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Old 09-13-2012   #11
latenightjoneser's Avatar
steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 417
I didn't really know Jeff, but shared the eddy at hells hole with him a bunch. He was the smoothest paddler there. I still try to paddle like him.

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Old 09-13-2012   #12
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
So on August 31st a buddy of mine sent me this link. He not only knew, and looked up to Jeff West, but knows I love the North Fork. He shared it with me to show an idol of his running a river that we both love. My response to the video was man that guy is smooth, and fast. I never met Jeff, but I had many friends that were very close to him. It is sad news. Lets remember Jeff in this way.

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Old 09-14-2012   #13
raft3plus's Avatar
Grand Dysfunction, West Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Jeff West Kayaking Legend

A couple of other sites with articles on Jeff:

Paddling Life - Trusted News Source - Sea Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing, Photos

We will miss you greatly.

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Old 09-14-2012   #14
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 35
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I had the pleasure of sharing one of my best paddling days ever with Jeff. He took me down west prong and overflow creek in one day. HUGE day for me. Pedestrian day for him (more than three quarters of a vertical mile short of his trademark vertical mile days). But he didnít careóhe just genuinely enjoyed coaching me and sharing in his passion for whitewater. Iím proud to have this memory of him. Great guy. RIP.
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Old 09-14-2012   #15
JCKeck1's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,471
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Here is an essay written by Jeff West


Many paddlers speak of the tragic deaths that have occurred in whitewater. For many of us these accidents are too close. They have occurred on rivers we have paddled, on rapids we have run, and to paddlers more skilled than us. Although most people see these fallen paddlers as tragic, I see them as my heroes.
As we all know there are inherent dangers involved with kayaking. The likelihood of fatal accidents occurring on Class IV+ is something we have been forced to acknowledge. Nature has shown that death is a possibility in our sport. Knowing of the deaths that have occurred and realizing that more will follow, my views on this have changed. Although most see tragedy, I see the ultimate gift. We try to ignore it but the possibility of drowning while paddling tough whitewater exists. Nature dictates that some must fall. The deaths have proven to be random. My friends who have given their lives have all been highly skilled. My nightmares have been realized. No one wants to die while kayaking, but unfortunately some have and some will. I now see those who have perished as my heroes. They paid the ultimate price for what we all love. We are so lucky to be able to paddle challenging and difficult whitewater.
I never thought it would happen to my friends, ones so skilled and competent, but it has. It is as simple as this: these deaths allow us to paddle another day. Nature requires a toll for allowing us to paddle these incredible rivers. The majority of us will only pay with an occasional cut or bruise, some pay with the sadness of the loss of a friend, some pay with their lives. This allows the rest of us to live incredible experiences, cherish wonderful memories, and look forward to paddling days ahead. Someone once told me they thought it was ridiculous to be prepared to lose your life while kayaking tough whitewater. I donít see how anyone can afford to not recognize this possibility.
I remember my friends who have died almost every day. I try to honor them with my paddling. I recognize the sacrifice they made. I thank them for their gift everyday.
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Old 09-15-2012   #16
ednaout's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 966
That's a really nice essay.

Sounds like Jeff had an impact on everyone he paddled with, I'm sorry I didn't get the chance.

I really like the T. Roosevelt quote in the paddling life article that was posted. A friend of his said that it was one of his favorites and I can see why.

Rest in Peace.

"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."
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Old 09-15-2012   #17
BryanS.'s Avatar
Prineville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 308
Thank you for your gift, Jeff! R.I.P.
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Old 09-16-2012   #18
atlanta, Georgia
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
I struggle with what the last moments are like. I asked Jeff what he was thinking when he went off one of those ridiculous waterfalls - he said "once I'm in the air, I just enjoy the view until it's time to land". So, I like to imagine Jeff taking the ultimate boof straight into heaven with a fist in the air and enjoying the view.

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