On 5/16/06, Scott McGee, Derek Collins, and I ran from where the highway crosses North Pine Creek to the confluence with the Snake River. Scott was in a hard shell kayak, Derek in an Alpacka Raft, and myself in an inflatable kayak. The Snake River near Alpine, WY was running at about 9500cfs.
Derek had hiked a couple miles up North Pine Creek a couple days before and ran it back down to the highway. He had this to say: "Wow, what a great float. Class 2-3 water mabye. Running good and deep. One deadfall section I had to portage, but rest was clean."
The section from North Pine to the Snake was a bit more serious. From North Pine to the beginning of the canyon section, Pine Creek flows very quickly through numerous meanders, some of which flow up-canyon a surprising distance. Willows guard the banks making it tricky to get out where ever you want. There were several tricky bends and lots of Class II wave trains in this stretch. There also are three bridges. The first was easy to get under, but the next two were not so easy. We portaged the second and ran the third, but Derek flipped while ducking under the third bridge. Shortly below that bridge is a log jam, which is passable via a sneak that requires hitting a large wave.
Then, as the creek enters the canyon section, the gradient eases a bit, the water slows down, but the rapids become more sustained and serious. Not far into the canyon, there was a log jam followed by Class IV water. The jam was sneakable on the left, but it would be an very difficult move. Derek and I portaged on river right through thick brush and put in again below the Class IV water. Scott portaged the log jam on the left and put in again to run the Class IV water.
The flow stayed consistent Class II and III to the large trestle bridge of the highway. Derek and I took out at this point.
Scott continued downriver. Immediately under the trestle is a Class III/IV drop and then sustained Class III for a half mile. The river then eased for a short distance, and then dropped again for a long sustained stretch of Class III/IV, with few eddies. At one point, Scott was unable to avoid hitting a large log spanning the entire streambed. He nosed into it, turned sideways, and flipped upstream. Under the log he went, calmly waiting for the right time to complete his roll. He felt branches scraping his boat, and thought it best to rip and swim. He made it to the bank with all of his gear and some minor scrapes on his leg. The current continued at Class III and some Class IV right to the confluence with the Snake.
At this point, Scott worked upstream along the bank of the Snake and crossed four channels to reach the opposite bank. Then carried his boat nearly a mile across pasture to the highway.
Flow Report: Ran 5/22/17 while the snake was at 10k. The Teton was at 681 cfs. I approximated the initial flow at 250-300cfs. At this flow eddies were numerous in section 1 and 2.....but at higher levels I imagine eddies in both sections would be few are far between. Section 1 and 2 both had one mandatory log jam portage.
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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.
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