By Molly Messick
Jackson, WY – The record winter snowfall in western Wyoming is continuing to have an impact - now on area rafting companies. David Tibbett, owner and operator of Jackson Hole Whitewater, says that, in terms of business, this has been one of the slowest years in recent memory. He says the unusually cool spring has segued into an early summer of extraordinarily high river levels. The high water has scared some customers off and, in some cases, Tibbetts' company has canceled trips based on safety concerns. He says the water is continuing to move very quickly on the Lower Snake River.
"Gosh, it's been a strange summer. Because normally July the 11th the river is flowing at, you know, like 10,000 cubic feet per second and everyone's having a super good time and people that are six years old can go and people that are 100 years old can go down the river and now - it's in the 19s right now."
Tibbitts says that river levels are dropping steadily, and should be at a more manageable level soon. He says that in the meantime many area rafting companies are being more restrictive with their guests in the interest of safety, raising the lower age limits for trips and taking other precautions.