Originally Posted by Gremlin
Whitewater Rafting, focus on your own behavior.
Are you just referring to the trailer parking situation here? I work for WWR and there hasn't been a river accident involving WWR in 37 years. As a private boater myself I know I am 200% more likely to have an incident privately than commercially. I am much more cautious with others than myself.
First of all, we never pull down the ramp at South Canyon. I've also never seen one of our vans/buses park anywhere but on the side where they are out of the way. Maybe they started to pull out and then noticed an issue and jumped out real quick to correct. I'm not saying you didn't see what you saw, I'm just surprised.
Did you ask the driver to move? I'm sure they would have been more than gracious to comply. Also, how long did it take for them to secure the rafts to the trailer? 2 min? We try to be as quick and proficient as possible. The commercial guides actually only have a certain amount of time to be on ramps no matter what size the trip is. I believe it is 15 min from the time the tires stop till they move again. Can you unload 20+ boats, their passengers and gear in that time?
I can tell you that all the guides (I can think of) who would have been on the river a couple of weeks ago own their own boat. They hate inconsiderate boaters as much as the next guy. We try and be as considerate as possible. If you ever have an issue LET THEM KNOW!! Call/walk-in to the company and tell them. Maybe they don't know they're doing it or the procedure slipped through the cracks in training but they'll try and correct it.
You might also want to check the statistics for river incidents who are most involved? I don't know of one involving a commercial company, unless you count the Glenwood Canyon Resort Zip-Line (owned by Rock Gardens) incident last summer, on the Shoshone-New Castle Park but all the incidents on AW are private boaters (alcohol wasn't mentioned). Maybe the guide made up a reason to make their guests feel better/safer on the river but was honest about most of the incidents being private boaters.
Also think about all the fees you DON'T pay (other than taxes) compared to the costs of a commercial permit. Ever used the pumps a Sho or Grizz? I believe they were actually paid for by the companies to try and keep the ramps clear and efficient. Yes I get pissed at the commercial guys when I'm out on my own but I also know that without them our facilities wouldn't be as nice.
One final note, if you want to avoid the commercial crowds (in G'wood area) talk to the forrest service and find out their launch times. Each company has a certain window in which they can launch and most are right around 9, 12, 1 & 4. Plan about 2.5 hours for a trip then they'll be at the takeout.