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May 22, 2012
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Down by the river

SNOWMASS VILLAGE -With the low amount of snow this year, it's a bit early to run commercial rafting trips on area rivers fed by runoff. But Snowmass-based Blazing Adventures is taking trips on the Colorado River, which has the best whitewater in the state right now, according to rafting guide Ben Whitaker. "Because it's dam-controlled they can release the water," Whitaker said. "They get it to a decent flow, and they can maintain that flow."Because it isn't fed by snowmelt, the Colorado is also warmer. That combined with warm temperatures and company-provided wetsuits made a trip Friday pretty comfortable as far as early-season rafting goes. We took the Triple Shoshone, which is the locals' special offered now through June 15. It starts at the Shoshone put-in off Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. The route goes over five rapids, all Class III on a scale of difficulty from I to V. The Triple Shoshone takes parties down the route for two more laps, but by going over some rapids backward and some in rotation, every lap is different. We also switched seats every time so we alternated who got the brunt of every splash. Guides at Blazing Adventures work to make all aspects of the trip entertaining. Whitaker shared his knowledge of the area, but he wasn't afraid to give us a hard time if we fell for a trick or two. The locals' special, available to area residents, is $350 for a boat of eight people or $56.50 per person on the Triple Shoshone trip, offered afternoons. The company is also running the Classic Shoshone trip on the Colorado currently, according to director of marketing Mar Naibi. The Classic puts in at the same location (younger children put in farther downriver) but goes over Class III and IV rapids. Classic Shoshone is offered mornings and afternoons. Both trips last about 5 to 6 hours. Naibi said the water in the Roaring Fork River is high enough now that the company is running trips on duckies and inflatable kayaks. Blazing Adventures' hiking, biking, jeep and sunset dinner trips are also up and running, she said. Blazing Adventures is located in Snowmass and Aspen. It operates out of the Incline Ski & Board Shop in the summer. Call 1-800-282-7238.


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The Aspen Times Updated May 22, 2012 05:34PM Published May 22, 2012 05:29PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.