Backstage Pass to the AO Office!- Rafting Trip Bookings and Popular Rivers.

Posted February 6, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth

February Rafting Enthusiast.jpgFebruary is that month in which the True Whitewater Enthusiasts really separate themselves from the average rafter. How? By calling us! (No we do not award these February callers “True Enthusiast” status because they alleviate winter boredom.) Because I know that everyone aspires to also one day achieve the exalted title of a True Whitewater Enthusiast, I’ve decided to give out some very top secret insider information about why they have started calling us already and the important things we talk about.

(If you for some unexplainable reason don’t care about whether or not we award you True Enthusiast standing, you might still find this information useful in terms of knowing which rivers to keep an eye on, and which trips seem to be filling up the fastest.)

So why February? This month is important for three big reasons:

  1. Snowpack- The amount of snow and weather temperature experienced in February is incredibly meaningful in terms of how high and long our Spring season will be. We could be having a below average winter, but if the skies dump heavy snow in February and the ground stays cold- we’ve got ourselves a great chance at a high water year.
  2. Spring is Only Two Months Away!- Although still a bit cold, April is when that snow begins to melt and really fun runs like the North Fork American and North Stanislaus fill up with just enough water for a great day of rafting.
  3. Early Bird Gets the Worm- some of these fun Spring rivers have limited permits and availability, meaning the earlier you plan, the more options you have.

For these reasons, True Enthusiasts call in February to start planning for Spring. Because I’m afraid of the very complicated phone system in our office, however, I don’t personally answer these calls. (I recently learned how to transfer a call and consider this a large enough step for this week.) I am capable, however, of walking around the office and distracting my more fearless co-workers from their work in order to do some investigative reporting.

My Findings? Of all our Spring runs, the Kaweah River and Tuolumne River are recieving the most interest and bookings right now. The Kaweah is most likely attracting interest because of a high snowpack in the Central Sierras right now (121 percent of average) and also because of the great trips we had out there last year. People are coming back for more!
The Tuolumne River always gets early interest because its Wild and Scenic Status translates to a lower amount of available dates and space. People aware of this call in early, and Tuolumne Trips are some of the first to sell out every year.

Considering the Tuolumne and Kaweah are two of my favorite rivers to guide, I can’t complain. (Those True Enthusiasts really know what they’re doing.)

So by now you should have enough information to call in and thoroughly impress the friendly office staff here at All Outdoors with your extensive pre-season rafting knowledge. Best of luck to you aspiring Enthusiasts! Hope to see you on the river.


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