Sierra snowpack has river outfitters looking for record season

Posted By: The Ski Channel on April 14, 2011 12:27 pm

Record snowfall at places like Squaw Valley, USA and Mammoth Mountain have a huge impact of another season.  Summer.  The California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) is reporting an above average snowpack in the Sierra which has river outfitter O.A.R.S. getting ready for an exciting, extended season of thrill-stacked whitewater rafting. This year’s snowpack is expected to produce higher water levels, faster flows, bigger rapids, and a longer-than-average California rafting season. The Tuolumne River’s late May and early June season is expected to provide the highest flows of the year, and some of the most exciting whitewater rafting conditions in California’s recent history.

Photo: Mammoth Mountain

Due to this year’s snowpack, current market conditions, continued interest in close-to-home adventures, and emerging trends toward shorter but more frequent vacations, O.A.R.S. President & Founder, George Wendt is expecting 2011 to be “the best California rafting season since 1983”. Steve Markle, O.A.R.S. Director of Sales & Marketing had this to say; “With a substantial snowpack and the fact that more California residents are seeking active, high adventure vacations closer to home, we anticipate a record California rafting season.”

“We appear to be on a good water supply track as we move toward summer’s peak demand period,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. The 2011 season will mark California’s second consecutive year of above average spring snowpack and some outfitters are predicting the best water in more than a decade. 

CDWR hydrologists recently confirmed that the water content of California’s mountain snowpack is 124 percent of normal for mid-March. Recent late-winter storms have dumped more than eight feet of snow in parts of the Sierra, and with more snow predicted, the month of March is more than making up for a dry January and early February.

O.A.R.S., California’s leading provider of whitewater rafting and adventure travel, offers trips on seven California rivers, including the North Fork of the Stanislaus through Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the Merced and Tuolumne rivers near Yosemite National Park, the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River near Auburn, as well as family-friendly adventures on the South Fork of the American River near Sacramento and the Lower Klamath River in Northern California. O.A.R.S. operates in California from April through September with river trips that range from high adventure for adrenaline junkies to gentle floats suitable for children as young as four years.