spring.

I'm pretty flexible, but I'm trying to put together a packraft/technical canyon trip. Plan on putting in at the bridge, and floating to coyote gulch, and exiting back out the gulch, or crack in the wall. But can also consider Egypt bench to start, if time is an issue. I've got a handful of technical canyons along the route, and would love to do a day of floating, day of canyons, if anyone is interested. Possible canyons include Neon, Choprock, West Baker, and possibly some of the wingate slots farther south.

Dates are up in the air, and of course depends on the snowpack and melt, but late april, early may seems reasonable.

You can get me at danransom AT gmail dot com if you you have any interest.

theresa
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by theresa » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:32 am

I have been mulling over an Escalante or Dirty Devil trip this spring myself. I looked at the watershed data a week or so ago and thought that things weren't looking that great down there (not that great up here in Jackson Hole either!) Still hoping to do one of those trips this spring though. My schedule is pretty flexible after about April 6th, could head out with a few days notice. I'm not a technical canyoneer, just love the water and wandering the canyons. I am hoping to get some of my local pals to come along but would be interested in hooking up with some new people if none of them can pull themselves away from our corn snow season.
Do you have a rough idea of when you will do heading down there, when does the historically high water happen?

Theresa

danransom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by danransom » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:30 pm

the current snow water equivalent on the escalante drainage is well above average. it's nothing like the epic year in 2005, but it will certainly flow this spring, so long as we get a little more snow over the next 8 weeks.

typical snowmelt begins mid-april and peaks in mid may, sometimes lasting into early june. for a packraft trip, i'm planning roughly the end of april, beginning of may, subject to change of course. hard to really nail down the best dates, but i've got a feeling there will be a pretty solid window for packraft trips this spring.

dan

theresa
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by theresa » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:07 am

It is soooo nice to hear that there is a good snowpack down there! My email is fancyplants at wyoming dot com, please email me if you need partners and when you zero in on a timeframe (I know that it may be short notice) My work situation is very flexible right now so I can go with little notice. I'm still working on a Jackson crew for the trip, some of us are packrafters, some have IKs.

Theresa

buckchow

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by buckchow » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:56 pm

Dan, this is Bucky. Yes, that Bucky, from Freeze Fest, etc. The Escalante River float is a must do for me this year. My window is the first 2 weeks of May. Let's talk.

packraftnewmexico
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:22 pm
Location: Tijeras, New Mexico, USA

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by packraftnewmexico » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:38 pm

Will you be posting possible dates and trip logistics.? I'm not sure how it's humanly possible to fit something else into my springtime crazieness but I sure would like to try!
Glenn Sveum
A day on the river is not subracted from the days near the end of your life!

ltyler
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by ltyler » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:31 pm

My wife and I were hiking some of the slot canyons off the Hole in the Rock Road earlier this week. We stopped in at the BLM center. The snowpack is 130% of normal. So it should be a good spring for rafting the Escalante. Currently running 15-20cfs. We would be interested in a trip if the timing is right and can arrange work schedule etc.

Larry

fcolver
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by fcolver » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:43 pm

We have an Escalante trip going from May 16 to the 22nd. Putting in at the bridge and getting a boat pickup on the silt sump. Shared cost for the boat and shuttle. Mark and Vicki at the Utah Canyons Store have taken on the task of planning the trip and at this point there are only three of us starting out with the possibility of two others hiking in from Coyote to join us for the last night and the float to the reservoir. We will all be using packrafts.

We will hike some canyons but probably no "gonzo" hikes. At least I won't be doing any of those. :|

I suggest if anyone is interested in joining us that you contact Mark and Vicki at the store because I don't know how many more they would want. I do know that Vicki would like to not be the only woman on the trip, which is presently the case.

grundyman
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:55 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by grundyman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:28 pm

The Escalante has been on my wish list for a long time. I am pretty flexible w/ dates, but who knows where I'll be when, so some advance planning is helpful. I have done a few of the slots down there (neon, egypt 3, and davis gulch), and I wouldn't mind repeating or doing some new ones.

you can e-mail me with my username at gmail.

--=Tom

BigB

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by BigB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:33 pm

I don't suppose this is the same Dan that did the Escalante in '03 in an alpacka ?? - Me and some friends gave you a ride and partied in Torrey ..???

Either way, at the moment me and 3 friends are planning to head down on May 5th. We are planning to meetup with a relative in lake Powell 6 days later.

BigB

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by BigB » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:35 pm

If any of you that have done this trip before I'd love it if you could give me your thoughts.....

#1 - I'd like to have a bit of time to explore some side canyons. Which do you think are the best to check out ?
#2 - Looks like we'll have 6 or 7 days... does that sound like enough to include a bit of time to at least check out several side canyons, and float down to meet a boat in powell ?

Any comments would be appreciated !

georgepdx
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:34 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by georgepdx » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:55 pm

Hello, Hello. I am hoping to make it down from AK to float the Escalante in Spring of 2011, snowpack permitting. Did the spring 2010 trips discussed here occur? Any advice to share? Did anybody miss out on it last year that might want to try for it again this spring?

Thanks

George

theresa
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:58 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by theresa » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:54 am

I did end running the Escalante this spring with a group of people that I was introduced to via this forum!We were on the water from May 16-22 and the flows were at a minimum during the whole trip (2-15 cfs at the gauge) We did the whole thing, Hiway 12 to the lake. I would highly recommend (and next time I will) run from Fence Canyon to Coyote Gulch. The Russian olive was really intense in the upper canyon (it ripped a 3 inch tear in a team members brand new packraft!) and getting out to the lake bared a close resemblance to torture. We had no time for hikes, had to spend all of our time working our way down the river. The water was low, and we drug our butts on the bottom a bunch, but it was definitely runnable. I am game to do it again next spring, this time I am hoping for early April- also considering the Dirty Devil. Keep me in mind!
Attachments
escalante 082 resize.jpg
escalante 082 resize.jpg (191.86 KiB) Viewed 7668 times

georgepdx
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:34 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by georgepdx » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:33 pm

Thanks for the info Theresa.

DaveChenault
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by DaveChenault » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:37 am

I'd like to do the Escalante this year. My inclination is to do a hike-raft loop. Starting near the head of Moody Canyon south of the petrified forest: go overland on the bench between Neon and Choprock to the river, float down to Stevens, then hike up and out of Stevens, across the top of the Waterpocket Fold, then down into the head of East Moody and back to the cars.

Doug
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:54 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by Doug » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:38 am

When are you thinking about doing the float and hike trip you describe here, Dave? How many days?

Does it include any technical travel; require carrying rap gear?

Being new to the area, will you please suggest the best big/ medium picture base maps to see the area you are talking about.

DaveChenault
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by DaveChenault » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:02 am

For the public record (more than a few have asked via PM):

The land portion of this loop follows a route Steve Allen publically pioneered in his Canyoneering 3 book. Highly recommended, extremely precise beta. I haven't done the exit out of Stevens Canyon, but have found my way into the head of East Moody from up on the Waterpocket Fold. The latter requires very advanced off trail navigation through complex cliff bands and side canyons. Not too bad (ie bring a rope for handing down packs) if you get it right, hazardous or impossible if you get it wrong.

The Trails Illustrated map provides a good enough overview, and is enough for navigation on the ground if you have your stuff in order. Having sections of quads for the tricky sections is a good idea.

jwalko
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by jwalko » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:10 am

Seems to be a lot of expert knowledge here, so maybe you all could offer some advice. I will be in the Escalante Canyons region the last two weeks of April 2011; I was planning on just backpacking and mountain biking, until I came upon some packrafting articles and this forum. Packrafting sounds fantastic, especially down the Esclante River, I'll be sure to join the fun soon.

My question is this - should I jump right into packrafting on the Escalante this April (obviously this is dependant on the spring melt river flows, I'm asking in general, I would not attempt my first packraft if flows too high), and is this something that should not be done solo (solo is my plan right now.) I'm not an expert paddler...

Any thoughts and comments appreciated, feel free to PM if you don't want to post, too. Thanks!

Chris S
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:27 am
Location: UK, mostly
Contact:

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by Chris S » Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:05 am

I'm also planning to pack the Escalante this April but just got this from Escalante Interagency Visitor Center:

"Sorry for this delayed response.....In short, yes, you show up at our
visitor center, there is no fee or limit to permit given out, so just stop
in and pick it up. FYI we do not have much snow in the area this year,
there is still a bit of time left to get some, but it is not looking
promising for 2011 to be a runnable year on the Escalante.
Torrian Nelson
Park Ranger"

I did mention packraft so he must know levels can be low for us.
Don't know if anyone knows any better. I'm happy to go there anyway and hike instead.

Chris S

happyfeet00
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:31 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by happyfeet00 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:34 am

Snowpack in the region was affected by a strong La Nina pattern for 6 weeks. However, from local folks I have talked to recently, the Escalante almost always has a runnable flow for packrafts. The key is to have a very flexible schedule from Late-April to Late-May. Highly fickle but still possible. March and april also tend to be wet months in the desert mountains so we could see a significant increase in snowpack (the jet stream looks very friendly for this option). We could also see a warm rain event that pushes runoff much earlier than normal. A lot of "coulds".

Best of luck and jealous.

Phillip

happyfeet00
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:31 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by happyfeet00 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:36 am

PS...The Escalante Interagency Center is staffed with some great folks but has a long history of pushing very conservative information. If your skill-set and equipment is above average it is best to take their recommendations with a grain of salt.

danransom
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by danransom » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:09 pm

hey dave,

i'd be around and interested this spring. very flexible on dates. not sure i can hike as fast as you though... i'd be interested in a float/hike/canyon combo, maybe even haul a rope or two around to do some slots. there is a slot down there i've been wanting to scout for a long time, possibly descend too.

philip, did you get a packraft? be cool to actually hook up with you two if you are down in utah this spring.

- dan

DaveChenault
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Kalispell, MT
Contact:

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by DaveChenault » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:17 pm

Dan, I shall be in touch. Would be awesome to do an adventure together at last.

nscherneck
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:00 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by nscherneck » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:07 am

Bump.

I know it's been a light snow season. Anyone planning an Escalante River trip?

justin.baccary
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by justin.baccary » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:57 am

I could be convinced...

I ran the Dirty Devil from Hanksville to Hite earlier this week. I have my eye on several other runs in the state this spring, assuming flows are sufficient.

karadonn
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:41 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by karadonn » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:30 pm

What was the Dirty Devil Running? How many nights? Also, I'm new to packrafting. I'm wondering how the my llama would do on the green river through labyrinth canyon? How do they track on bigger rivers?
Thanks for any info!
Kara

justin.baccary
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by justin.baccary » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:56 am

Kara, the river was running 125-250 cfs. I ran the stretch from the "Landfill Road" (just south of Hanksville) to just beyond the bridge over the Dirty Devil near Hite, which is about 75 river miles, in five days. That's on the faster side for "normal" flows. I wasn't hurrying but I was in my boat a lot. I'd say five days is the minimum you'd want to plan for. There are a ton of side canyons to explore and you could easily make it a 10 day trip. There is also the option of running a shorter stretch. One dirt road crosses the river at about the 50 mile mark (Poison Springs Wash Road), so you could run the upper 50 or the lower 25.

Here's a link to a video I put together that should give you a sense of the Dirty Devil. It's a slow, shallow, muddy river...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baj5aPTWp8Q

As for the Green, I have no direct experience but I know people paddle all sorts of things down Labyrinth so I don't see why a packraft wouldn't work fine...

bruceh
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by bruceh » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:28 pm

Although the Escalante flow is low (around 5cfs at the bridge at the moment) and there is no prospect of increased flow from snow runoff, I plan on running the section between Fence or Scorpion to Coyote within the next week or two. I've experimented with short runs from the bridge in flows this low and didn't have a problem, and the flows downstream are larger than at the bridge. Also, I've waded the section from 25 mile to Scorpion in mid-summer; I think the packraft would've done reasonably well in the river then. That being said, if any one thinks this is a really bad idea (not unlikely because it is one of mine), please tell me I'm nuts, beg me not to go, buy the movie rights etc.

Kara, I've taken my Alpacka on the Green through Stillwater (Island in the Sky --> Needles, backpack in and out) in both low flow in Sept. (maybe 2500cfs?) and after peak runoff last summer (maybe around 11k cfs?). I earned my oatmeal during the low flow trip - I felt like a galley slave, and came to fully appreciate the term "Stillwater." It was a blast at 11k. Don't know how much different Labyrinth would be.

flg_arizona
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:19 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by flg_arizona » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:40 am

Seems like earlier is better than later this year. We just got done with an Escalante packraft float from Fence Canyon to Coyote: 2 people, 1 dog, 2 Alpacka Llamas. April 19-23. My partner measured 55 cfs with a current meter near Moody canyon. There was a fair bit of scooching and dragging through places on the lower portion where the channel is sometimes wide and shallow, but it was very fun and easy and gorgeous overall. Seems like there's much less water than there was last year on the Escalante side of the watershed (vs Boulder Creek). Snotel graphs were useful to see what's left and what's coming off, Witsoe site is showing a low year with early melt: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/wyg ... WIDTSOE+#3) The Boulder side looks closer to normal (http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/wyg ... +RESERVOIR)

If you choose the scorpion entrance, that looked like a challenging hike.

bruceh
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by bruceh » Thu May 03, 2012 1:10 pm

Tnanks flg_arizona. I floated the Fence to Coyote section Apr. 28-30; looks like the flow (at the bridge) during this time was in the neighborhood of 8. The rafting from Fence to the mandatory portage (about 30 miles?) was not optimal - I just hit the bottom too frequently, as much as I tried to avoid that by leaning back (sort of pulling a wheelie) with the boat. The river was higher from the portage to Coyote. I had a lot of fun on this stretch. (I've done the hike to/from the Escalante via Scorpion. There's some x-country hiking but navigation is easy, as is most of the walking in Scorpion, which is well worth seeing.) Next year, I'll time my trip so that the flow is at least 15cfs at the bridge.

flg_arizona
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:19 am

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by flg_arizona » Thu May 10, 2012 10:02 am

Thanks for the update bruceh, I was curious about what happened. I'm hoping to go again on a more normal snow year when there's a little more flow. Also next time I'll take a better hike up Scorpion; we stopped at Scorpion for lunch but barely walked 5 minutes upstream.

Chris S
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:27 am
Location: UK, mostly
Contact:

Re: Spring Escalante - Request for Partners

Post by Chris S » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:05 am

Looks like this guy could have used a partner or a packraft. Even in June it was too hot down there.
http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Ma ... 706461.php

Post Reply