The San Luis Valley Outdoor Report for the week of May 22. This report is updated every two weeks following each recording of The Outdoor Citizen podcast.
The latest episode of The Outdoor Citizen podcast features Brian Puccerella and John Reesor to talk about this weekend’s Rio Trio Adventure Race Listen in HERE. The podcast is supported by SLV GO!
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
May 26-28 San Luis Valley Bike Tour is a 3-day bicycle tour around the San Luis Valley on dirt and paved roads. There will be two nights of camping and a support vehicle to follow with water and snacks. Reach out to Grantley Showalter at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to ride along.
May 27 is the third annual Valley Bottom Rio Trio which we’ve talked about. You can sign up to volunteer at RioRaces.com. Find registration info. at RioRaces.com. There’s an outdoor celebration after that everyone can attend.
May 29 is the Sangre de Cristo Heritage Area Youth Walking Tour. On the 29th, The heritage area is organizing youth walks of the Hooper-Mosca Historical area and the Lafayette Head house in Conejos. You can find more information at AlamosaCitizen.com.
June 2 is Youth Fishing Day organized by Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the city of Alamosa Parks & Recreation and SLV GO! The event is for ages 8 to 15 and will be held at Blanca Vista Park from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Parents and guardians must register children before 8:30 a.m.
OUTDOOR CONDITIONS REPORT
OUTDOOR FIELD CORRESPONDENT PLUG: …as the days get longer and warmer we’d love to hear from you. Record an audio file on your smartphone and send it to us. We would enjoy seeing a photograph also. You can email email@example.com or text the audio file and photo to 720-891-6759 with your name for credit.
UPPER RIO GRANDE FLOW NUMBERS
Here are some Upper Rio Grande flow numbers that might just put that sight-for-sore-eyes water level into perspective. The gauge in Del Norte is reading 4850 cfs. Monte Vista is reading 2350 cfs. and Alamosa is reading a discharge of 1320 cfs.
The USDA is reporting 4.6 inches of equivalent snow water in the Upper Rio Grande.
Meanwhile further south, the Conejos River at Mogote is reading 1420 cfs.
The snowpack in the South San Juans means there’s still some avalanche danger to be on the lookout for. Avalanche danger is LOW across the state, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.
The CAIC says avalanche conditions are generally safe, but you still need to monitor the snow. Safe travel requires a supportable snowpack with firm underlying crusts. The best test is to stand on the snow in your boots. If you sink into loose, unfrozen snow deeper than your ankles, avoid traveling across steep slopes. Move to shadier, more supportable slopes, or call it a day. Start your day early and end early to reduce your risk of avalanches.
Afternoon thunderstorms storms can produce rain in isolated areas. If you experience heavy rain, especially above treeline, plan a safe exit that avoids steep slopes.
Avoid traveling under large, sagging cornices as falling cornices resulted in a few large avalanches on steeper slopes.
Colorado backcountry avalanche conditions are updated every evening at 4:30 p.m. For the full forecast details and more, go to Avalanche.state.co.us
Alamosa Mosquito Control has started its annual operations to address summer adult mosquito populations. Workers have begun treating any drop of water they come across with larvicide to help reduce the mosquito population. Evening spraying will begin around the first of June.
Parts of Alberta, Canada are experiencing intense wildfires. The smoke from these fires has made its way south, creating the haze we’ve seen over the Valley the past few days. This has prompted an Air Quality Warning for many of the Rocky Mountain States. Currently there is an Air Quality Alert for parts of Colorado, but the smoke is continuing to billow around the Valley. With poor air quality, people most at risk are advised to avoid being among the smog for too long. The quality of air is expected to improve with incoming rain.
A flood watch was issued for most of Conejos County on Monday. According to the Conejos County Sheriff Garth Crowther, some areas are already experiencing flooding. Heavy snow melt has put low lying areas under water. He said the conditions may deteriorate over the next several days. Conejos County Road and Bridge Supervisor Donnie Martinez said there are numerous road closures around the county right now.
The public should be aware and prepared for voluntary evacuations if necessary. People living in areas that are in danger of flooding or have medical conditions should prepare an emergency “Go Bag” containing medication, money, and important documents.
Next on The Outdoor Citizen: We talk to SLVGO’s Great Outdoors Action Team Crew Lead Logan Hjelmstad. We’ll also have Patrick Ortiz and DJ Salazar on to discuss a fishing event happening on June 14 for veterans and the community at Monte Vista’s Homelake.