Rafters win OK to run Crystal River | AspenTimes.com

Rafters win OK to run Crystal River

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – A new commercial rafting operation on the Crystal River south of Carbondale won approval from Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday.

Elk Mountain Expeditions, run by James Foerster and Langdon Adams, sought the approval. The duo also recently received county approval to offer commercial trips on the upper Roaring Fork River between Stein Park and Wingo Junction.

On the Crystal, boats will be launched on U.S. Forest Service property just north of Avalanche Creek Road. The takeout will be at the BRB Campground. The Forest Service already has approved the plan.

Depending on runoff, four months of rafting on the Crystal might be possible, though a shorter season is expected this year, given the reduced snowpack.

Commissioners were most concerned with the lack of portable toilet facilities at the put-in and takeout on the Crystal. The Forest Service is requiring the use of Wag Bag waste kits, but commissioners were not impressed.

“Unless it comes with a full enclosure, a Wag Bag doesn’t sound like something you’d want to use,” Commissioner Michael Owsley said.

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The outfitter plans to make a restroom stop with guests in Carbondale before they head upriver to the put-in and has arranged to use facilities at the BRB after what will be about a one-hour float, commissioners were told. The Wag Bag option is strictly for emergencies, Foerster and Adams said.