The Fisher Towers section of the Colorado River is by far the most popular Moab rafting trip. More people laugh, splash and swim their way down this 14 mile piece of the Colorado River than any other stretch. The longer I am in this business the more I come to appreciate just how great a trip it is.
Close to Moab the trip couldn’t feel more remote. Stunting scenery, rapids that are fun but not scary, great riverside beaches and a variety of plants, animals and geologic wonder make this the perfect way to spend a day in Moab.
Everything about this trip just feels right. What I mean by that is this. Right about the time you would wish for something new or different to happen it does. The ride to the put-in, at about 30 minutes, is perfect. The speed with which we get rafts on the water and people into them, perfect. The rafting before we get to lunch, the lunch stop, the rafting after lunch, the spacing of the rapids, the changes in scenery and the drive back to town, all are just right. Not too long, not to short. With water temps during the summer months in the 70’s there is no better place to spend a hot day than laughing, splashing and swimming down the Colorado River!
I have had the opportunity to run most of the 1 day rafting trips in the West. Each time I do I hold the experience up to our beloved Fisher Towers section and compare the trips. Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado all have rivers that are unique and fun. But what I have realized is that although some may have bigger rapids, few if any are more perfect in time and variety than what we have here in Moab.
Come run this gem with us and you’ll see what I mean!
We couldn’t be more happy about our 2014 Tripadvisor award. Our past guests say it best. Great guides, incredible trips and memories that last a lifetime are all a recurring theme in our online reviews. Thanks to those that adventured with us and took the time to tell others.
There are few places on earth that I enjoy as much as the beautiful mountain town of Ouray. Incredible scenery, friendly people, natural hot springs and, of course ICE!
The Ouray Ice Park is an amazing place to climb. Join RRA for a weekend of Ice Climbing in this world famous venue. All equipment is included through generous support from Petzl.
Here’s the details as always call with further questions or to reserve a spot.
Ouray Colorado! – Clinics
Mid-winter clinic February 1 & 2
Difficulty – Easy to Hard | WI2-WI5
Days – 2
Minimum age – Varies
Venues – Ouray, CO
Meets – 7:30
Dates – Feb 1-2
1 Person $350
Join Red River Adventures for a weekend of Ice Climbing, fun and friends. Ouray, Colorado is one of our favorite places in the world and we couldn’t be more happy to introduce you to this special place. The weekend will feature climbing on a variety of different ice routes and the will be the option to explore the world of mixed climbing and learn about Ice Protection and anchoring. Level of climbing and/or instruction is tailored to your level of experience. All technical equipment is supplied through our sponsors. Lodging and transportation are the responsibility of the participant.
Climb Like a Girl – Ice February 8 & 9
Difficulty – Easy to Hard | WI2-WI5
Days – 2
Minimum age – Varies
Venues – Ouray, CO
Meets – 7:30
Dates – Feb 1-2
1 person $375
RRA is proud to work with Carolyn Parker and her Climb like a Girl program. Carolyn is an AMGA certified rock guide and founder of CLAG and Athena Fit. We have been CLAG’ing for almost a decade in Moab, Indian Creek and Ouray. This weekend clinic is always a highlight of the winter. Incredible climbing, the highest caliber instruction and a real sense of community all combine to make these weekends special.All technical equipment is supplied through our sponsors. Lodging and transportation are the responsibility of the participant.
We are happy to share the news that TripAdvisor has named Red River Adventures a certificate of excellence winner for 2013.
Since 2007 our customers have been sharing their thoughts about our incredible trips on TA. 7 years, over 200 hundred reviews and 5 stars later we couldn’t be more happy to have received the recognition from the site itself.
We recently had the pleasure of spending some time with the talented artist and returning guest, Cynthia Martin. She joint us last year on a Moab rafting trip. Impressed with the Fisher Towers section she returned this spring to pass some time hiking and Rock Climbing in the Moab area before returning later this August with a group of friends. She is best now as a comic book artist and illustrator. I couldn’t be more happy that she took the time to do this piece.
We are in our 5th week of operations for the 2011 season and it has been fantastic. It’s starting to warm and the Colorado and Dolores rivers are rising. Utah rafting near Moab is already off to a great start.
So far this season our returning guides have busy. We have had rock climbing clients summit Ancient Art, rafters enjoy our Fisher Towers overnight and day trips and rapelled through our Morning Glory Canyoneering route. The rest of our full time staff of 17 is slowly returning from winter’s spent exploring skiing, grooming, rafting in warmer locations, mushing dogs and seeking higher education. Guides re-training is the first week in May and after that it is full tilt adventure.
So on this Easter Sunday I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone out there who might see this a happy Easter and a great summer.
After a bumpy start with a very cold wet November and a warm and dry December the Utah Ice season is finally off and running.
I spied this at the very bottom of Little Cottonwood Canyon and hadn’t ever remembered it forming. A quick look at Mountain Project yielded no information. I knew that another nearby small flow had been FA’d in a recent winter. Protected by some mixed climbing I thought we might have a shot at doing a new route.
I had a partner lined up for Saturday so Friday afternoon I hiked to the ramps that led to the base of the pillar. There were no other tracks and on my way out I covered mine. There were still a few hours of daylight left and I didn’t want to get scooped.
6AM is always a tough time to get out of a warm bed. Especially to go hike in the dark and stand in the cold but the sunrise found us at the base of the rock and within a short mixed pitch to the base of the Ice.
Easy but insecure slabs went down fairly easily and I was at the base.
Nate lead the pillar of beautiful yellow ice to the trees that we planned on rappelling from and……. that had slings from a previous ascent.
No new route but a fine adventure on new (to us) ice and a great way to start the day.
I just got the first 2011 stream flow forecast and things are looking great. The drainages that provide water for our Utah rafting trips received 150% of average snowfall in December which means that even if we have an abnormally dry month stream flows will be at least normal. If we stay in this storm track the forecasters are talking run off levels not seen since 1997, way above normal.
What does this all mean.
First, our Dolores River trip will be incredible April thru early June. The Dolores is one of my favorite river runs. Technical rafting in a desert setting is not the norm. The Dolores serves this kind of rafting up in buckets.
Second, the Fisher Towers will be incredibly fun and really big. Don’t let this put you off. This section is easily customizable buy simply either missing or hitting the big features encountered along the way.
Third, Cataract Canyon will be huge in May and June. One of natures spectacles, the rapids on this trip are some of the biggest in N. America.
No matter if you have 1 day or a week we have a trip for you and it looks like this is going to be a year to remember.
Well after years of thinking about and now months of development our new site is live. There’s still some work to do but the majority of the heavy lifting is complete. Clean and easy to navigate with lots of photos of our great Moab rafting, rock climbing and canyoneering trips I am super excited about the launch.
Here’s some good news. The NPS has begun offering online reservations for the Fiery Furnace hike. One of the best ranger led activities I have ever done. No one better to see this magnificent area with than a NPS ranger. The ranger I went with was studying the Fiery Furnace for a PHD.
This is a photo of my girl. Emma getting it done at the Kids Wall, Ouray, CO. 1st Ice Climb ever.
This past weekend we got to return to one of my favorite places, Ouray. A quintessential mountain town with unpaved streets, cool architecture, Hot Springs and great Ice Climbing make this a place I miss the moment I leave.
It’s always great to play in the snow that will become our summer time play ground, the Colorado River.
The Moab rafting season is right around the corner. Pray for snow!
That was what I call a breather. 8/15/09, the last blog post that was written. Since then we’ve put the lid on our best season ever, rafted the Grand Canyon, hosted another AMGA SPI course, done some traveling and been skiing and Ice Climbing.
It’s 2010 and there’s plenty of rafting, climbing and canyoneering to be done. Hard to believe that the season opener is only 2 1/2 months away.
As of 1/1/10 snow pack numbers are about 90% of normal for the Colorado River Basin. This is good all we will need is near normal precip in the mountains of Colorado and we’ll have another fun and exciting year on the Colorado River.
Found this amazing video that the Moab Travel Council put together, enjoy.
Red River wants you to join our good friends at the Sawtooth Adventure Company on thier final float through the Frank Church Wilderness this summer. You will experience fun rapids, huge sandy beaches, amazing food and complete relaxation only found on Idaho’s famous Salmon River.
In an effort to end the 2009 season with a bang we are offering the best summer travel deal around…..$795 per person ($300 off) includes:
4 night Wilderness Rafting Trip that includes all food, river & camp equipment, and amazing scenic flight over the largest wilderness in the lower 48.
Scenic charter flight back to Salmon at the end of the tripThe trip will meet at the Salmon, Idaho airport at 5 PM on Aug 20th.
You will be flown back to your vehicle via an amazing scenic flight on August 24th.Give us a call to take advantage of this unheard of travel deal
Going to the grocery store was so much easier than it used to be.
It dawns on me today as I juggle 5 empty gallon water jugs, 5 lids and 2 re-usable shopping bags, wallet and a blackberry that I carry almost as much into the store as I do out of the place.
In my drive to be green I finally remembered the freakin tote bags and the water jugs that we reuse so we don’t clog the landfill and because we can’t drink the water that flows from the tap and I forget the shopping list.
Tough enough when I had to remember the list, everything on it and to grab all my bags as I left the store (come on you know you’ve left groceries you just bought behind) now I’ve got to have a check list of things to take TO the store.
Well that sure was a quick 2 months. A blur of rafting, climbing and canyoneering with people from all over the world. What a season we and Moab have been having.
I just want to take 2 seconds to say, thanks to those that have shared an adventure with us so far in 2009 and come on down to those who are thinking about it.
The river is still at levels that we didn’t even see in some of the worst dought years and the scenery that surrounds our rock and canyoneering routes is spactacular as always.
Our 2009 guides are doing a fantastic job, keeping people safe, sharing what they know about the sports we do and the area in which we do them. I’ve heard more than a few times this season that the time spent with Red River Adventures was the very best of the entire vacation.
This is one of those posts that has been sitting on my hard drive, 0’s and 1’s, since last September. Two accidents in about as many months left me thinking about doing what we do. It’s been revisited, tweaked, but still hidden until now. Why? This last weekend we lost a Friend and an employee and now just seemed like the time to let this fly.
It’s a strange thing when someone you know dies. It a far stranger thing when someone your age who is vibrant, strong, and who has plans similar to you own dies. Stranger still is that around here this dieing happens, all too often, and while playing.
When I moved here in the late 90’s I did so with the pictures I’d seen and the stories I’d read in magazines filling my head. Wonderful stories of huge powder days, remote rivers and beautiful rock climbs all done with close friends. There were also stories of tragedy and loss. Stories of avalanches, mistakes made in very high places and of the undeniable power of water and our inability to breath it, all taking close friends and leaving the world a little more empty.
Both sides of this coin seemed so remote to me when I left the East to come here. The mountains were a far off place that I was sure I would visit like a tourist, observe and then likely leave. I couldn’t picture myself being a part that world and the culture that I’d so often read about.
I’ve been here 11 years now and in that short period of time have been witness to my own stories of both bliss and tragedy. Fortunately the, can’t wipe the smile from your face, great times I’ve gotten to experienced first hand. The wipe your mind clean sad times, still to this day, through one degree of separation.
I can remember the first time a close friend of a friend was killed while playing. I’d been in the mountains for 2 years and through a weird set of coincidences I met and become friendly with those very guys I’d read about while living “back East”. The stories of folks that filled the pages of the adventure mags had become people I knew and did things with.
It was one of these magazine worthy adventures that prompted the need for the first “slide show” that I would attend. An avalanche had occurred during an expedition to the mountains halfway around the world, two miles higher than were I currently sit writing this. Snow had moved and lives had been lost. My new friends had come home broken and I went in a show of support.
The Slide show is the mountain equivalent of an Irish wake. Folks get together and look at pictures of the lost friend and his or her exploits. Alcohol flows, stories are told and for a brief period I don’t think it hurts so much.
At first it was easy to disregard these occurrences, after all I’d only just arrived. I was still getting the lay of the land. I didn’t think of myself as a climber or a boater or a real skier. Since that night there have been many more slide shows. They are results of drowning, avalanche, misstep, equipment failure, poor judgment and poor luck all while playing. Pretty much the same story over and over. Tragedy always happening to someone I’d met but not really gotten to know. This made the loss real but somehow distant. I still felt like a tourist, observing from the outside, not really a part of the picture.
But now as time, and more people have passed I no longer feel like I’m am an observer. I realize I am part of this shrinking tribe yet I continue to play. As I sit here I can’t tell you exactly why I do so. I’m really not sure how I and others deal with the reality that playing can not only get you hurt but may actually kill you. A few have thrown in the towel. Most are still out there. Some have backed off, some continue on as hard charging as ever.
We’ve just lost another one. Someone I knew fairly well and I wonder if maybe, just maybe I should be watching the world series instead. Is it crazy to continue to do the same things that have been thinning my herd for a decade? Probably but if I or any of us stops isn’t it a bit like dieing anyway?
Longing for some warmer temps, long routes and easy climbing to shake out the cobwebs from a long winter I put together a last minute plan to head to Red Rocks for some fun.
3 days, 3 or 4 routes with an estimated 25+ pitches all under 5.9 were on the menu.
What unfolded was not in the plan at all.
This although pretty is not something you want to see before heading out for a day of desert rock.
We did mange to get in a two pitch climb during the only break in the clouds.
But then this moved in and we were shut down for good.
You might ask? What next. Well, being well trained and forward thinking outdoor professional we had of course brought along all the things you might need in an emergency. Food, water and adult beverages all laid in for just such a situation. Obviously there was only one thing to do, hit the emergency supplies, hard. Later deciding that shelter was in order we headed to the Bonnie Springs Ranch for food and beverages that didn’t come from a cooler. After much food and drink, meeting Bonnie and seeing freinds who live in Vegas it was time to go, they were closing. Closed a bar in Vegas…enough said.
Pitch tally 2
Not so much….and no pictures.
After a rather long nap in the Pine Creek parking lot which prompted quite a bit of conversation among some of the other visitors to Red Rocks we managed to get off at the crack of 1PM. We hiked to what we were sure would be an empty Cat in the Hat to find a party, only slightly more lazy than us, just leading off on pitch 2. We decided to head up. Ooppss. Climbing hurt much more than hiking and with a pinch of hot afternoon sun I, well, I wasn’t feeling “tip top”.
After catching the party above at the bottom of pitch 3 we decided to call it a “DAY”. Down we went. Pitch tally 4.
This is what we came for.
** Video Missing – Would Not Transfer**
Steep and fun, classic Red Rocks face climbing, steep jugs, 580′ of a rock climbing “powder run”.
These 5 pitches would have been worth the drive.
Pitch tally 10.
The trip didn’t unfold the way I thought it would but it will be one I remember for ever.
The February snow pack numbers are in and things are looking great. The Colorado River basin is 123% of normal above Moab. Combine this with the fact the reservoirs are about 1oo% of average as well and we are virtually assured that the water levels on Fisher Towers and Cataract Canyon will be great, making for truly exciting Moab rafting trips.
The Dolores River basin is 116% of normal and reservoirs storage is 105% of normal. This is more than enough to count on this amazing river section to run at great levels in 2009.
I just got the Colorado River basin Forecast report for January.
The mountains up stream of Moab are at 125% of normal snowpack. This is fantastic.
I know that we’ve got plenty of time for it to stop snowing or for it to get warm and for the snowpack to go away but for now it’s more snow on Jnauary 1st. than any time since 1997.
I had the pleasure of seeing these climbers on Little Cottonwood Canyon’s Coffin Crack, 5.9 while driving down from Alta yesterday.
Winter is holding off so folks are getting out and climbing in the sun.
December 1st. That was a quick month or so.
The posting of the “obs” thread may have been a bit too early. I sit writing this as our snowpack continues to melt, rot and evaporate. The Park City resorts have opened but are skiing man made snow.
Why so much about skiing?
Well we love it and more importantly the snow we slide on in winter becomes the river we run in the summer.
The good news is that the Colorado Mountians up stream of our Moab Rafting headquaters are getting more snow than the Wasatch outside SLC.
There are certain things that happen each year that mark the changing of the seasons. Flowers bloom, leaves change, the temps drop, folks around town start wearing bennies, the first flakes fly and one of my personal favorites WOW starts the new “obs” thread on Telemark.com.
WOW, as he is know, is a person. Bob Athey or the Wizard of the Wasatch has for years started the unofficial/official depository of backcountry trip reports and observations for the Wasatch.
Well the leaves have changed, I’ve indeed got to put on a beenie and the thread has been started.
I’m often asked, how long does it take to get from place to place. LA to Moab, Las Vegas to Moab, etc. To be honest I don’t know. When I’m on vacation I drive slowly, get sidetracked easily and generally tend to wander around. So when folks ask I usually let Google give me the answers, everyone should. Google maps is great. Type in the town you’re leaving from and going to and bam you’ve got total milage, a map and a guesstimate of the time it will take to drive it.
This time estimate is, of course, the actual time it takes to drive the route not stop and pee or get lost, read those roadside interp signs, sight see or eat. These can all add alot of time to a trip.
Well a Friend of mine just reset the bar on how long it takes. Over the Labor day weekend, drove from Trenton, NJ to Park City, Utah in 2 days. This is a journey that, back in the days of the 55 MPH speed limit, would take my dad 5 days to cover as we headed west on our family vacations.
He left at 7:30 AM on Saturday and arrived Park City at 8PM on Sunday. 2 days, 2142 miles and I can’t imagine that there was any stopping for any of the things that I mentioned along the way. So next time your wondering how long it takes check out Google Maps and know that it is possible to roll through 1071 miles in a day.
Had the oppritunity to see John Mayer in SLC recently. I get to see a college buddy of mine that works for JM and each summer we get the chance to catch a show and I get to reconnect with one of the few folks that I stay in touch with from that chapter in my life.
The real bonus this year was catching Brett Dennon opening the show. Check it out.
My 4th of July vacation happened in the early hours of July 6th. I went to Big Cottonwood Canyon, Mule Hollow wall and linked Down, Dirty, Doublecrossed, 5.7 430 feet and Implorien 5.9 200 feet.
Up at 5:30 AM, meet Dan at 6 on the route by 7AM after about a mile and 1200 vertical feet of approach.
Sunrise happened some time during the first or second pitch. Beautiful rock and views of Stairs Gulch for the next hour or so keep us content and make the “evil StairMaster” approach worth it. 2 and a half double rope rappels gets us back to the ground. A short walk and we are heading up again on Implorien. More great stone and a trail of bolts gets us to the top and we rap. Back on the ground again we suck down some water, eat an apple and run out to the car.
6 pitches, 4 rappels, 2 miles, 2400 vertical feet of up and down approach and 4 hours and 27 minutes and we are back at the car. 4th of July celebration complete.
For the grade I don’t think that rock climbing in the Wasatch gets much better.
Imagine my surprise when, at 6 PM Sunday, I walk into the office and a camera crew, sound guy and the artist Kenny Harris are standing there rolling film. This is the last time in the next 24 hours that things are remotely normal.
My first thought was that my wife had finally, after years of threatening, signed me up for some TV show.
Turns out Kenny is an artist who has, for the last 32 days, been making his way across the country trading the art he makes for food, transportation and lodging. NY to LA on only what he can get from his art.
Kenny wants to incorporate some rafting into his journey and after some time I concoct a plan to run him through Cataract Canyon in a day. This will get him 120 miles closer to LA. This plan involves running 29 0f the biggest rapids in N. America and traveling from 8AM til 6PM or so in a “sport boat”. These are basically dingies on steroids. After some convincing the production crew is “in” and departure is set for 7 AM.
The day is a blur of red rock canyons, blue sky and clouds, HUGE rapids and the camera. The camera followed us everywhere from the office, to the bar (only to finalize plans), launching the boat, running down river, making lunch, running rapids and finally, to the middle of no where in the hot the desert, saying good bye.
The show air’s in October. I wonder what I’ll look like on TV?
I think that Kenny’s blog does a good job of capturing the day, check it out.
While spending a little time in Salt Lake City, a place that many of our Moab rafting clients pass through, I ended up at One World. I heard a few of our guides talking about the pay what you think you should policy and how good the food was and decided to see for myself.
Check out the website and go for the food. In a word, GREAT.
Don’t forget to finish with a cup of organic coffee and a piece of the “everything” cookies. Never has organic anything tasted so good.
On the 27th of April the 2008 crew of Red River Adventures embarked on a 3 day Utah rafting trip that was fantastic. 13 of the Riverpeople launched at Gateway, Colorado for the 2008 kick off Dolores river run. Along the way we discovered that you can fly into Gateway, new pictographs, and that Charlie can fly but doesn’t land so well
We’ve all been told that playing with matches is a no no. Hell, I’ve told my daughter that within the last month.
Now, courtesy of some children camping along the Colorado River at Dewy Bridge campground Moab has a concrete example and spectacular pictures of what happens when that rule is broken.
In early April a brush fire was started that subsequently engulfed the historic Dewey Bridge.
No longer will the Moab rafting community get to look out at the bridge that Mr. Dewey, a self taught engineer, built. So know that when driving in on senic byway 128 you think to yourself, didn’t there used to be a bridge there? that there did indeed and your not going crazy.
Blogging is, I’ve discovered, for those trapped at 37,000 feet heading a continent away or those with no job.(unless that job is blogging) You can’t have kids and certainly no bills bigger than last night bar tab or a looming cell bill and still have time to write.
When the hell does someone with kids, a job or worse yet a guiding company to run have time to sit in front of a computer and write something that most will never see and even fewer will care about all in the hopes of gaining a few more hits to a blog or related website?
It was with the best of intentions that I started the desert dairies. Our crew, flung far and wide doing things that would make National geographic adventures “must do” list on a daily basis seemed like a slam dunk of fodder for the blogosphere. Naively I thought that by combing through a few emails, listening to a few stories or relating whatever it was that I had done that day, I would be able to come up with all that I needed to fill a blog with interesting reading for both friends and outsiders alike. Simply do, read or listen, process and rewrite, boy was I wrong.
Blogging takes time. At least it does for me. I want what I write to be good, or at least tolerable and if tolerable at least mildly entertaining or informative and that takes time. I’ve got more than a few posts that have never seen the cold light of the LCD screen because I’ve too tough an editor or too scared to put what I thought/wrote out there. Rather than post the ramblings of a post adventure adrenalin filled outdoor junkie I’ll often puke out my thoughts and leave them to sit in the never world that is my hard drive.
No more I think.
Good or bad what we do is what you’ll read about. I apologize if the grammar is bad or the sentence structure or punctuation is wrong. Those things I’m definitely not good at.
So no more worrying about those things I didn’t learn very well in creative writing during college.
Long, short, completely coherent or totally nonsensical I’m bringing what we do to the desert dairies.
Check back and read on.
Written from a very uncomfortable seat high over the Atlantic.
Well it’s starting to happen. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear a story related to how much snow is in the mountains or possible spring time flooding.
Now the good people at the Dolores Water Conservancy have released their forecast for the 2008 season. In a word, WOW.
They are going to release water for all of April and May and with planned releases of 3000 cfs+ in May. The rafting on the Gateway section should be fantastic. There hasn’t been releases of this much water for this long a period of time in many years.
Everyone at Red River Adventures is incredibly excited about the upcoming 2008 season and running the Dolores in particular. Smaller than most of the classic desert rivers this incredibly scenic and remote river offers technical rafting at it’s best.
Here’s something that I have recently stumbled upon, the Dirt Bag Diaries. Check it out. Fitz Cahall podcasts stories of life, travel and climbing. Quiet, genuine stories that rise above the deafening roar of all that this hyper connected world is.
This american life for anyone who has ever gotten first chair, earned thier turns, tied in or stood at the top of a rapid they’ve never run.
FOMO, finally an acronem I can get behind. I admit it I got it. Everyday I cram from beginning to end with play, family and work all because of FOMO. Why do 1 thing when you could do 2 or 3. My wife thinks I’m crazy. Probably.
What if today was the last one I had? I think that would be OK.
That was a quick month and a half. It’s amazing how fast time goes by when it snows almost every day and the ice climbing is as good as it has been in a decade. It’s been snowing like the old days. 14′ of glorious, river swelling snow fell in the Wasatch range between December 20th and January 10th. Some locations in Colorado have already recieved more snow this year than all of last.
Most of the Riverpeople have been out in the white stuff taking advantage of the water in the mountians before it melts and makes our rapids.
Ah the weather. Ask me if I thought that I have to be a weather forecaster when I started Red River Adventures and my answer would have been a resounding NO.
That however is not the case. I am constantly asked about the weather.
From the “what’s it like in (month your visiting Moab here) to will it rain tomorrow. Weather it turns out is a large part of what I talk about. I’ve got to admit that my weather geekness goes quite deep and back in fact to my childhood. I grew up on the east coast and surfed. Weather systems are what makes waves in the east so early on when not in the water I could be found watching the Weather Chanel and listening to the NOAA radio for the latest updates. Now that I ski, climb and raft weather plays a huge roll in what and when I do what I do.
So besides looking out the window here are some of the places I look at to figure out what is going to happen.
The 4k infrared loop gives you a great idea of what’s coming and how strong what’s coming is. I’ll often look at this and local radar to get a handle on rain and snow.
After looking at what’s coming at me I will always read the forecast discussion. The discussion is the raw version of the forecast and it offers a great look into what the folks at the NWS are actually thinking. It’s the regional head forecasters best guess at what happens, when and why. A forecast of the forecast type of thing. Timing of storms is often discussed as well as the forecasters opinion on whether what the weather models are showing is accurate in their opinion.
Lastly, if something important is on the calendar starting a week and a half out I will check the Weather.com 10 day forecast. Sometimes very accurate, sometimes not so much this should definitely be taken with a grain of salt.
Billy dropping the 3rd falls on the Class V Poza Azul, Costa Rica.
I love/hate email. Today fell firmly in the love category. It was a bit like Christmas I got a TR from the boys of Red River and this photo. Good to see that everyone is stepping it up a bit. Billy’s kayaking has certainly come a long way in a few short months.
Trips highlights so far included running the Class IV, Rio Torro and the Class III, Rio Balsa, working on speaking the language, hangin with the local river people and rest days at the beach.
Knowing what I know about that crew the nights have been Class V as well.
After running rivers like these the local Moab rivers are going to be tame by comparison. Probably alright though, no need to worry about guests dropping 35’ers.
It’s not that I don’t have cable or that I have a TV that is too small or one that I can only watch movies on. I don’t have a working television. It may be the first time ever in my life that I don’t have one at all.
Just got back from our trip to Red Rocks. The plan was this, climb three of classic long routes in the reserve back to back to back. 5 days, 1000 miles to drive, 30+ pitches up to 11c, 15+ rappels and more miles of hiking than a Marathon would certainly test my training regiment, of not training, to the limit.
Levitation 29, 7 pitches 11c, one of the longest approaches in RR
Due to a lack of proper planning we don’t leave SLC until 8 PM. Thanks to the time change we arrive RR by 1 AM. Snag the last camping spot and toss out the pad and the bag. The alarm gets set for 5:30 AM, I’m really looking forward to my 4 hours of sleep.
The alarm sounds and we’re off. Coffee and oatmeal both about the same consistency get us going. We drive “the Loop” park, rack and start walking 6:30 on schedule.
There’s always that point, I guess you call it the beginning, in the trip were everything is great. The sunrise is beautiful, the hiking pretty easy we’re going climbing, yeah. Than the pain starts. Slowly at first. Rocks you were able to scramble over become larger requiring the use of hand holds and climbing skills. Route finding plays a roll because even this early on I realize I want to MINIMIZE the amount of wrong turns I make. Cairns sprout like cat us confusing us even more.
Then it happens the “short cut” rears it’s ugly head. Cairns point the way to what looks like the route that Shaw saw on the web and copied, by hand, onto the back of some scrap paper. It’s suppose to save 15 min. Up we go! Easy at first, then right about the time you reach the point of having covered to much ground to go back the scrambling begins to slowly morph into climbing. We stop in a flat spot with about 300′ of slab below us. It’s only 20′ of 5.easy to what I hope with every cell in my body is the upper “easy” slabs. I can see the way clearly and I hope it’s as easy as it looks and I go. Not too bad and now we’re on the right track. After another 30 min. on what Shaw calls the evil StairMaster we top out next to the bottom of the route. 2 hours, not bad.
I’m relived to be roping up after soloing the approach slabs. The climbing begins right off the bat with the newly replaced bolt being just out of reach from the ledge that taller folks stand on to clip. The chopped stud mocks me as I can easily reach it. I make the first moves in the series that the bolt is there to protect, stop and clip and head up. The climbing is fun and the protection though small is good. My foot cuts out unexpectedly and I almost go for a ride. Resoles aren’t working quite right yet but they come on strong as I go higher.
It’s hot, 80, calm and not a cloud in the sky which would be great except that the climb faces directly south and we are cooking.
The next pitches go well. We swap leads and Shaw ends up leading the crux 5.11 pitches which is fine with me. The route gets steeper as we go up. We eat bars that go down like nails, suck some Gu and finish the water on about pitch 5. The 6th pitch seems hard. The topo says 10b but it’s not going well for me. I can’t grip to the only hold that I can find to clip off of and after whipping 3 times I am positive that what I’ve been gripping aint a 10b offering. I finally figure it out but by the time I make the belay there’s no question about it, I’m tired.
Shaw leads pitch 7 and that’s it Levitation 29 complete.
Except for the raps, reversing the slabs, the river bed and the hike across the desert all of which it turns out only takes 3 hours. This 3 hours included a very important stop at a pool of cold water that we treated and drank.
All and all it was a good day for the riverpeople though upon further reflection a little hot.
Oh yeah the new book rates pitch 6, 10d.
I hope the video isn’t so annoyingly slow that it stops you from watching it.
For each of the last 4 summers there has been what has become a traditional end of the Moab Rafting season Cataract Canyon Trip. The Red River crew, friends and family come from far and wide to participate in more than a few days of behavior that is reserved for private river trips with close friends. As aways there are tons of pictures and more than a bit of video taken.
Here is a classic in the making.
Truly a wonderful clip of what happens when things don’t go right on the water. I love to see video like this. Too often the scene gets cut just as things get interesting. Watching scene after scene of guys making impossible whitewater lines, dropping huge waterfalls and popping up with smiles on their faces, stomping huge air and landing switch and skiing away gets boring.
Lets see some carnage. I want to know what Johny superstar does when sh$% hits the fan.
Well Red River Adventures guide, Landon is our Johny Superstar in this clip and just as I hoped things don’t go as planned and he get his head handed to him. I’ve got to give him credit he does a great job of staying cool and making the run look smooth.
“Chundered” is what we call what happens to Landon and if you look it up in the dictionary you’ll see this video.
It’s over, summer that is. The rafts are rolled and life jackets put away. No more launches, sandwiches or water fights not until next year. Fall finds us with options. We’re spread from the desert, out across the country from coast to coast.
The riverpeople are road trippin in the east to climb classics that were put up before a single route was done in Indian creek. Connecticut, New Hampshire, Kentucky and New York have all been visited and explored, ground up. We’ve been to Key West and stood on the southernmost point in the US while standing up for our dearest friends on the day of their wedding.
We’re spending time in Oakland by way of Big Walls in Zion before it’s off to Costa Rica for some more R+R dead liver style. A Class V adventure in kayaking, nightlife and the boys can only hope, ladies.
We’re on the Green River in Ladore Canyon rafting. Why? Because spending at least part of almost every day since April rafting a river around Moab wasn’t quite enough so before the snow gets too good some felt the need to squeeze a few more river days in.
We’re in Moab climbing routes and exploring towers that we see every day yet never seem to get done during the rush and heat of the summer.
We’re writing this from SLC where fall as is good as it gets. Skiing in the Wasatch is on. First tracks have been made and yet the the Aspens are still in their fall colors. Skiing in the AM, rock climbing by afternoon, both within 1/2 mile of each other. Pack the skis and the rack because you need them both.
Summer’s over for sure so until next years moab rafting season starts we’ll pursue our options and distract ourselves as best we can.