Snowy River

Delegate River to Jacobs River

Verified! Intermediate Advanced Dam Release Wilderness Trip CLASS II CLASS III CLASS IV

 

Snowy Mountains. Willis

Contributed by Jolyon Taylor

 

Class: II III IV (p)

Season: Local heavy rain or environmental river flows

Time: 4 full days

Length: 80 km

Level: 800 ML/d

Gauge: Burnt Hut Crossing Gauge

Character: One of the most beautiful alpine rivers, with tumbling clear water, technical rapids; contained in gorges that still allow a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains.

Suits: White water boats and rafts

The trip starts at the Delegate River confluence to avoid the hazardous Stone Bridge which is a large portage. At 800 ML/d at Burnt Hut Crossing the river is passable in a 12 ft raft with 4 people and gear.

Corrowong Falls takes about 3 hours to portage on river left channel (dry but full of huge boulders).

Snowy Falls takes about 1 hour to portage in the chute just left of the main drop (this would be running and not safe at higher flows).

A section of about 200m needs to be portaged in the boulder section between Burnt Hut Crossing and Corrowong Falls due to rock sieves.

Several rapids need to be lined or ghost boated. Flows of 800 ML/d are strong enough to pin or flip a laden boat or wash a swimmer into a sieve but not enough to cover some rapids sufficiently to pass over with a laden raft.

Safety comes first and some sections can be partially paddled and partially lined. This river has many undercut rocks and sieves. No rapids should be entered blind. Scouting is key.

At 800 ML/d most of the river was moving well but some parts can be a tad shallow. Four full days is required to comfortably negotiate the approximatly 80km.

It is hard to grade the river – the two falls are definitely not safe to paddle at this flow (probably never safe). The paddleable sections are around grade 2-3 and some sections possibly grade 4 due to complexity and risk but can be portaged / lined.

The Boulder Section

Snowy River Boulder Section. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Boulder Section. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Boulder Section. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Boulder Section. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Corrowong Falls

Snowy River Corrowong Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Corrowong Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Hanging Rock Flats

Snowy River Hanging Rock Flats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Hanging Rock Flats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Gorge between the Falls

Snowy River Gorge between Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Gorge between Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Gorge between Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Gorge between Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Falls

Snowy River Snowy Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved. 

Snowy River Snowy Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Snowy Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Snowy Falls. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

The Lower Flats

Snowy River Lower Flats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Lower Flats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Lower Flats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Wildlife - Native and Feral

Snowy River Eastern Water Dragon. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Brumbys. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Pigs. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy River Goats. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

One quoll was sighted at Snowy Falls. Heaps of platypus were seen.

Campsites

Burnt Hut Crossing (night 1 - before starting)

Snowy River Burnt Hut Crossing Campsite. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Corrowong Falls (night 2)

Snowy River Corrowong Falls Campsite. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Falls (night 3)

Snowy River Snowy Falls Campsite. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Near Devils Hole Creek (night 4)

Snowy River Devils Hole Creek Campsite. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Just below Jacobs River Confluence (night 5)

Snowy River Jacobs River Confluences Campsite. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Jolyon Taylor March 19, 2014Our trip began on 4th November at Burnt Hut Crossing.

  • Flush flow from Lake Jindabyne released 6th November. 2,554 ML/d with 8 hour peak of 3,307 ML/d.
  • Dalgety Weir is about 27 km from Lake Jindabyne. It can be seen flush reached Dalgety that same day.
  • The flow didn’t reach Burnt Hut Crossing until 7th peaking on 8th November. This is about 90 km from Jindabyne.
  • Our trip reached Jacobs confluence at the end of the 7th.
  • Note: data is from NSW Office of Water website and is raw/unchecked data.
  • The flush was noticed visually at Jacobs confluence (another ~80km) on 8th November. No gauge at this site.
  • Therefore our trip was run on about 800 ML/d.
  • Prior to water being returned to the Snowy, most flows in the section from Burnt Hut Crossing to Jacobs came from the Delegate.
  • The data shows that during our trip the contribution from Delegate was small ~130 ML/d. The other 670 ML/d was from Jindabyne.
  • Antecedent flows had ensured upstream pools were full so we benefited from full release rate.
  • Older guidebooks written before water was returned to Snowy gave indicative canoeable levels at McKillops, being a gauge that has long been accessible. These guide levels do not apply particularly well when the majority of the flow is coming from Jindabyne, rather than tributaries.
  • For example, our trip was run quite successfully at a McKillops level lower than the minimum recommended.
  • Future trips should probably look at Burnt Hut Crossing gauge which is found at http://realtimedata.water.nsw.gov.au/water.stm

Our Rafting Crew

Snowy River Rafting Crew. Copyright Jolyon Taylor 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Putting In: Burnt Hut Crossing. South side of river. Access is via the old coach road which fords the river but is now a private track as the council has ceased maintaining it. River access crosses private land owned by Mark Mills. Track is usually locked as fires, weeds and erosion can be a problem to farmers. Our party parked our vehicle several kms back at Knockalong sheep station owned by Rowan Wright. Access is from Delegate town via Corrowong Road then Tombong Rd. Knockalong is signed on the left. We then travelled to Burnt Hut Crossing with Rowan and Mark in their vehicle.Parties should contact Rowan (02 6458 8134 or 0427 588 134) or Mark (02 6458 8190 or 0408 487 828) prior to visiting. They are happy to help out kayakers and rafters. Please don’t take this for granted so others can continue to enjoy the privilege.

Taking Out: Half Way Flat on the Barry Way (Buchan – Jindabyne road) about 1km downstream of the Jacobs confluence. 2WD access. We prearranged a pick up – our rented Inmarsat phone worked great here.

Camping: Campsite 1 Burnt Hut Crossing - Campsite 2 Corrowong Falls - Campsite 3 Snowy Falls - Campsite 4 near Devils Hole Creek - Campsite 5 - Just below Jacobs River confluence.

Entry Date: March 18, 2014

Verified Date: March 18, 2014

Verified by: Kim Taylor, Travis Crowther & Paul Nichol

 

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