Change is in the Air: Reflections on the 2007 Season

Posted October 18, 2007 by Tessa Sibbet

The 2007 rafting season AO was chock full of the stuff movies are made of. Last weekend (October 13) marked the end of a pretty amazing summer here at All-Outdoors. We spent the season playing, building, expanding, improving, bonding…oh yeah, and rafting! Now that the season is over, we will be blogging a little less, but we will keep you in the loop about our guides, the California snowpack, changes for the upcoming season, winter rafting trips (including Chile), and interesting tidbits from All-Outdoors.

Pre-river TalkAO Headquarters, Coloma: After months, ok, years, of hard labor, we finally opened the All-Outdoors River Property and began doing put-ins and take-outs for the South Fork American right here at home. Guides and guests both loved the new bathrooms, meet-and-greet straw bale building, and beautiful amphitheater. Stu and his crew have put an enormous amount of time and energy into the property and will continue working on the finishing touches this winter.

American River: The Federal Energy Relicensing Commission came up with the flow schedule for the next 50 years after several years of negotiating. We now have guaranteed flows on the South Fork six days a week during the summer months and on weekends all year. The promised flows are higher (1600 cfs) than they were releasing before, so this was incredible news to us. The spring and summer Guide Schools brought us some great new crew members and the guides on both rivers worked hard through the end of the season (in fact, a few of them are still helping with equipment repairs and closing down operations for the winter).

Cherry CreekTuolumne River: In the spring, we acquired more start dates on the Tuolumne River, allowing us to run twice as many trips on the beloved “T.” With more trips on the calendar, the Tuolumne crew opted to live in Groveland for the summer and forego the typical Highway 49 shuffle. Adam Walker and Kyle Connely spent several weeks in the spring remodeling the warehouse and turning it into a more comfortable place to live. Cherry Creek trips were the silver lining of a low snowpack in the Sierra. Although we didn’t see any high water in the spring, normal summer flows on the Creek from June-September allowed us to run trips down there much earlier this year. Because ofthe extended Creek season, a few of our up-and-coming Class V guides had the opportunity to row the cataraft or a guide boat and test their skills (and we were very impressed)! We also started offering Tuolumne-Cherry Creek combo trips, creating one of the only Class V overnight river trips in California.

Winter and the 2008 Season: It is already raining in Northern California and Tahoe resorts are reporting several inches of snow from the previous storm. We are optimistic about the winter storms and snowpack. Keep checking the AO Blog for information about flow predictions, stories about our winter travels and ski expeditions, and changes that are being made around All-Outdoors. Thanks for a great season!


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