Thursday, July 10, 2008

South Fork Two Medicine Report

Well Nathan and I hiked in to check out a low volume run on the south fork of the two medicine. It was definitely a lot less stressful than the high water run of last month.

The walk in from the pipeline cut by Marias pass was actually pretty easy. We parked at the cut line, and walked a few hundred meters along the cut until we hit a very good quad trail. The quad trail was essentially down hill all the way, and didn't really take too much effort. We weren't brave enough to try and find the dirt road that accesses the cabins 1/3 of the way down the run.

The middle fork of the flathead was flowing at 6800cfs. We figure a low volume kayak run on for the South fork of the two medicine would be about 10,000cfs (on the Middle Fork gauge). High water would be at about 20,000 cfs on the middle fork gauge. As it was, we had to scrape our way down. Once in the canyon we got some decent water levels, but we really missed out on some of the rapids. However the canyon does have some ledges that could get nasty at higher flows.

I would say at normal flows the run would have lots of really good class II to class III rapids. There will be about a half dozen solid class IV ledges. This is a long run that is a blend of the highwood and castle falls runs, in a remote canyon.


flood water at the put in. Middle fork Gauge at ~25,000cfs to 30,000cfs


the same location with very low flows (6,800cfs on middle fork gauge)


a little rock ledge that was buried at high flows. This was the last drop before our hike out.


typical scenery after the canyon


The first set of ledges before getting to the canyon

typical features just above the canyon


the first canyon drop. Quite a bit different looking than at high flows below.


Looking at the first canyon drop at high (flood) flows.


another one of many ledges in the canyon

the waterfall we couldn't port around at high flows.



the run out near the end. The canyon walls never seem like they will stop - making for stressful boating at high water when you don't know the river

1 comment:

Janson said...

It looks so much cooler and less life threatening than when we did it! I wish I could have made it, but thems the breaks eh? It looked fun and itsw really cool to see the difference of the features!!!