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Warning/Question about Howards Hole

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Warning/Question about Howards Hole

Post by mitchin on Wed 19 Oct 2011, 12:36 pm

AJ and I went to Howards Hole Saturday morning. The flow was just under 800cfs. AJ was first in while I was messing with something on my boat. I decided to grab my rope and watch his ride. He had a good ride and then got flipped. The hole wouldn't flush him. His boat would make it close to the top of the foam pile and then start to slide back down. He'd roll up and then get flipped again. After 3 or 4 times he swam and the hole flushed him and his gear pretty much immediately.

We sat and studied the hole for a while and tried to figure ways to get out upright. When we had a few AJ decided to give it another try. His second ride was even better than the first. He tried everything we had thought of as far as getting out of the hole and none of it was happening. The foam pile was too big and the shoulders were too high. Eventually he flipped again and this is where the fun really started. He went through a couple more cycles of sliding back towards the bottom of the hole, rolling, and getting flipped again. On about the third one his boat rolled up by itself as he was trying to swim out of it. He kicked his boat downstream and then he completely dissappeared. I saw the top of his helmet for a brief second, and then he was gone again. I decided the next time I saw him I was going to hit him in the face with a rope. It was maybe 5 or 10 seconds, but it's hard to tell because it felt like a really long time. He finally surfaced downstream of the hole and came out fine with all his gear.

Two reasons to post this. One we wanted to give a heads up to anybody heading down there to be careful. Know what you're getting into and it would be wise to have someone on shore with a rope until you know how the hole is treating you.

Second, anybody know this hole well across a range of flows? AJ and I have both played here a couple of times when it was flowing around 950cfs and neither of us remember it being so retentive. Anytime I flipped it flushed me quickly. I never would have thought removing 150cfs would make it behave the way it did. Does anybody know if this is normal for Howard's Hole, or if something changed with the high water this spring? It would be nice to know because it's flowing right now and has the potential to flow at times when nothing else is, but I don't think I can get myself to get in it until talking to some people who know it better than me. Also, I'm curious to know how it is around 500 or 600 cfs.

It's entirely possible that boaters better than us may find this hole awesome right now. But AJ is a pretty good boater and he tried everything we could come up with and nothing worked. If someone with finer skills and more time in this hole cares to enlighten us we're all ears.

mitchin

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Re: Warning/Question about Howards Hole

Post by unattendedboat on Thu 20 Oct 2011, 8:32 am



so your advising a sea anchor to get out of the hole? Laughing
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Re: Warning/Question about Howards Hole

Post by afaust on Sat 26 Nov 2011, 1:55 am

I went back to Howard's Hole on Wednesday the 23rd with a couple of friends. Flow was about 1000 cfs and the feature flushed just fine, just like it had earlier in the spring at similar flows. Lots of fun and plenty deep to loop or cartwheel or anything else you can do. Still just as pushy and bouncy as always, but not as retentive as when Mitch and I went. I guess it is just a lot more sticky between 750-800 cfs or else I just need more time learning how to properly take a beat down in a hole... probably a bit of both.

Has anyone played in it between 400-700?

afaust

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Re: Warning/Question about Howards Hole

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