W.E.T. River Trips six day guide school, that started April 8th, officially just ended; and knowing the weather forecasted during that time, created a heightened sense of adventure and focus on the unknown (ergo: what would five consecutive days of rain provide for us?).
The North Fork immediately ran high... too high. The roads to other California rivers became blocked and travel became limited at-best. However, the South Fork of the American pulled through for us, our trainees and our clients as well. Everyday we had flows of at-least 5,500 cubic feet per second (CFS) and some days, we had over 6,550 CFS. Compare that to a good summer flow of 1,500CFS, and the ingredients for fun and excitement are obvious. Every day was a complete blast even with relentless rain and grey skies... the South Fork was prime!
Even the most seasoned and veteran guides (Andrew?!?) left the water with huge smiles and accolades for the days on the water. We did Chili Bar, the Gorge, Full River, and two day trips in every conceivable combination as we ended up spending 8 out of ten days on the water. Eric and Zack took a day off and they are back on for another long stretch. Jonny, Maggie, Saul, Jason, Ryan, Andrew, Zack, Alex W., Eric C., Justin, Steve, and Walter all had a part in the show. A fantastic start to HIGH season!!!! (Jeff, Mike, and Josh were troopers!)
Now that the rain has stopped (hopefully) we can take stock of the incredible bounty of the cold, moisture-laden snow pack. (Kirkwood has had over 800 inches of snow this season).
Sidebar: Nate called the W.E.T. office Easter Sunday evening as he sat in the patrol hut at the top of Kirkwood's chair 10 where he would have to spend the night while the resort dug out and Highway 88 was cleared (88 opened Monday afternoon). When he called we made plans for his return to duty: safety kayaking and guiding the three forks of the American and the Cal Salmon.
We'll be back on the North Fork American this weekend and up to the California Salmon as soon as we can... a straight week of clear sky's and mild temperatures will make for a great weekend to come!
An Official Big Poppa Post!