Still time to float Carson River

By Sam Bauman

The new Carson River Aquatic Trail is a terrific addition to outdoor facilities in our own. Last week we took a ride on 9.3 miles of the 14-mile course on an inflated raft that took the Class III rapids comfortably if wetly.

Pat Fried of Great Basin Sports was at the helm and showed how it is done professionally. She and guides Lynne Zonge, John Cassidy and Kurt Stegan took the convoy on the 2 1/2-hour trip that was awesome. Not the Grand Canyon but here it is in our backyard.

Odds are that few locals have taken this pleasurable ride. The river will be high enough for the next two weeks to try it out and you can find guides at Great Basin Sports on the Web. Next spring there will be more guides working the trail, which should be a nice boost to tourism. Fees this time were $20 for the trip, including transport back from the haul-out at Santa Maria Ranch in Dayton. A dam down river blocks further rafting for now.

You'll need to help out with paddling at times in the Class II and III rapids, but there's plenty of down time to just sit and watch the canyon roll by.

Carson City has posted informational signs on the river to advise boaters about the whitewater rapids and other challenges. Signs directing boaters were erected at a designated raft and kayak and put in site near the Bureau of Land Management office at 5665 Morgan Mill Road, south of Deer Run Road and Highway 50 East.

The signs are part of the Carson River Aquatic Trail Master Plan to make nearly 14 miles of the Carson River safer and more accessible for whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. The plan identifies measures for public river access areas, create informational signage and remove hazardous obstacles.

Officials installed signs along an adventurous stretch of river from Morgan Mill Road downstream through Class III whitewater rapids in the Carson River Canyon to the Santa Maria Ranch take out area in Dayton. Signs went up on the river at Carson River Park, where the river is calm and suitable for beginners.

The first Carson River Aquatic Trail Map and Safe Boating Guide on waterproof paper is available at the Visitor Center, 1500 S. Carson St., and on the Web at the Carson City site.

HOLIDAY OPS

The Heavenly Flyer cable ride and the rock climbing wall will not operate during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. They will re-open for summer operations on June 13. Meanwhile, the Gondola will be operating all weekend and there will be concerts in the Heavenly Village. At Squaw Valley the Cable Car is closed but will reopen June 20. The Funetel will be operating for rides to High Camp where the swimming pool and spa will be open. Rest of the resorts haven't reported action, but check the Web if you want other fun outings.

SKI AND GOLF AT MAMMOTH

Boasting the highest 18-hole golf course in California and a ski season that lasts well into May, Mammoth Mountain reports visitors will be able to ski and golf on the same day this Memorial Day weekend.

With a 3- to 6-foot snow base and spring conditions, Mammoth will remain open for skiing through Memorial Day on Monday. Mammoth's Sierra Star Golf Course opened Saturday. Mammoth's Memorial Day ski and golf package starts at $125 per person per night and includes lodging and one activity option per night stayed. Call (800) MAMMOTH. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams and the Burton Global Team frequent Mammoth for spring training and will be skiing and riding Mammoth's alpine race courses and the new spring Super Duper Pipe through the end of the season. Mammoth guarantees a pipe and park will be open to the public through Memorial Day.

NORTH STAR ACTION

Most mountain resorts will be offering events this weekend with Friday a Giant Bike Demo in the Transit Center at Northstar. Opening day of the mountain bike park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Northstar trails are on all levels and a fine place to start the biking season.

ROCK CLIMBING EVENT

UClimb, an organization designed to bring people closer to the outdoors by teaching rock climbing in comfortable small-group settings, will host a two-day rock climbing event at Donner Summit on Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20.

Sponsored by Mountain Gear and Marmot, the UClimb event will include professional climbing instruction from Alpine Skills International guides.

Instructors will take small groups of amateur climbers to get hands-on experience while learning climbing techniques, how to use climbing gear, voice commands, knot tying, belaying and etiquette.

Registration for the weekend event begins at $159 for youth ages 10-17 and $199 for adults. Registration includes professional climbing instruction, camping for Friday and Saturday nights, a barbeque on Saturday and a pancake breakfast on Sunday. Registration is available at www.uclimb.org. Call (800) 829-2009 or see www.uclimb.org.

- Contact Sam Bauman at Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

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