Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hola from WET in Chile!

wet guidesA sun-drenched morning after the latest storm brings a crystalline layer of moisture on the trees. I squinted my eyes against the radiance. The view was achingly beautiful. I do believe we will have an incredible California whitewater rafting season in 2011. The blessing does not escape me.

This morning, I received an email from the boys. The kayaking team is exploring the world and have started their own blog called, "Equipo Mas Profundo." Beautiful photos of rivers in Chile and the blog is a clear explanation why the place has become a top destination for adventure travelers. The rivers and waterfalls in South America are magnificent!

wet rafting guidesWith three Alex's, Johnny and Matt known respectively as Conejos, El Lobo Loco, La Ormiga, Cabra, and Parkito, the five-some are on a life journey in the wilds of Chile. You might remember Alex "El Lobo Loco" as the Red Cross's Hometown Hero from our earlier post.

This is a team to be reckoned with as they become "one" with the rivers down there. Many kayaking teams are there to conquer, but this whitewater kayaking team is a bit more zen. Ommmmm. They respect mother nature. They are there to flow with the river. They are not trying to conquer, but to pay homage. The river gods have spoken.

wet professional guidesOur entire staff, including the office, sit in awe of their antics. We wish them safe journey and god speed. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joy to the World as these five see what few of us will ever experience. Take care and hurry back. WET waits for your return.

and now words from Alex "Conejos"

"Hope all is well in the worlds of WET. Wolf, Jon and myself all made it down to Chile with our gear and stuff, and we have been having a blast on some great rivers.

We all made it down to the town of Pucon just fine, running a few more rivers on the way, and driving around some giant volcanos. I hope all is well for you, we have been enjoying some great summer weather finally, after a few days of cold rain on the way down here. We ended up staying with a friend of Matt's who has one of the most amazing places I´ve ever been, with a view of the whole valley and the Vulcan Villarica out his front window. So we went from dirtbag survival camping to luxury lifestyle. I will try and get some pictures up on the blog soon so that everyone can enjoy some of the recent stuff, and the views of Pucon. Pucon is way more modern americana than anywhere else - it feels like Tahoe or Vail or something, but we are staying 25 min out of town in El Campo, so at least we don´t have to deal with all the turons.

wet kayaker
Ran the Rio Maichin yesterday which was really beatiful, and we are going to head up to the Palguin this afternoon for some Huck and Hope.

It is Wolf´s 28th birthday today, and as promised, I made him 28 pancakes from scratch this morning, which he demolished. I had to use strawberry ice cream syrup because they don´t seem to have maple syrup down here, not to mention spending half and hour trying to find baking powder in el supermacado (everything here comes in a bag or a Coca Cola bottle it seems).

Our BLOG is and we will update here and there so CHECK it out!

wet whitewater guide
Best to the WET family
Alex H."

Update from Chile submitted by Alex "Conejos" for WET Rafting blog.
Photos: Equipo Mas Profundo
Intro from W.E.T. River Trip's blogging editor.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Start your whitewater addiction in 2011.
Reserve now for the best dates!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday Specials! WET River Trips

We just posted our new rates and discounts. Here are some incentives for those of you who are organized and ready for early deposits for 2011 rafting season. Loyalty counts in a major way. Those of you who are past customers, please email us directly for your special quotes. (We are gonna take care of our peeps first with the best discounts that reflect your past patronage.)
whitewater rafting in california

And for new reservations, just mention that you went with us before and give us the name of your trip organizer. We will pass some cool savings to you, too!

north fork american chamberlain run

Happy Holidays everyone!
I hope you are all skiing or boarding on that fluffy madness now, because come this spring, that snow will turn into class 4+ whitewater rapids on your favorite California rivers.

Need a gift?
Gift Resources: popular gifts
Deadline for mailed gift certificates is Dec 20th.
After Dec 20th, we can only send via email.

Peace and goodwill,
W.E.T. River Trips
WET Staff

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy California

At the headwaters of our South Fork American River, 175 inches of snow has fallen this season at Kirkwood Resort...108 inches of luscious California snow fell in the last 72 hours! Oh, 2011 whitewater is looking mighty fine.

Thanks & Praises.

In these times of economic recovery, a gift of ski-able, board-able snow creates an opportunity for our brothers and sisters in the ski resort industry to get a great start in providing a quality experience for clients as well as creating thousands of jobs at the resorts and in the service sectors that support the movement of skiers and boarders in and out of the resorts.


As that snow piles up, the whitewater rafting enthusiasts wait ...knowing that the melt will come in the early spring!

Thanks & Praises!

Today, in my neighborhood, I was visited by four wild turkeys. Living in an urban environment with cars, street pavement, sidewalks, and hydro-seeded lawns; yet, these wild turkeys came to visit and munch bugs and seeds in the side yard. I guess they didn't know their cousins were on the menu this Thursday.

Praises & Thanks!

The newly fallen snow in the mountains right before this Thanksgiving holiday is a true gift to us all. The Sierra snows are essential to not only farmers and energy producers, but the recreational aspects do not escape me. Skiing, snowboarders, rafters, kayakers, fishermen, swimmers, hikers, gardeners and the ecosystem are rejoicing in Mother Nature's gift.

At a time when we renew our connections with family and friends at Thanksgiving, the knowledge that the California, Tahoe and Sierras Nevada's are healthy and wrapped in snow with a promise of much needed water. Thanksgiving provides a palpable sense of peace and anticipation of the upcoming California whitewater rafting season.

The renewal of our valuable resources begins with our reconnection with family and friends and continues to spiral outward to our environment and the essential elements of air and water that nurtures, challenges and entertains us.

Thanksgiving is this Thursday and it feels right; snow in the mountains, rain in the Valley, water flowing in the creeks and rivers, the family coming together, and turkeys running wild in the yard.
Don't waste these gifts: family, friends, health, snow, and ...yes; whitewater. Everything comes together.

Thanks & Praises...Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to Big Poppah for this Thanksgiving post.
Note from editor: we wanted to share the Byrds' version of "Turn, Turn, Turn" but the arm of power (rhythms with bony) came down on us and said no. The video we ended up with was so heartfelt that we thought you would enjoy it purely for the sentiment. And the other one is for the lyrics... Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! Stay safe on the roads...

Monday, October 11, 2010

white water safety talk wet river trips

What an incredible year we had! The best white water rafting in 10 years was delivered to us in 2010.

Great flows in the early season with a long North Fork American season. Then, came the Middle Fork American with the longest river rafting season we have had in a very long time!

Yesterday, was our last final Middle Fork trip for 2010. The weekend had approximately 30 people showing up in summer gear! The weather was hot and the white water rapids were awesome.

wet river trips -

middle fork guests at safety talk

white water safety talk for wet guests on middle fork

Justin was smooth as ever as he delivered his no-nonsense white water safety talk. He is a former outdoor counselor/instructor and knows exactly how to instill both respect for the river and trust in his skills with his guest paddlers. As a surfer, kayaker, whitewater rafting guide and explorer, Justin brings a world-class experience to our rafting trips.

middle fork wilderness trip put-in site

middle fork american guests listening to white water safety talk

Middle Fork Rucka Chucky Rapid negotiated by Jonny

jonny looking over the top of rucka chucky rapids on middle fork american

rucka chucky rapid on middle fork american river

jonny at rucka chucky rapid

Jonny gave quite a show as he navigated his raft over Class 6 Rucka-Chucky rapid. The guests were cheering from the side of the river high above the falls since we do not allow any of our commercial guests to attempt this rapid. Jonny is one of WET's longest employed guides on our staff. He started so young that he is still a young man, and his enthusiasm never wains. His love of the river and his unique approach has brought him to a career in education. It was a natural outcome to his experiences with WET and educating our guests.

WET guests portaging Rucka-Chucky Falls

WET guests cheering for guides at Rucka-chucky rapid

Duff fishing on Middle Fork American

Middle Fork American Fishing

middle fork raft at put-in on american

middle fork wilderness trip in california

Duff was fishing on his day off nearby. The WET crew saw him on shore as he fished for trout. The guy can't stay away from this beautiful wilderness river and the trout fishing there is very good.

middle fork guide rigging the raft

The cool thing about the entire weekend was WET River Trips was the only rafting trip on the river. Middle Fork American was at its supreme beauty! Crystal blue skies, 85+ degrees, beautiful white water and a group of guests who appreciated the river.

wet river trips guide justin instructing guests on middle fork american

This is why we do our trips. WET guests are the best! And, we appreciate their patronage, their trust and their goodwill. We will see you all soon in a few more months for the North Fork American starting in spring of 2011.

wet river trips final trip of 2010 whitewater season

First trip in 2011? March 4th on Friday for Class 4+ North Fork American Chamberlain Falls run. Are you gonna be there?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RED CROSS Hometown Hero Awards for WET Guides!

RED CROSS Hometown Hero Award for WET River Trips Guides

RED CROSS - Hometown Heroes

On a beautiful June in 2010, our guides were preparing a lunch on a
South Fork American river trip for our guests. One of the guests started yelling, "There's a person in the river! He's not moving!"

Alex, Nate and Jason ran down to the river to see a lifeless child moving fast in the swift water. They jumped into a tethered raft, paddled as hard as they could and quickly reached the child.

Life saving measures were executed by these trained professionals with
Red Cross training in First Aid, CPR and also Wilderness Responder.
RED CROSS Hometown Hero poster of WET Guides Alex and Nate

The three guides, Alex, Nate and Jason, brought the child back to life. Alex then ran an adrenalin-pumping one mile up stream over trees, boulders and river to see if there was anyone else in jeopardy. He found the child's parent and their friends and let the Dad know his son was alive and safe.
RED CROSS Salutes WET Guides, Alex, Nate & Jason

The Red Cross heard about the rescue through the whitewater rafting community. They verified the story with the regulatory agencies on that river... and then they called our office. As the story unfolded, the Red Cross representative asked our company to submit the information in behalf of the guides.
jason, nate (his son), alex & joseph (saved boy)
A Red Cross award ceremony hosted by KCRA TV showed a film with an interview of the guides. A beautiful luncheon accompanied the ceremony honoring Alex, Nate and Jason for being Hometown Heroes!
RED CROSS Hometown Hero : Joseph's life was saved by WET Guides in June 2010

All three guides have worked for WET for over 10 years or more. They are professionals that put their lives last when it comes to providing a safe environment for our regular commercial guests. They have done river rescues in the past where they have faced death and lived to tell about it.
RED CROSS Hometown Hero Award ceremony
This rescue saved the life of a young boy who now has an opportunity to share water safety and life saving measures with his friends and family. We hope Joseph has a wonderful future of life, love and prosperity!
Hometown Heroes : jason, nate, alex & joseph

Congratulations! to WET River Trips' guides for their incredible rescue that day. Hats off to Alex, Nate & Jason for putting their own lives at risk to save another.
WET Guide Alex w/ the boy he saved, Joseph

For those of you who dream of becoming a professional whitewater guide, here are some resources for you wannabes:
RED CROSS Hometown Heroes Award Luncheon

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

music festivals in the outdoors

BURNING MAN 2010 : WET Burners
What a summer of music festivals! From Coachella to SMMRBMMR to the recent and well-attended Burning Man in Nevada, this summer was filled with awesome music and artists. Tragedy over-shadowed the German Love Family Park where hordes of young adults were trampled in a tunnel and several died. And, of course, Teknival's free raves peppered abandoned military installations and other locations in the outdoors in the UK, France, Bulgaria and other countries. We are now entering the Fall music festival season.

BURNING MAN 2010 - Team Ezra


Burning Man has influenced so many music festivals, raves and happenings around the world, and we thought we would share some of our favorites. Big Poppa was a bit disappointed in this year's Burning Man as he felt that the participants weren't true Burners, but he is a purist. Here are his photos and thoughts...

BURNING MAN 2010 - "That Camp"

BURNING MAN 2010 : The Man

BURNING MAN 2010 : Below the Man

"I'm NOT a burner.

Yes, I've just come back from Burning Man event (I skipped 2009) and I'm NOT a burner. My first (as they @ BRC say..."Virgin") visit was approached like a wilderness river trip. I packed up the Dodge with waterproof metal boxes with food, sun shower, cooking gear, LED lights, solar batteries, toys and water. I also packed marine coolers with plenty of ice, beverages, and fresh food for a full crew. Adding to the pile were two bikes for myself and my crew of one: Mizz Maggie. The Dodge bed became a shelter, and I brought a shade structure and another tent for stowing gear out of the sun and dust. We went out for 4-days and had an amazing time; but, we left before the actual "Burn".

This year, I rolled out ultra-light; yet, still self-contained on my Kawasaki KLR 650. I still had everything I needed: food (freeze dried), water, tent, pad, bag, and solar-powered LED garden globes (that changed colors!).

In 2010, the winds whipped up the dust constantly on a record (reportedly) 65,000 "burners" and the party raged. I saw the "Burn". I also saw fewer happy, healthy people and fewer themed camps and out-of-date Art cars. Maybe I had a different perspective... after the burn... no shower, no bike, and no crew left me in that boat (maybe it was also the folks across the street (yes, it was called "That Camp") that had a club-sized sound system that blasted from 9am to 5am... with 4 people mulling around and stomping in the dust (oh well, they were from Philadelphia!). So, I packed up and rode the KLR home the long way over Monitor pass where I saw the signs of fall in changing colors and a nip in the air.

Next time (yes, I might skip next year)... I'm rolling hard and deep! Motorhome? Airstream? Dome?... who knows?

I'm not a Burner."
~~ Big Poppa 2010

Upcoming this weekend: American River Music Festival is ideal for families and music lovers and includes whitewater rafting, camping, music and food!

BURNING MAN 2010 - The Burn

BURNING MAN 2010 - Raver

BURNING MAN 2010 - Ashes of Burning Man

Music Festivals Around the World:

Burning Man : early September; theme camps, Black Rock Desert; art, raves, performance (began in San Francisco, California and influenced many festivals below)

Edinburgh's Hogmanay : Dec 30, 2010 - Jan 2, 2011; Concert in the Gardens (KT Tunstall, The Proclaimers, Madness, etc)

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival : mid-April Indio, CA; cutting-edge indie, alternative, official opening for summer festivals in US (The Black Keys and more)

Bonnaroo : Manchester, TN 2011 tba (Weezer, Tori Amos, Norah Jones & more this year)

Rocking the Rivers : mid-Aug, Three Forks, Montana (Collective Soul, Commander Cody, etc)

Love Family Park : early July, German Techno Rave (dj Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, etc)

Paris Techno Parade : late Sept; 1/2 million people dancing in street (djs David Guetta, Mark Knight, Django, etc)

Teknival : free parties held all over the world; France, UK, Bulgaria, Czech, Italy (summer raves; grassroots, Burning Man influenced)

Vans Warped Tour : several sites in US from West Coast to East Coast (Dickies, Fear, Green Jelly, etc)

SMMRBMMR : alternate, indie music in northwestern US (G.Green, Mayyors, White Fang, etc)

Live Oak Music Festival : blue grass, jazz, world music held over Father's Day Weekend

American River Music Festival : whitewater rafting and music; folk, country, alternative (last year Jackie Green; this year Jesse Winchester and more)

Rio Carnival : mid-February Rio de Janeiro; world famous, colorful parades (Brazilian, world, jazz, etc)

New Orleans Mardi Gras : mid-February French Quarter; jazz, food, parades

BURNING MAN 2010 - BM Hype

BURNING MAN 2010 - Sand Lady

BURNING MAN 2010 - Chariot in the Sky

No matter what music festival you attend, remember you are there for friends, fun, music, food and goodwill. Rave on and see you on the river!

Thanks to Big Poppa for his Burn pics and sharing his personal view.