Whitewater Blog Tag: san juan mountains

Upper Animas Season is on!

We should have ideal flows on the Upper Animas for the rest of the season. Book your rafting adventure today! For those looking for an epic day of whitewater rafting Class III-V, have a look at our specialty trip the Marathon. This trip includes 24 miles of whitewater in one day!

Our famous Raft’n Rail trip combines a Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train ride with 12 miles of whitewater on the Middle Upper Animas. The Middle Upper Animas is mostly Class III-IV with one Class IV-V.

The Upper Animas Overnight offers up the same whitewater as the Marathon with a night of camping in the pristine Weminuche Wilderness.

If you are planning on being in Durango or Telluride in August, the Rockwood Box trip is perfect for beating the hot summer sun while experiencing a deep and steep river gorge.

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Skiing Red 3

After a few weeks of warmer weather and little to no new snow accumulation, Erin and I were trying to figure out where may still give up some good powder turns. Erin came up with the idea to head to Red 3 Summit, and what a great idea it was!

Erin on the Summit of Red 3

Erin on the summit of Red 3

The view from the top of Red 3 is just as fantastic as the ski. This is considered a classic Silverton backcountry ski tour. You begin with a fairly mellow skin up the road base for about an hour, then some boot packing across scree, then the last skin to the final summit elevation of 12,893 ft. Lucky for us the weather was really nice that day on top of the summit. The sunshine was out with some thin wispy clouds. I noted the clouds may almost be thin enough to allow most solar radiation to pass through, however they are thick enough to back radiate a good portion of radiation that should be outbound.

Due to snow conditions being a little thin, we opted for a different line than we had skied previous years. Instead of heading directly off the summit towards the Northwest as we had done in the past, we skied the ridge line North and then dropped into the Champion bowl. Directly below the ridge line made for some challenging turns with rocks hiding just beneath the surface of the snow. Then it opened up to some beautiful turns.

Red 3 Champion Bowl

Red 3’s Champion Bowl

We then found some variable snow. But then got back into some amazing snow that had more of a Springy snow feel to it. With a total ski descent of 2,578 ft and an ascent of only 1,836 ft, no wonder this makes for a Silverton ski classic.