Originally Posted by jmack
The Piedra has probably not peaked and the Animas has definitely not peaked (wait 4 days for proof). There is plenty of snow left up high. Snow gauges are pretty useless once the runoff starts. The snow gauges may say 46%, but all of the snow gauges are at about 10,000ft. Our mountains get much higher than 10,000 feet. Thus, while the snow may be gone at the gauge, there is still plenty of snow up higher and on shadier aspects. This is why you still see runnoff after the snow gauges in the area say 0.
It is also worth mentioning that a 70% year here actually produces runoff, whereas a 70% year in the front range produces nothing, and that our harder runs are not really runnable when everything is nuking. Depending on the weather, we still probably have a month of runnoff to go here.
Original poster- Durango area should start running really soon. Pandoras is in now. Vallecito will be in tomorrow or Tuesday. The upper parts of the Animas drainage should start running by mid-week.
Basically true, and no doubt if I could go anywhere this weekend in CO it would probably be Durango because it's going to have the most options and isn't going to run into June because of the weak snowpack, but the Front Range 1) doesn't run great in a 70% snowpack year because reservoirs steal the little water there is NOT because it doesn't produce runoff or the mountains aren't high enough or whatever and 2) the Front Range this year has a solid snowpack over 100% in places (spring snow miracle 2013) and a bunch of stuff will start running this week as well, especially the low elevation stuff and bigger drainages.
Overall, agree that a Durango Escalante loop is probably the ideal move for you guys. Go get some!