Whitewater season in Colorado is generally predictable. May will bring moderate water levels, followed by peak runoff in June, and a pretty steady flow for July. By this time of year, though, runoff will have started to dwindle. For almost every other river in the state, this means that peak rafting season is over.
Now, here in Kremmling, dwindling runoff only means one thing to our staff- GORE CANYON! This is the most technical commercially rafted stretch in the United States. AKA the most fun raftable stretch available in August/September. Containing 3 MONSTER Class V rapids, 10-15 Class IV, and countless Class III, this run is nothing to scoff at. And, in my opinion, is something every whitewater enthusiast should experience at least one time.
Last year we were given a permit to take commercial trips down Gore Canyon, opening up a whole new level of whitewater for our company. Now, we have our first couple Commercial Gore Canyon trips coming up. Included in our Gore trips is a steak lunch from the Middle Park Meat Company, the most awesome whitewater experience in the state, and the very best guides available. Sound like fun? All that is required is excellent physical fitness, a serious mentality, good swimming ability, and experience rafting Class IV. All commercial guests must swim a Class 3 rapid, swim underneath the raft, and be able to enter the raft with minimal assistance. Still sound like fun? Just give us a call at 970-724-1122 to book!
July and August at a rafting company can be crazy. All of our staff are expected to work a lot of hours with little to no time off, and usually no set schedule. However, every once in a while the river gods smile down on us and allow us a day that is slow enough to maybe get out and play a little bit. Entire days off during the peak season are few and far between, but when they do come around we always try to take full advantage!
What do we do with these days off? Depends on the guide. Today several of our staff are down at Red Rocks for a concert. Some days guides will take boats out and hone their skills on different rivers. Me? I try to spend my time off in the mountains. There's nothing that takes your mind off work like a gruelling 14 hour day of hiking and climbing.
Last week I went with Ross to climb Lone Eagle Peak- truly one of the most inspiring mountains I have ever come across.
This week? A little alpine adventure in our back yard- the Gore Range! Did the Zodiac Traverse with a good friend. A truly awesome experience!
River Guides.....So many connotations are associated with this profession. Some good, some bad. Some true, some false. There's one thing I have picked up on in the years of doing this, though. And that is River Guides' love for dogs. They say that about 47% of Americans own dogs, I'd say in our profession the percentage of dog owners is closer to 60%.
So, when our guides are on the river, what are their dogs doing? Usually just hanging around the boathouse. Barking at inanimate objects, peeing on walls, whatever it is dogs do to pass their time. Here at AW we have some of the coolest dogs ever:
My dog, Bridger
Trip Leader Ross' dog, Greg!
Destiny's dog, RoadRunner!
Here at Adventures in Whitewater, we take a lot of pride in our hodgepodge assortment of people movers- the vehicles we use to get you to and from the rivers. Our main vehicle up here is a 1985 Thomas Safe-T-Liner. This bus has a backstory that would be fitting for a Hemingway novel- it started its life down in Denver, Colorado, as a school bus for the Cherry Creek School District. For near fifteen years it dependably moved kids to and from school and field trips. All things considered, that's a pretty standard story for a school bus. It's after it was sold from the school district in 1997 that the story gets interesting. For three years after it was sold, the bus belonged to Winter Park Resort- moving guests between the base area of Winter Park and Mary Jane. When Winter Park decided it was time for it to move on, it was sold to Berthoud Pass Ski area. For those unfamiliar with Berthoud Pass Ski Area, this was one of the coolest resorts ever opened in Colorado. Featuring a huge amount of Double Black terrain, and ample backcountry access, this resort was one of the first areas offering Extreme Skiing in Colorado. For four years, Thomas chugged reliably up and down Berthoud Pass, spending most of that time operating about 10,000 feet. If you look at videos from Berthoud Pass Ski Area, you can see Thomas faithfully waiting in the parking lot to move people back up to the base area. However, due to a permitting issue, Berthoud Pass Ski area had to close in 2004- coincidentally the year Adventures in Whitewater was founded. Earlier this year in June, Thomas got a face lift, and became the largest green bus in American. And last week, Thomas was part of AW's biggest day ever- doing his part in moving 87 people down to the river for a morning trip! Not a bad life!