Category Archives: Rafting

Posts about white water rafting experiences

White Salmon River Rafting with Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys

A few days ago my friends Robin and Dani, my infamous partners in crime from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro messaged me wondering what my plans were for Friday because they were headed out to my old stomping grounds in White Salmon, Washington with the intent to head down the White Salmon River, rafting with Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys.

white salmon river rafting
Mt Hood from WA-141

I of course said I was in… as I am always up for practically any adventure and was excited to catch up with them as well as I haven’t seen them for 8 months.  However as I had just annihilated Mount Saint Helens the day before my body wasn’t feeling amazing but I was pretty sure some cold water therapy might just do me some good.

Also in for the ride was my friends Greg and Shari as well as some of Dani’s relatives who flew in from Pennsylvania giving us two full boats of fun.

Robin had organized for us to raft the Upper White Salmon, which although slightly more expensive, it offers the furthest upstream commercial launch site on the White Salmon river therefore giving us a few more class III and IV rapids.

white salmon river rafting
Zoller’s guide giving us the rafting brief

One thing that was different about this experience White Salmon River rafting compared to my adventures rafting elsewhere was that we were using mini 4 person rafts.

In the middle of our rafting trip, everyone got the chance to cliff jump into the river.  Let’s just say the White Salmon is fed almost purely by glacial melt off nearby Mount Adams, so brisk was an understatement.

white salmon river rafting
Cliff Jumping on the White Salmon River

The other highlight of almost any White Salmon river rafting trip is the grand finale, pushing the boat into the Class V Husum falls…

After kicking out of Husum falls, we made our way to the bank and it marked the end of our 2.5 hour rafting adventure.  We all decided we hadn’t spent enough time together so decided to rendezvous across the river at Solstice Pizza where I ordered up a country girl cherry and chorizo pizza, a pizza named one of the best 50 in the country and rounding out our meal with some wood-fired s’mores.

By the time all was said and done it was late afternoon and everyone but lucky me had to make their way back to Portland, but I was very thankful to be able to spend yet another adventure with Dani, Robin… and even more friends and even better this time in our own backyard

//The I.A.

Rafting San Gil With Agustus Gloop & Colombia Rafting

As San Gil is the adventure capital of Colombia last week when I was there, as I previously mentioned I signed up to do some rafting San Gil style on the biggest baddest rapids Colombia has to offer (tourists), the Suarez River.  Now, I’m not going to waste my money on a canoe trip down the river, if I want a gentle ride, I’d rent out a pontoon.  So was pretty excited with Colombia Rafting Expeditions told me that the Suarez River trip for the next day was a go.

Well Colombia Rafting Expeditions apparently knows how to woo me because when I showed up the day of rafting without having eaten breakfast, the woman working the desk told me that I still had time to grab some down the street.  When I showed back up with breakfast in hand, she asked me where my coffee was and sent me back to get some… as this is always a vital part of my day, it’s like she was in my head.

Shortly afterwards we set off in the van for our San Gil rafting adventure.  After an hour drive we arrived to our destination, the wonderous Suarez River which was bout to offer a few hours of class III+ to class V rapids.

rafting San Gil
The Suarez River at the put in spot

In my rafting group we had a wonderful sweet girl from Denmark, Astrid, as well as a German that was my age and his 71! year old father.  If I’m rafting at 71 (much less still alive) I’ll be doing pretty good.

We received an EXCELLENT and very thorough safety briefing going through every scenario… i.e. what to do if someone falls out of the raft, what to do if the raft flips, etc. and then we put in the river to practice paddling.

rafting san gil
About to start rafting the Suarez

The guides then decided we had to practice a rescue scenario and someone had to volunteer to go in the rapids and be rescued…. instead of being a man, the younger German just looks over at me and I say, “fine, I’ll do it” jumped in, drifted down the river, and got “rescued” by our support kayak.  Apparently they don’t make men like they used to (sigh).

rafting san gil
Getting “rescued” while rafting the Suarez

After I got rescued, we were good to go… at least I was.  I pretty much had already pulled the German’s man card.  But off we set anyway.

Rafting the Suarez was pretty good, but I have to say nowhere near as epic as rafting the Arkansas River in Colorado a few years back…

We got to swim half way through the rapids for a while too.  Astrid and I jumped right in… but the young German just shook his head and refused.

Then we were off for more rapids and ended with a big class V…

After we finished our time on the river we aided in  carrying the raft and equipment back up to the support van, the German got the guide’s raft chair and put it over his back and kept mumbling as he went up the hill how he was like Jesus Christ with a cross strapped to his back.  Not quite buddy.

After all equipment was back up the hill, we were treated to beers and what they called a “snack.”  Apparently snack in colombia consists of 3 types of fruit, cheese and guava paste, chicken, plantains, beer, and homemade caramels.  Have I said yet that I love Colombia?

So we all cracked beers and tucked into our “snack.”  After the young German proclaimed he was a vegetarian, he then went on in rapid progression to eat no less than 4 pieces of chicken which left me……baffled.

rafting san gil
Agustus Gloop eating chicken

All in all, it was a pretty epic day spent in San Gil rafting with Colombia Rafting expeditions.  Unless you want to pussy foot around, if ever in San Gil… highly recommend to go big and do the Suarez River as anything less than class IV is a pleasure cruise.

After my day spent rafting, I also now know why the Germans lost WW2.

//The I.A.

Hitting The Arkansas River Rapids With Royal Gorge Rafting

I had emailed a few companies a few days ago about going out to Cañon City, Colorado to do some white water rafting.  I decided on using Royal Gorge Rafting because they had great reviews on trip advisor and their email responses were also great.

So I departed at 4am this morning from Colorado Springs for Cañon City to do some Class IV and V rafting on the Arkansas River with Royal Gorge Rafting.  I really hadn’t done much rafting up to this point, so had no idea what to expect….

Apparently, I should have expected the time of my life on the Arkansas River today, because that’s what I had.  It was insane.

To get these pictures, I had booked a white water package with a photographer who kayaked along ahead of us…. I think it was well worth it to commemorate my awesome day on the Arkansas River with Royal Gorge Rafting.

Our day went like this, we rafted in the morning, had lunch at a nice grassy picnic area next to the Arkansas River, and then rafted a few hours more in the afternoon.

After we were done rafting, we went back to Royal Gorge Rafting, changed into dry clothes and then hung out at the the bar/restaurant for dinner and some post-rafting beers, while watching clips of our day on the Arkansas.

The raft guides at Royal Gorge Rafting were also awesome (no complaints) and also invited me to go rafting with them that night with glow sticks on the rafts/life jackets/etc but I sadly I had to head back to the Springs… maybe next time :)

//The I.A.