Topic: Merced River Status, Ferguson Rock Slide Update
|Posted: Apr 8, 2007Post Subject: Merced River Status, Ferguson Rock Slide Update
|The Merced River is open for boating along its entire length. Vehicle traffic is restricted to 28 feet maximum length. Expect up to 15 minute delays at the half mile long detour.|
In April of 2006, a large-scale rock slide completely buried a few hundred yards of HW 140. Talus from the slide protrudes more than ten feet into the river at Balls to the Wall Rapid (about 1 mile downstream from the South Fork). The main channel is significantly constricted and many new boulders now choke the entrance to the old Balls Rapid. As flows increase there is potential for a near-river-wide hole. Likewise, as flows increase, a sneak channel opens up on the far right. Take a look at it from the road while setting your shuttle, but do not stop anywhere along the HW 140 detour, as this is a one—lane traffic control area. Scout the rapid at river level from the right bank. Stay away from river left; most of the ugly sharp junk is on that side and stray rocks are still coming down.
The Sierra National Forest has established a monitoring plan and color coded alert system. Level Green is all go. Yellow is increased caution. Level Orange may close the river to boating. Red closes the river and the highway! Check the current conditions before leaving home at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra/conditions/ferguson.shtml
Feel free to email the River Ranger at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Greenwood—BLM River Ranger