Powerline Falls on the Rio Grande, with Kathy

Powerline Falls with Kathy, June 5, 2017. Powerline Falls is the most unforgettable and photogenic rapid on the Taos Box section of the Rio Grande, located in the heart of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Kathy is the President of New Wave Rafting Company, and she likes to keep her hand in! After all, she’s only 66 years of age … Here, she is seen rowing the “chase boat” – an additional boat sent along as a back-up boat, on what would otherwise be a single boat Taos Box trip. In these photos, the river is running at about 2700 cubic feet a second, which is a very bouncy level. At this moment (June 7, 2017), the river continues to rise, as the newly-arrived warmth accelerates the snowmelt in the headwaters (the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, uphill of the former mining town of Creede). Who knows how high it will get this season? We’re all guessing.

This series of photos is by Britt Runyon, the Operations Manager at New Wave Rafting Company. He manages to both guide his raft and take top notch photos!

All I see is an oar!

There she is.

Past the drop, with a big smile on her face!

What else does Kathy do? Well, besides her duties with New Wave, she is the Chief of our local (Dixon, NM) volunteer fire department, which keeps her pretty busy. She just recently earned her badge as an Emergency Medical Responder, since so many of the calls that the Fire Dep’t receives are for medical emergencies (more than for fires). And in the winter she is a ski instructor at Taos Ski Valley. And what is she doing at this very minute? She’s picking cherries!

Kathy, on the river

Kathy, at the Fire Dep’t.

Kathy, at Taos Ski Valley

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)

 

 

First Taos Box trip of 2015

First Taos Box trip of 2015! Today, March 21, was Kathy’s birthday (Kathy Miller, Pres. of NWR ), and she wanted to run the Box. What a great idea! The forecast was for a high in the mid-60s and clear. This is the earliest we have ever run the Box, thanks to global warming. We were joined by NWR staff Britt, CJ, Joe, Adrien and trainee Michele. Britt and I were in an oar boat, and the others in a paddle boat. The river was running 1400 cfs, and the trip went off without a hitch, taking just a little over 3 hours. We had the river to ourselves, except for some wildlife, which included a group of bighorn sheep, canada geese, mergansers, green-winged teal, a redtail hawk, canyon wrens and a muskrat that dived under our boat. Mayflies were out, but it was still too early for the migratory songbirds.

The put-in, at John Dunn Bridge

The put-in, at John Dunn Bridge

Sculpted and polished basalt boulder

Sculpted and polished basalt boulder

Sculpted and polished basalt boulder, side view

Sculpted and polished basalt boulder, side view

The Rio Grande Gorge High Bridge

The Rio Grande Gorge High Bridge

Yellow Bank Rapid

Yellow Bank Rapid

60 Mile/Hr Rapid

60 Mile/Hr Rapid

The tight squeeze at the entry to Dead Car Rapid

The tight squeeze at the entry to Dead Car Rapid

Watch out for the big rock, in Dead Car Rapid

Watch out for the big rock, in Dead Car Rapid

The steep drop into Powerline Falls

The steep drop into Powerline Falls

Sharkfin Rock, in the Rock Garden Rapid

Sharkfin Rock, in the Rock Garden Rapid

Buzzsaw Rapid

Buzzsaw Rapid

Ugly Rock

Ugly Rock

 Screaming Left Turn Rapid

Screaming Left Turn Rapid

Mitch's Bitch rock in the Boulder Field section.

Mitch’s Bitch rock in the Boulder Field section.

Screaming Right Turn Rapid

Screaming Right Turn Rapid

Screaming Right Turn Rapid

Screaming Right Turn Rapid

 Sculpted basalt rock

Sculpted basalt rock

Taos Creek enters the Rio Grande at Taos Junction Rapid

Taos Creek enters the Rio Grande at Taos Junction Rapid

New Wave Rafting Co season ends

Another New Wave Rafting Co season under our belts … 33 summers of running the Rio Grande and Rio Chama! And … there is an El Nino predicted for this winter, with above average snowfall. Call us in late winter to find out about the snowpack, and book your Taos Box trip. Talk to you then.

Also, check on this blog during the winter, since we post all the time. You never know what you’re going to see!

Powerline Falls, on the Taos Box run of the Rio Grande river, near Taos, NM

Powerline Falls, on the Taos Box run