Westwater - Paddle Like A Girl! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-02-2013   #1
Ridgway, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 76
Westwater - Paddle Like A Girl!

We were on Westwater a couple of weeks back. Had a grand time. It was my 14 yr-old daughter's first time down, and she ran it in her Duckie! The river was real muddy due to the rain event that weekend. Pretty proud of her. Here is a little video...

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Old 08-02-2013   #2
Plunk your magic twanger!
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New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,257
Jimi Hendrix style! Congratulations!
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Old 08-02-2013   #3
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,390
She did great! 3700 cfs is a great level for new paddlers. Looks like Surprise and SITM got her. SITM at low flow is a tricky one for sure. Spanked every new person I've taken to Westwater.

Man... that water.... sooooo muddy.
-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ riverbrain.com ]
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Old 08-02-2013   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Thanks for sharing the video.

And thanks for getting your daughter into boating. I hope we see more parents and mothers mentoring their daughters in the sport. I am always bummed to see so the ratio of men to women on the river (maybe the disparity just seems more noticeable in Utah). A friend of mine's daughter ran a woman's only Cataract trip last year (first I had ever known personally of, other than commercially) and people actually confronted them about how unsafe that was. BLAH! Hopefully more confident boaters like yourself will show their daughters how awesome and transformative an adventure boating can be and even the sport out a bit.

Hope ya'll have clean line and fun adventures the rest of the season.

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Old 08-02-2013   #5
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Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
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First off.....You Go Girl !!!! Awesome job on Westwater for a 14 year old. That's a pretty intimidating river trip, and she toughed it out just great.

Second....I agree with restrac2000 on getting more girls (and kids in general) on the river. My rafting buddy's granddaughter started on the river at age 4, and now she's a 13 yr. old sharing rowing duties with her mom on the Main Salmon. The river teaches so many wonderful lessons to young people. Courage, team work, responsibility, and a love for, and stewardship of, the wild places around us.

Third.... the story about the women's Cataract trip catching crap makes me mad. I remember the time my two river gal friends and I ran the Green below Flaming Gorge, section A. They were letting extra water out of the dam, which was why we were there, to take advantage of the high water. I was on my cataraft, and the other two were in duckies. We were all experienced boaters, with proper PFDs, helmets, wet suits, and safety gear. Also on the ramp was a family in a rental raft, with Walmart water ski vests, T-shirts, and flip flops. Who do you think the ramp rangers approached? "You gals know how fast & cold that water is?" "Yep, that's why we're here....in wet suits and helmets, with proper safety gear." They never said a word to the "train wreck waiting to happen" family. Sure enough, those folks flipped several times, and struggled to get to Little Hole in one piece. Man did that experience piss me off ! Not just because of the ranger's attitude towards us females, but because they never talked with that family about safe boating.
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Old 08-02-2013   #6
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Denver, Colorado
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Nice job! I love Westwater in a ducky!
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Old 08-02-2013   #7
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Up shites creek, Colorado
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Well done young lady. Ahhh, to be young and fearless!

Looks like SITM had the white boat pinned too.
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Old 08-02-2013   #8
Old Guy in a PFD
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,106
Kudos! Paddling in mud is fun!..............Thank your Dad for taking you and teaching you.

Many know Rocky Mountain River Expeditions pioneered paddle boats and women guides in the early 70's. The crap thrown at us for those innovations came to a screeching halt as our guides earned their own stripes.

Had an experience on the North Platte when it was running flood; I think over 6,000 CFS. We had a total of 6 boats, at least half run by women guides. Our group had all been on Dolores, Westwater or Arkansas before and wanted to go for it even though private groups were banned and the ranger was "strongly reccomending" putting in at 6 mile.

Another commercial group decided 6 mile was just the ticket for them, but before they headed there their trip leader approached a number of our customers (Bad Form!) and warned them that girl guides had no business being commercial guides, and no business on the North Platte at any level, much less at flood. His key point was that when they fell out those weak little girls wouldn't be able to pull them back in, and God forbid they should flip, cause you know, girls are sissies! He then said that anyone who wanted could join his group.......for a price, but in any case he'd set up his guides to pick up our pieces at 6 mile for those foolish enough to go with the girls.

Little did he know, everyone of those passengers had already been on class III-Class IV with those "girl guides". He got no takers.

We launched about the time the other group headed out to 6 mile. The run itself was awesome but it was one long ever changing rapid; no stopping possible. Cowpie and Ofer especially were stunningly huge and fast. Windy Hole was one monster standing wave that would easily have flipped any boat not perfectly squared up and powering into it. From launch to arrival at 6 mile took 45 minutes. Really. 45 minutes. We were having lunch when the first of the other commercial group came down the trail dragging their shit. All the trip leader could say was "What the hell?"

The boss yelled at me for running at that level, and in retrospect it probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but it was truly an awesome run and proved once and for all that women make fine guides, and besides, they are much more enjoyable to work with.
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