High waters present fun challenges for whitewater enthusiasts - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

High waters present fun challenges for whitewater enthusiasts

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As temperatures rise, many boaters and whitewater enthusiasts are taking to the rivers. But with the higher waters due to recent rains and runoff, safety is a top priority for any boat enthusiast.  

“Water conditions are pretty large,” said Nick Barbouletos, raft guide for Montana Whitewater. “It’s spring and it’s flood season out there right now, it’s brown and it’s cold, it’s fast. Takes a lot out of you. It takes a lot out of season professionals just to get out there.”

“So this time of year you’re going to want pretty much head to toe cold protection,” added Brent Day, another raft guide for Montana Whitewater. “Super cold water. We are flirting with - maybe we’ll get up to 40 degrees - with a warm day here in the water.”

If you do decide to venture out onto these cold, high waters, experts say to gear up appropriately and make sure you have a team with you.

“You know if you’ve got years of experience and you’ve got the right equipment, dry suit, safety gear and a good team to go with you, you can go out there on some of the more mellow sections,” said Barbouletos. “If you don’t have that, come on down to Montana Whitewater we’ll take you out there safely

“There’s a few little sections that we need to be conscientious about but at the same time we are going to be kind of conservative today,” said rafter Mark Greeno, who braved the waters earlier this week.

“One of the nice things about living out here in Bozeman and Montana we get to do so many different things,” said Greeno. “And so today we are wanting to get on the river a little bit while it’s up and have some fun.”

Web Extra video:

Brent Day from Montana Whitewater has some tips on what you need to wear while venturing out into these cold, high waters in Montana during spring thaw on this web extra video.

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