Racecourse High Water

Racecourse High Water,  May, 18 2017. Our friends from Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, returned for a Racecourse trip, and enjoyed high water … and cool temps! They, of course, survived. The river is running at 3300 cfs today, making the Racecourse a Class 4 run.

We expect the river to continue rising, what with the fact that it is still snowing in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado! When will it peak?, everyone is asking. Well, normally, I would say the first week of June, but since the climate started getting quirky, it’s anybody’s guess.

I got to leave the office and take some pix of the group. Hope you like them!

The group, with guide Orlando Torres

A good hit in the “Glory Hole”

About to get clobbered in Sleeping Beauty Rapid

Guide Orlando Torres

2017 Season Opener

2017 Season Opener.

With the river running at 700 cfs, we had 11 guests do the PM Racecourse with us on April 11.

The Pittman party (Britt Runyon photo)

A Pittman (Britt Runyon photo)

As regards the coming run-off on the Rio Grande, the snowpack is now at 135% of average, with the peak flows projected to be between 4000 and 8000 cfs! This run-off situation is being compared to that of 1985, which was huge. The peak will probably occur in the first week of June, so you high water addicts should start booking those dates. They will go fast, once the word is out.

The Rio Chama will also have high water, with 135% of average snowpack.

Meanwhile, the Racecourse becomes Class 4 at the higher flows, and may be considered as hard or harder than the Taos Box at max flows. This will require that we raise the minimum age of children on that run, as the water rises. Please inquire!

Mile-long Rapid on the Racecourse section, at high water (Class 4)

 

 

Geology Float

Another recurring feature of the Guide Rendezvous (which is held in conjunction with the Mothers’ Day Whitewater Festival) is the Geology Float, with Paul Bauer. Paul is a Professor of Geology at New Mexico Tech and author of the authoritative Rio Grande Guide. It is the aim of the New Mexico River Outfitters Association, the sponsor of the Guide Rendezvous, to educate our guides in all aspects of the river story, so that they can pass along to guests accurate and interesting information about the river. These photos are by Kathy Miller.

Paul Bauer lectures at the Quartzite put-in for the Rio Grande Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the Quartzite put-in for the Rio Grande Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the Quartzite put-in for the Rio Grande Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the Quartzite put-in for the Rio Grande Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the riverside, on the Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the riverside, on the Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the riverside, on the Racecourse run

Paul Bauer lectures at the riverside, on the Racecourse run

Latest Testimonial – Brad M.

Latest Testimonial – Brad M. –  “Hello Steve, thanks for the great pics! We had an awesome time. And Britt was great. We’ll see y’all again!
Brad”

The photos I provided to Brad were seen on the blog of 4/3/15. I’ve been photographing most of our guests while doing the shuttle, since the photography company has yet to start up:

http://www.newwaverafting.com/blog/rio-grande-racecourse-4315/WavingApr032015_5240

Gallegos Family Runs the Rio

Gallegos Family Runs the Rio, 4/4/15. Pia, Alma and Che Gallegos came up from Albuquerque to run the Racecourse with us today. It was a little chillier than usual, and the river was running about 1000 cfs. Britt Runyon guided the raft.

As I drove away from the County Line, after completing the shuttle, some color caught my eye. I did a U-turn at the next pull-out and returned to the spot to see a blooming sweet vetch close up to a favorite boulder of mine. This boulder has a reddish facet that preserves the surface detail of flowing lava. The swirls seen on the rock are the flow patterns in the lava, just before it came to rest and cooled. You can see the same kinds of patterns in the lava that has poured out of vents in Volcanoes NP, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Gallegos family. From the left: Pia, Alma and Che

Gallegos family. From the left: Pia, Alma and Che

One of the first of the Spring wildflowers, Sweet vetch blooms beside a basalt boulder. The reddish facet of the boulder shows the original swirls as the flowing lava came to rest.

One of the first of the Spring wildflowers, Sweet vetch blooms beside a basalt boulder. The reddish facet of the boulder shows the original swirls as the flowing lava came to rest.

The Rio Grande Racecourse, March 28, 2015

The Rio Grande Racecourse, March 28, 2015. It’s still March, for crying out loud, and we’re having temps in the mid-70s, and 1200+ cfs in the river! Wow, what great conditions for running some whitewater. Today, Britt took these three lovely ladies down the Racecourse run.

Jaymie (on the right) brought two friends up from Albuquerque

Jaymie (on the right) brought two friends up from Albuquerque

Here they are, with Britt, getting started

Here they are, with Britt, getting started