As we approach the 2018-19 winter season, all of us are hoping for a snowier season than last year. The snowfall directly affects how well some of the rivers of Colorado run each rafting season, so you can count on us doing the snow dance all winter long in hopes of a productive winter. How exactly are the river affected by snowfall? Stick around, we’ll get to that.
A big winter is something that everyone is looking forward to this year. I mean, who doesn’t love bluebird powder days on the mountain, hitting those secrets stashes that you hope no one finds out about. While we are wishing and hoping for great skiing/snowboarding conditions all season long, we are selfishly hoping the snowmelt is abundant. Once everyone has enjoyed the snow and had a great winter season, the snow will melt and then the spring fun begins.
A fantastic winter and snowpack has the potential to bring a great whitewater season. While we are hoping for a bountiful season, we are hoping for that within reason. Why, do you ask? Well, if we get too much snow, there’s a chance that certain sections of the river will run too high and be too dangerous for rafters. Yes, we are hoping to have our cake and eat it too.
The runoff is extremely important when it comes to the rafting community. Late spring snows typically bring a surge of runoff that runs through quickly because of the warmer temps, so it might be great for a week or two, then die out. When the big snows come during the cold winter temperatures, the snow takes longer to melt and, therefore, feeds the rivers progressively as the snow and ice melt.
With a high snowpack winter, the rafting season will last much longer and won’t peak too early. The 2017-18 season saw a low snowpack going into the rafting season, which resulted in the rivers peaking at a much earlier time than planned. Once the rivers did peak, the levels fell extremely quick, causing a number of sections to be unraftable and a lot of vacations having to be altered.
When you have a high snowpack season, the snow lower down the mountain will melt first, giving that initial flow to the river. With more snow to melt, the river will last longer and there will be a longer high flow season, which is always a great time for the adventurous thrill seekers who are looking for that little bit of extra on the trip.
With El Nino being on the higher side of coming to Colorado this winter, a big snow season is looking like a solid go! So, come on out and enjoy the awesome snow this winter and then do not forget to check back in the spring to see when the prospective openings for each of our outposts. Check back here and on our social media pages for updates on how the snowpack and the snow melt is going.
If you’re as optimistic as we are about the 2019 season, book your adventures with us today! You’ll get the best rates on your trips, be able to to take advantage of some great deals and have something to look forward to throughout the winter. Book online or give us a call today at 877-RAFTING (877-723-8464).