Tuesday, August 5, 2008

High water? Low water? Who cares? Boating is FUN!

Thanks for the shot-out there Dennis. We absolutely love having you, and the testament you gave us in your reply post was humbling. We appreciate it.

If you haven't read Dennis' response post, check it out. He's coming tomorrow to do a Rockwood trip. One of the lucky few. I still haven't come off the high the last Rockwood bashing gave me...and that was nearly two weeks ago! Everybody should come get a piece of it while it's hot.

On the bottom end of the Animas, things are starting to get rowdy as the low water rolls in. Bring the biggest water guns you can find, the aqua battles are becomming epic. Five gallon water dump buckets on pulley systems hanging from bridges is the act to beat right now. I'm serious, water wars like you've never seen. Be ready to overthrow ships and pirate your enemies! This is a great time of year to head to the river for an afternoon cool off, even if the water isn't huge. It's just mighty nice and fun on a boat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rockwood Descent is in the Books

Seven members of Mountain Waters crew got into Rockwood Gorge this morning for the first raft descent this season. The verdict was consistent: this was the greatest idea ever.

After a “boats-on-the-back” two mile hike to the put-in, we finally got to boat. The Rockwood Gorge is special because of its remoteness. Although it’s actually fairly close to civilization, the task of getting in and out of the Gorge is a tall one, to say the least.

When we run it commercially with clients, we have the capability to use the train. The train drops our gear at Cascade Canyon, we hike in from Purgatory Flats, pump air into the boats, and saddle up. When you do the section privately, as was done today, you’re on your own. The boats come with you on the hike, which isn’t quite as easy as having a Steam Engine carry them for you.

Onward, enough of the logistics. Rockwood Gorge is a team sport. Your guide is there because he knows the river, but without a paddling crew the ship won’t sail. In this Gorge, the paddlers are every bit as important as the guide. The trip comes equipped with constant hi-sides and regular low-sides, “STRAIGHTEN UP” calls, “DIIIIGGGGG” calls, and usually one or two calls that nobody has heard before. Being active in the boat is just as much a part of it as paddling. And it’s crazy fun.

Today was a clean day. It was an immaculate morning in the canyon, the water was loud and green, and the train ran 400 feet above us twice. The water is at an amazing level right now, and the two biggest rapids – Mandatory Thrashing and Red Rock Rapid – are flowing at a great speed. I’ve never had more fun in a boat than I did today.

And after the trip…it’s time to team build and haul the boats and gear up and out of the Gorge. It’s a chore, but it’s over in a half hour, and for a great day of boating I wouldn’t think twice about it.

Give us a call and try it out for yourself. You’d most likely be one of ten people to raft this stretch of water this year. No kidding. And it’ll be the most amazing piece of water you’ve seen.

Matt should be posting a video of today’s trip within the next couple days. Don’t forget to come back and check it out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ain't No Home like a Raft

"We said there warn't no home like a raft. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy on a raft."

There's just something special about being on a boat. Whether your a seasoned boatman, a first timer, an annual whitewater enthusiast, or Huck Finn, there's simply something special about sitting on a boat.

Using water as a means of transportation, that's where all this started. And after a while the great pioneers were building their own boats for their own reasons. Our heroes came to be when John Wesley Powell first passed through the immaculate waters of the Grand Canyon. We saw brilliance in Bert Loper's love for that Canyon, and we rally from his inspiring death in those waters. As boatmen, we reach for reason in myths and folklore concerning our pioneers. We find our reason in campfire stories told by our buddies about waters we've never seen. We believe each other and we understand each other, and often times we feel the same sense of enjoyment and satisfaction as Powell and Loper and Huckleberry Finn did.

There's nothing special to it, there's no secret to a boatman's happiness. It's simply that being on a boat, heading downstream, makes you happy.

Rockwood Gorge Trips coming soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's Duckie season!

The little inflatable kayaks are starting to make their way onto the Animas town run more and more each day. Mountain Waters plans to start offering guided Duckie (inflatable kayak) trips in the coming weeks.

Casey Lynch, owner of Mountain Waters, will hold his annual "duckie guide meeting" tonight. He will go over safety issues, rescue situations, and do an on-the-water training. Obviously being in a duckie alone is a lot different than being in a boat with eight other people, therefore a different sort of mindset is needed. Although duckie guides are usually staying busy while on the water, it's a favorite among the crew here at Mountain Waters. Guides get excited to be in a different boat, in different situations, and, all of a sudden, bigger water. The smaller the boat, the bigger the wave.

We offer single duckies as well as double duckies. If you book a duckie trip, we'll get you lined out with a helmet and a paddle, a quick little safety speech, and then you'll be off on your own whitewater adventure.

The boats are fun, the water is good. Come and find out if you have what it takes to guide yourself down a class II-III river. We'd love to have you.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Boating Update!

Mountain Waters Rafting had its annual customer service and liability meeting on Wednesday evening. All of our guides, drivers, management, and public relations crew were in attendence. The meeting was led by our owner, Casey Lynch, and all members of our team had the opportunity for questions and comments, as well as great stories, involving the best and worst customer service they've seen or heard of.

We had some great stories, including "the difference between whitewater and brown water," as told by Ashe, a critical member of our PR crew. If you do happen to come boating with us, ask your guide for a recount of some of the better stories.

In the end, the meeting was to insure that all of our guides are on the same page when it comes to customer service. And we all agree that it's a not a goal, but a priority, to offer the best trip in town. We all take pride in running a smooth, clean rafting show at Mountain Waters, and our customer service meeting offers our crew a chance to suggest ways to improve even more.

Business is picking up on both our town run and our Upper Animas trip. Our water continues to be great from a strong snow pack, and the high country Monsoon season is rolling in a little early and dumping rains in the mountains, which, in turn, is giving us more water (with the same great weather) in town.

It was our privilege having Sam Moulton from Outside Magazine and Kristin Bjornsen from Climbing Magazine with us on our Upper Animas trip this weekend. Both were in town to see what all the fuss is about, and I'm pretty confident they left with a better understanding. We had great water, great weather, and the boating and camping was excellent.

We'll keep you updated when the articles concerning this weekend's trip get published in their respective magazines within the coming months. We also had professional photographer Scott Smith with us, and when we get access to photos and video clips we'll quickly pass them on.

Hope everyone is having a great summer. Come see us, it's not too hot here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The water's good and the boating is better.

Our second training session is under way and it seems that we've got a great new crop of boatmen and boatwomen this season. Our first training session wrapped up the second week of May, and we should be finishing this one up within the next week. Candice, John, Dave, and Iris have been heading up the training show this week and have had nothing but great things to report.

Our in-town water flow has been tremendous and continues to flow at extremely exciting water levels. It seems we're going to get lucky this season and have a long, consistent mid-to-high water year through the month of July and on into August.

If you're interested in getting on either of our two world class river trips, the Piedra or the Upper, give us a call and we'll get you lined out. As of now, we have trips heading into the Piedra Gorge this weekend and we're looking to book up a trip between June 23 and June 27. If you're interested, call us at 1-800-748-2507.

We're also looking for whitewater enthusiast to join us on an Upper Animas trip on July 22. As of now, the trip stands as a one day ordeal, but we can work with you to make it an overnight trip as well. Personally, I highly suggest our overnight trip. I can say, without reservation, that its one of the best river trips in the world.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Boating Season is Under Way

Well, the season is under way and we're looking at a big water year. As was posted earlier, our snowpack was huge this winter and our runoff has been just as big so far this season.

Our two World Class rivers, the Piedra and the Upper Animas, are off and kicking. Our Upper Animas camp, at the foot of Chicago Basin, has been set and is looking stylish as usual. Our kitchen is fully equipped with everything you'll need, and we've got two new A-frames up for comfy sleeping. Guide rivalries at the horseshoe pit are starting to get intense, and any clients up to the challenge are more than welcome. The water is running pretty big out of Silverton right now, but with three trips in the book so far this season everything has gone great. "No Name" rapid has changed drastically due to a rock slide last fall, and it seems as though it will be constantly changing throughout the season. If you're interested, contact our booth at 970-259-4191. And remember that this section of the Animas has been rated one of the Top 10 river trips in the country.

Our Piedra trips are also full swing. We've done three commercial trips over there to date, and everything has gone well. Tessa and Dave just got off back-to-back days in Piedra Canyon and both came back raving about how much fun it was. The Piedra season tends to be short, so if you're interested in getting over there this season then now is the time.

Things are also starting to really pick up in town. Our trips are booking up more and more each day and we're extremely satisfied with how things have been going. Our town run is an exciting trip and is perfect for families with youngsters.

If you're looking for something bigger and a more exciting then give the Upper Animas a shot. I promise you'll never forget it.

Matt has taken charge of getting video footage of some of our runs this season. He was over on the Piedra with John and I last week and if all goes to plan, he'll have that footage posted on this blogsite by the end of the week.

Hope to see everyone in Durango! Safe travels.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow pack

As of February 12, 2008 the snowpack in the Mountains above Durango, Colorado is at 160% of normal. Hang on to your hat this year!