Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rafting and the Melt Cycle

March comes in "like a lion!" Storm after storm has hit California with low elevation snow. More snow equals more runoff for rafting trips. Here's what we hope for, of course, for optimum flows on the American River and other rivers in California. We have a nice, slow warming this spring so that we don't flood Sacramento and other outlaying areas. A slow warm-up will bring a gradual melt cycle where the rivers will be higher than summer flows for those of us who crave more intense whitewater rapids. With a slower melt cycle, Mother Nature produces a longer season for the rafting and paddling community.

Rivers like the North Fork American will benefit since that system has no dams and depend on the melt cycle. Today's flow shows a big bump up because of recent rains and should not be seen as the normal flow. Commercially, we like to run between 1,000 cfs to 2,500 cfs though we have had river trips at 3,000 cfs with very experienced padders.

Group rafting trips have already started organizing for the summer months. Because Saturdays are the prime dates, we ask those of you who are organizing to keep that in mind. In other words, Saturdays are the most popular, so try to book early. Keep in mind, too, that we run everyday, so there's something for everyone. We know that it is hard to organize a group of people when our worlds seem to be filled with "procrastinators," but with our new online store, we hope that it will relieve some of the organizors duties.

No comments: