Floating the Dirty Devil

Mike K

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Several people talked about floating the Dirty Devil (DD) this year in Nick's Backpacking the Dirty Devil thread. Maybe some of you guys have already done it this year!

I really want to do it but have a bunch of questions and might need to do some recruiting to make it happen. I have a few friends (we have packrafts) that may want to do it but they don't sound super excited about it. I'd want to run Angel Cove to Poison Springs in 4 or 5 days (maybe this weekend) with some exploring of the side canyons. Flows are currently around 123 cfs.

Those that expressed interest in floating it were: uintafly, IntrepidXJ, Nick, Dan, langutah, and River.

Some questions:

1) First of all, is anyone interested for this weekend or next weekend (assuming the cfs is good enough)?

2) Temperature - Are highs around 70 going to be warm enough? Full body wetsuit or a shorty?

3) CFS - Is a minimum of 100 cfs the general consensus? How much walking dragging do you think there'd be at current flows (123 as of today, March 25, 2013)?

4) Drinking Water - I've read that the water is no good to filter or treat because it's too salty and/or silty and/or high in alkalinity (something like that). I've used Pur Purifier of Water on the Escalante with success. Are there any reliable springs and/or possible potholes? Would it be prudent to take all the drinking water you'd need for the whole trip?

5) Road into Poison Spring - How bad is it and what type of vehicle could make it? Like...passenger car (Honda Accord) vs small SUV (Subaru Outback) vs 4X4 Truck (Tundra).

Thanks, sorry for the somewhat wordy post!

Mike
 

Artemus

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Hi MIke,

I seem to have planned up my entire spring and summer in the meantime :rolleyes:

Other than the other input I gave in the other threads I can give input on your items:

2) a little cold for this freeze baby since you will be wet in the packraft most of the time and the Devil will be cold
4) I have filtered and drunk the Devil a couple of times. Didn't get sick. It can clog up your filter in a gallon or so though. Take extras. Probably better than the Magic Wand though (and more expensive). There is convenient water in the creek coming into the Devil at Angel Cove. Don't know of any other convenient.
5) I call the road down Poison Springs 2+ on the 4WD scale - but it changes all the time and could be worse depending on flash floods of recent vintage. See my Poison Springs trip report here. Any high ground clearance vehicle can make it to the river in "normal" times I think. Accord, no. Outback, probably.

Hope this helps.
 

Dan

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I don't have the time this spring anymore... But I checked it out at the bridge yesterday, it was really low, no way a packraft could float it. I'm surprised to hear it's already 123 cfs... Though, 100cfs is usually considered minimum.

Gonna be a low water year at this rate.
 

Mike K

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Thanks Art and Dan. Sounds like you guys are busy and have probably have fun plans. Excellent! Well, if I get any takers, maybe we'll give 'er a go this weekend and see what happens. Sounds like it'll have to wait until another year though.

Water low at the bridge huh? I wonder if it gains some cfs down stream?

2) Chilly indeed, I'd probably go with a full body wetsuit...and still be cold. I have a spray deck on my packraft which would help some with staying warm.

4) I guess I'd probably try to take at least 6 L or water to start with...then look for potholes in some of the side canyons, and use the allum (Pur) stuff as a last resort.

5) Thanks, I'll check out the report. We were just wondering if we'd need to high clearance vehicle for the shuttle.
 

Artemus

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Water low at the bridge huh? I wonder if it gains some cfs down stream?

I'm betting Dan means the Dirty Devil bridge that Hayduke tried to blow down by Lake Foul. Not much in flow below there...
 

Dan

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I'm betting Dan means the Dirty Devil bridge that Hayduke tried to blow down by Lake Foul. Not much in flow below there...
Sorry, at the hanksville bridge. I've checked it many times over the years, and it looked very low comparitively, but the bridge is braided and sandy anyways, so it isn't the best place to eyeball it from. Personally, I'd be hesitant to give it a go. But that said, it definitely narrows up and gets deeper below angel cove. So hiking in at Angel Trail is a possibility.

Try posting on the alpacka forums, someone reported running the lower section at 65 cfs a few years back, which boggles my mind...

If it holds at 125, you can always hike down Angel trail, put in, and see what happens!

Jealous, wish I had time to join you this year.
 

Artemus

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That has got to be a gas forming up your own studio though, no? Helps offset settling back into the traces of 9-5... 38 years now, for me.
 
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Mike K

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I figured you were talking about the bridge at Hanksville. If I could wrangle up one or two more people, I'd be very tempted to give it a go this weekend. I'll bet the flows will drop below 100 by next weekend. Oh, and I'll check out the packraft forums as you suggested. Thanks for your help guys! I'll let you know if we decide to make a run at it.
 

River

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Jan 26, 2012
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Thanks for thinking of me! We'll be down in that area this weekend, but we'll be canyoneering. If you're near Sandthrax, feel free to stop by - look for group with Idaho plates. It would be fun to float sometime, but probably not this trip. If you go later keep me in mind. There's some good stuff in the Owyhees to float soon too...

My experience on other trips - you can stay pretty dry in a packraft on easy water if you use an inflatable air mattress to sit on. I don't know if you'd need a wetsuit, but then I live in Idaho. A rain jacket does a decent job. We filtered water directly out of the Escalante using the Sawyer gravity flow system. It worked great. Just need to backflush every now and then. I think it would be ok for the DD too.
 

Mike K

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Thanks for thinking of me!

Have fun canyoneering down there! Be safe.

I've considered the inflatable air mattress for the packraft. I'll have to think about it some more. Was the backflushing of the Sawyer filter to get rid of silt build-up? It didn't permanently clog the filter?
 

River

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The mattress has worked well for me. You always seem to end up with some water in the boat and that keeps you out of it. Yep, the Sawyer can be backflushed to remove the silt. It's been used on quite a few silty desert trips and has always worked great.
 
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