A Look Back at 2014

by Zachary Collier

We just finished our sixth season and it has been our biggest and best year ever. Thank you to our world-class guides, amazing guests, and partners who made this season a success. Here are some of our highlights.

Wild Rivers Night

In 2014 we moved our wildly popular Wild Rivers Night to the Patagonia Store in Portland. It was another great event with beverages from Sierra Nevada and Nectar Creek Honeywine, powerhouse speakers, and river conservation legend Tim Palmer as master of ceremonies.

Wild Rivers Night

Wild Rivers Night 2014

First Descent in Patagonia

In February, I went to down to the Patagonia region of Chile to take part in a first descent of a multi-day trip we hope to offer in the future. This truly remote wilderness river flows through and unexplored corner of Chile. Stay tuned for more details about this trip!

First Descent in Patagonia

First Descent in Patagonia

The Spring of Whitewater SUP

This spring we became obsessed with Stand Up Paddleboarding. The rivers around Hood River provide the perfect place to develop skills and we ended up writing a blog titled Fun Whitewater SUP Tricks to show off some of the new things we learned. We also went out and paddled some rivers like Oregon's White River that have never been paddled before on a SUP.

Ryan Saevits portaging a log on the frist SUP descent of Oregon's White River

Ryan Saevits portaging a log on the frist SUP descent of Oregon's White River

One highlight was a self-support multi-day SUP trip on the John Day River. Three NWRC guides with three SUPs and no raft support paddled 70 miles from Clarno to Cottonwood. Packing our overnight gear on standup paddleboards was easier than we thought and gave us some new ideas for future SUP trips!

Multi-day SUP trip on the John Day River

Multi-day SUP trip on the John Day River

Class III and IV Rowing Schools

Every spring we offer river training and this was our busiest year ever. In addition to private instruction around Hood River, we had a sold out Class IV Rowing School in April. That was followed up by two Class III Rowing Schools in June on the Rogue River.

The Rogue River is the perfect classroom for our Class III Rowing School

The Rogue River is the perfect classroom for our Class III Rowing School

We love teaching these courses because we can share our knowledge and experience with our new friends in the whitewater community. We also get to do some fun experiments in the name of whitewater!

Lower Gorges of the Chetco River

In June we returned to the Chetco River with an overnight trip through the lower gorges. This trip is a 2-3 day trip down the magical Chetco with inflatable kayaks.

Kayaking the Lower Gorges of the Chetco River

Kayaking the Lower Gorges of the Chetco River | Photo by Nate Wilson

A Banner Year on the Rogue River

This year on the Rogue was our busiest ever! Thank you to our amazing guide crew for running the best trips imaginable all summer long. And, of course, thank all of you who joined us this summer!

Duckie wars on the Rogue River

Duckie wars on the Rogue River | Photo by Nate Wilson

Best trip of my life! The guides have everything from the moment you set in the water planned and taken care of for you. I could not believe the incredible service NWRC provides. The food is absolutely amazing and the guides really added to the sense of community. There isn't a single thing I would change, except I wish the trip would have never ended. NWRC is the bee's knee's and the peanut butter to my jelly. Thanks for everything!!

Our yoga trips led by Susan Fox were once again sold out and full of great times. Beyond yoga every day, these trips are jammed pack with side hikes and music in the evenings.

Yoga Class on the Rogue River

Yoga Class on the Rogue River

Our "Bluegrass on Whitewater" with Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum was also a huge hit. This year we did 5 days with a wonderful layover day at Solitude full of music and side hikes.

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum on the Rogue River

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum on the Rogue River

It was also great to continue working with our friends J.R. and Lori at Sundance Kayak School. Kayaking is a sport that changed my life and it is so rewarding to watch kayak students improve by leaps and bounds after a week of instruction.

Return to Bhutan

Our season ended with our "Rivers and Dzongs of Bhutan" trip. It is so refreshing to return to Bhutan each year for the cool mountain air, relaxed lifestyle, uniquely amazing culture, and wonderful people. It's also great to see our friends Ugyen, Bhupen, and Hari who help us put our trips together.

This was the best group tour I have ever been on. Zach did his homework and laid out a fascinating, efficient itinerary. Rafting and walking through the countryside to get a flavor of the land and people were key. The guides were all knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. I will be back..Juliet Bradley | Truckee, CA

Bhutanese Monks saying hello to us on the Pho Chhu

Bhutanese Monks saying hello to us on the Pho Chhu

Our second trip added yoga each day from our friend Susan Fox. We also made a trip out to the Phobjikha Valley to see the rare and endangered Black Necked Cranes. This trip was made even more special with nightly music from Susan's husband peter and son Jenner.

Yoga Class at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten in Bhutan

Yoga Class at Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten in Bhutan

After two great trips were over we spent a few extra days trekking up to Mount Jomolhari and then paddling the first descent of the Upper Paro Chhu.

Put-in on the Upper Paro Chhu at Shana

Put-in on the Upper Paro Chhu at Shana

Again, thank you to everyone who was a part of this special year. We have some big plans for 2015 and look forward to sharing them with you!

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Author

Zachary Collier

Owner of Northwest Rafting Company, Zach Collier combines international guiding experience in places like Siberia, Bhutan, and Chile with a natural business acumen for systems and logistics. Whether he’s on big water or in the back office, Zach strives to ensure NWRC offers exceptional whitewater and wilderness experiences for guests and guides alike.

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