Wednesday, March 12, 2014

snowpack is holding up...

In Cale's world of rafting the Salmon River and the Middle Fork, much depends on runoff from snowmelt. So rafters spend much of their winter huddled around basin snow reports like this:

Here's the real snowpack report. High water is a spring thing, but summer water on the Idaho rivers often arrives with the July 4th launches. In my memory, the launch closest to July 4 was a big double launch and kicked off summer. You could kind of get away with not wearing a wetsuit. Finally. Prior to that though, as in all of June and May, rafting had to deal with cold high runoff. On undammed rivers like the Middle Fork and the Main, runoff can be an amazing thing. When you see how strong high water is during spring runoff, you start to understand how 20,000 foot peaks can be reduced to sand on a beach. On the map above, the Salmon Basin is looking pretty much average, which should make for a decent rafting season. What stands out for me are all the yellow triangle down in the Sierras. Poor California. It's going to be a tough season down there.

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