Colorado’s snowpack delivered an epic ski season, now it’s rafters’ turn
Colorado’s snowpack is reaching historic proportions this spring, and that leaves fans of whitewater excited — and a bit nervous. Last year’s slim snowpack threatened to run river rafting companies out of business, especially in southern Colorado, where rafters were left scrounging for trickles of water. This year, enthusiasts see opportunity, as all rivers look ready to run wild. In fact, it’s hard to pick where to go first.
“I look at the water levels every few days,” said Vincent Lujan of Denver, who last year spent 90 days on rivers all over Colorado, “and it’s like you’re looking through a catalogue.”
All over Colorado, river forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are seeing snowpacks of up to 200 percent of average in Southworth’s area, southern Colorado, with those same snowpacks in the top three of the past 30 years. Snowpacks over the rest of Colorado are still great but more moderate, more like 120 percent of median statewide as of Friday, ranks that put them in the top 10 of the past 30 years. That still leaves room for excitement.
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