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The Gearboat Chronicles

Quality Control

Off-season water sampling was conducted last weekend by myself, Gearboat Zen master Todd Kruger and his lovely wife Tammy. We skied into a remote wilderness shelter as base of operations to do inventory on snowpack that will eventually melt and trickle down to form super-fun boating times on the Snake River.

This particular survey was focused on water that will be floating our boats in a Class III rapid on the Snake River, just below Dug Bar, on or about May 16 at 2:35 in the afternoon. That’s Pacific Time. The science isn’t exact, but that’s my best guess. Here’s the snowy lair we spent the night in. Quaint and awesome, eh?


Rafters will be pleased to know that currently these snow molecules are very fun to ski on, and therefore meet our rigorous standards and have been approved for eventual rafting. Here’s a photo of the research team, minus Tammy who’s running the camera. Todd’s in the helmet. I’m sporting the blue ski pants that I’ve had forever and discovered have given up on being water resistant and now appear to attract moisture, or even create it. It’s hard to account for the liters and liters of sopping wetness those pants managed to collect.


Hey, you wanna see a pretty vista, looking out towards Hells Canyon. Sure you do. This was a sparkly, groovy morning.


If you’d like to inspect a sample of the whitewater you’ll be rafting this coming season, send me a message with details on your Winding Waters trip date and I’ll get Todd on the horn so we can go collect a snowball likely to be from the batch of snowmelt that will be warming up and carrying you on your summer adventure. Then we’ll box ‘er up and get it in the mail to you. Overnight shipping works best for these snowball packages. Especially cold nights.

See you on the slopes for now. Be seeing you on the river soon enough.