Friday, September 25, 2009

Gladiator gauge and water levels






Finding the Gladiator gauge 



  Find the road that is named after the town.  Along the main highway downstream of the road named after the town is a guard rail as shown in the picture below.  Walk along the guard rail about 75 feet, one of the posts has some yellow paint splashed on it.  Walk to the creek at this point through a couple of trees, the gauge is along the creek bank about 10 yards from the highway.

















Interpreting the Gladiator gauge






There are four telemetry gauges to use for trying to predict whether it might be worth driving out there to check the visual gauge.  The Salmon gauge is by far the best correlation, but only came online in 2017.



 
Visual Gauge on Gladiator Creek
The visual gauge on Gladiator





My notes on how the visual and Salmon River Gauge link up






Visual Gauge

3' is pretty high for a first time trip down the Middle, but good for the Upper.
2.5' is a medium flow. IV-IV+(V)
2' is low, and Vesuvius is marginal.  IV(V) 
1.5' is very low, most people would not consider paddling the creek at this level.



Salmon River Correlation

500 cfs is a low runnable flow, there will be a lot of rock contact. It equates to just below 2''
1,000 cfs is medium, and about 2.5' or just above.
1,500 cfs is high, but runnable.  Perfect for upper, high for Middle/Lower and equates to about 3'





*Flows rise and drop fast on this creek, be ready for a likely change in flows during the time you are hiking in.

*You can put in at the top of the Ludi stretch by hiking down a nose of land from the far end of the quarry if flows are too low for Vesuvius or you're just not up for it and don't want to throw-and-go.

*There is a nearby weather station that can be used to calculate rainfall nearby.









Historic Flows on Gladiator Creek








 Before finding out about the Salmon Gauge, I'd try to guess flows based on other, less reliable correlation gauges.  Below are my notes and data points from each time I have checked the gauge.


Salmon River (Slick Rock): This is the most relevant gauge.  1,000 is medium.  500 is low, but you could run Ludi down, 1,500 is a high runnable flow.

Willamina Creek:  Each time Gladiator has been run, this gauge was between 450-1,000 cfs. 

Sunshine Creek:  This is not in the same drainage, but is at the same longitude and elevation, with headwaters in the center of the Coast Range.
                  
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):    Gladiator has been run with this gauge between 1,000-2,500 cfs, and doesn't seem to correlate beyond that.  Even within that range, Gladiator can be too high or too low.

SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):      Gladiator has been run with this gauge between 1,000-2,500 cfs, and doesn't seem to correlate beyond that.  Even within that range, Gladiator can be too high or too low.


There is also a nearby weather station that can be used to calculate rainfall nearby.










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DATA POINTS
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Oct 20, 2019
When we finished the run, we checked the gauge around 4pm and it was at 1.8'.
There were plenty of rocks to hit, but it was still worth doing and smiles were had.  The runout was rough.

Salmon River (Slick Rock):              Just under 500 and stable
Willamina Creek:                                175 and stable
Sunshine Creek:                                  80 and stable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):     800 dropping to 450 from midnight to midnight




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Oct 19, 201
On our way to running the upper around 9am, the flow was 3.0'.  Priscilla ran shuttle for us, and on her way back through 2-3 hours later the flow had dropped below 3' and continued dropping throughout the day.   Flows were great for the Upper section, if they had held at 3.0' I think they would have been perfect for that upper section, but high for the middle and lower.

 Early morning                                                                                Late morning
3'                                                                                                    2.8'



Salmon River (Slick Rock):              1500, dropping fast to 650 by midnight
Willamina Creek:                                Peaked at 400, dropped to 250 by midnight
Sunshine Creek:                                  Peaked at 250, dropped to 100 by midnight
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):     Peaked at 1,400, dropped to 800 by midnight
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       Peaked at 1,400, dropped to 800 by midnight




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 February 18, 2019
This was a low runnable flow, the rapids are still fun, but there will be rock contact and the runout is rough.  The hit at Vesuvius at this flow would be rough and the line thin, but putting in at the start of the Ludi stretch would be reasonable.

1.9'

Salmon River (Slick Rock):              600 dropping to 500
Willamina Creek:                                500 cfs average and stable/slight drop
Sunshine Creek:                                  100 cfs and stable/slight drop
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):     1,700 avg and stable/slight drop
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       1,400 avg and stable/slight drop






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February 16, 2019


This was a good flow, on the lower side of a high-quality medium.
2.4'


Salmon River (Slick Rock):                670-880-770
Willamina Creek:                                  A high of 800 cfs after starting at 700 in the morning.
Sunshine Creek:                                    A high of 175 after starting the day at 150.
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):       A high of 2,500 cfs peak in the afternoon, started at 1,600 in the morning.
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):         A high of 2,400 cfs in the afternoon after starting at 1,500 in the morning.










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Dec 6, 2014


Salmon River (Slick Rock):               Not Available
Willamina Creek:                                 Peaked at 700 cfs
Sunshine Creek:                                   Peaked at 90 cfs
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):      Peaked at 900 cfs
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):        Peaked at 1,300 cfs mid-day


This was before I found the visual gauge, my guess is it was over 2.5', but less than 3'.
Great flow, mushy in places.  I liked this flow for Vesuvius, but I think the rapids are a little more crisp with a bit less water.  Plenty of padding throughout and the in-between cleans up.






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March 2, 2019
I was passing through on the way to the coast, so grabbed a data point.  There was water in the creek, but it was too low to kayak.

 1.4'


Salmon River (Slick Rock):                 230-220
Willamina Creek:                                   240 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.
Sunshine Creek:                                     40 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.                          
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):        450 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):          550 cfs and falling.





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March 3/4 2012
Low water, ran the last few rapids of the Ludi section for the first time. Scraped the lip at Punisher.


Salmon River (Slick Rock):                Not Available
Willamina Creek:                                   450 cfs and stable
Sunshine Creek:                                     80 cfs and stable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):        Right around 1,000 cfs and dropping slowly
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):          Right around 1,000 cfs and dropping slowly



Story reminder: Skirt too small






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Nov 15, 2008


Salmon River (Slick Rock):               Not Available
Willamina Creek:                                 500 dropping to 400
Sunshine Creek:                                   Unavailable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):      About 1,000 cfs
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       1,070 dropping to 970

This was low, probably around 2' on the gauge.  We only ran the lower section this day.







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January 1, 2003
High water
First descent of the lower section, from OregonKayaking.


Salmon River (Slick Rock):               Not Available
Willamina Creek:                                 1,000 cfs and dropping
Sunshine Creek:                                   Unavailable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):       2,500 cfs and dropping
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):        Unknown




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