Washington/pnw vs Colorado summer rafting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-18-2016   #1
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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Washington/pnw vs Colorado summer rafting

So I have worked on the Arkansas for a few summers guiding the big horn sheep canyon and just recently started the gorge. This next summer would be my first full season guiding the gorge which I am super excited about because it's awesome. However this past offseason I moved to Bellingham, Washington and absolutely love the pnw. Both places are having an awesome winter and I'm having a little trouble deciding where I should spend the summer. Give me some input por favor!


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Old 01-20-2016   #2
 
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subaru, down by the river
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Feel your pain, that is always a tough one. I have guided in both places and used to go back to Colorado every summer to guide, but now I live by the White Salmon year round.

Colorado may have more consistent work for you and During a good runoff year there are tons of creeks and rivers to jump on easily. You got to love thunderstorms in the Rockies while the Pacnw is dried up weather wise. Colorado has some seriously fun Whitewater and a change of geology is always nice, but your going to miss the trees.

The Pacnw is more geologically diverse and offers up a lot more varieties for whitewater adventures imo. You could be working on a big desert river one week and be working in a mossy basalt gorge with emerald green water surrounded by old growth the next, come on' you can't beat the beauty and vibes of the Pacnw. It does get a little boring weather wise during the summer if you like storms, but there is Ocean and that's what keeps me here now.

Summer in the Rockies and winter in the Pacnw is a great way to go if you don't mind having to move around finding housing and such.
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Old 01-20-2016   #3
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I also have worked both areas of the country. I have been a guide for 17 seasons. The Ark is the place to go and make money. It's a destination River. The tips are pretty good as you may know. Most rivers I worked on out in the PNW except the rogue were only really busy 3-4 days a week. I remember it being tough some years to have enough cash to survive without having another part time job.

With that being said, if your not in it to make a little bit more cash, then the PNW is the way to go. It's just breath taking every time for me seeing the green moss, trees, fog, and amazing sunshine and color of the water.

You can't loose with either choice in my opinion.


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Old 01-20-2016   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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I found that you could get an unlimited amount of work in the northwest, with good pay and water all summer long. Sounded far superior to the stories of having to spend years working your way up the ladder in CO. That being said, the Royal Gorge would be one of the better places to guide in CO, and if you are in with a company that can provide consistent work, you might want to stick with that.
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Old 01-20-2016   #5
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Jmack, I'm glad to hear things have changed. The biggest complaint about guiding on rivers in the PNW was steady work. I remember 10 years ago it was that way.


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Old 01-20-2016   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatonIce View Post
Jmack, I'm glad to hear things have changed. The biggest complaint about guiding on rivers in the PNW was steady work. I remember 10 years ago it was that way.


Woke up this morning at 10:13.

You should have been there 15 years ago...in the glory days.
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Old 01-20-2016   #7
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I wish I could of too! I was a Grand Canyon guide then. Oh well. I guess the glory days are gone.


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Old 01-20-2016   #8
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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Turtle83 I gotta say you're making it a little tough. What is the deal with the white salmon I've heard a lot about it and it sounds like it runs year round, is that true?


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Old 01-23-2016   #9
 
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White salmon, Washington
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The white salmon runs year round but the outfitters all but close up shop through the winter months. When it's snowing or raining and the temps are low hardly anyone wants to raft in glacier melt waters.


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