Winter is off to an incredible start in the West! December storms dumped about six feet of snow in the mountains of central Idaho and put our current snowpack for the 2016 season above average across the state. Spring runoff is certainly a long ways off, but we are happy with the snowpack we have so far. The storms of December provided for great skiing over the holidays and certainly made for a white Christmas. We have about a foot of snow on the ground at the office outside of Salmon right now.
Current Snow to Water Equivalent Compared to Historical Average
Salmon River Basin (Middle Fork Salmon and Main Salmon): 119%
Bruneau River Basin: 164%
Owyhee River Basin: 155%
Flathead River Basin (Middle Fork Flathead and South Fork Flathead: 83%
Alsek River (Alsek and Tatshenshini): There is always PLENTY of water in the Alsek!
During the winter we operate the Stateline Yurt in the Lost Trail backcountry. The yurt is located in the headwaters of the North Fork Salmon River. Amy and I had Christmas at the yurt this year with our cousin Chris visiting from Florida and a few friends from Salmon. Spending many days in the backcountry over the winter gives a first hand report of snowpack for the Salmon River. We have to keep the yurt clear of snow, so after every big storm the site requires some shoveling. Shoveling snow and backcountry skiing make for a great winter fitness program and it’s nice to break up the winter computer time.
Hopefully winter storms will just keep coming our way providing us with more great powder skiing this winter and good water to float on next spring! Many of our prime trip dates are starting to fill up quickly, so if you are considering a rafting trip in 2016, now is a good time to start planning.