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Whitewater friends - Very sad news just reached me from Idaho today. Wayne Bath, who has been a regular poster to Mountain Buzz for many years as "Waniac", passed away from an apparent heart attack yesterday ( Saturday 5/18/13 ) around 2 pm. I have heard from his family that he was on the second river day of his annual pilgrimage to the Salmon, and had walked downstream to scout a rapid. When he did not immediately return, other members including a physician who is often on that trip each year walked to find him. When they found him they attempted CPR for about 45 minutes but could not revive him.

I am so sad as i'm sure are all those who have known Wayne as a friend and whitewater buddy over the years. He was a great friend, husband, and father and grandfather, would help anyone, told fabulous stories, and was probably the best whitewater rafter that I have ever known. I'm sure we will all miss him terribly.

Sorry if I have overreached using this list, and you didn't get a chance to meet Wayne. He loved to meet new people, get to know them, and point out his favorite routes through a rapid.

Details are preliminary and plans for services have not yet been set, but If you would like me to keep you in the loop for any details that I hear, you are welcome to msg me here on the buzz.



All the best to all of you -
Dave
 

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Sad to hear this. Waniac was a really good guy. I loved paddling thru Gore with him and his other cat buds. There was always fun carnage. I remember when he sheered off both his oars running Gore rapid at the Gore race I believe. Good times!
 

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Sad news indeed. I met him several years ago at the Cross Mountain campground. He and his friend Dave drove up with big police lights mounted on the top of their truck and as he pulled up, the first thing he said is, "Don't worry, we're not cops." We camped with them that night and he shared a ton of stories about taking their little oar rigged custom plastic cat boats down all sorts of big drops.

I ran into him again on Royal Gorge several years back when it was peaking around 4.3k. We were at the takeout and we saw a raft fly down the creek unmanned. A few minutes later Wayne shows up with his buddy riding in the back. They jump out and Wayne dives into wild tails of watching his partner get dumped at Sunshine. I saw him a couple more times at the Poudre. He was the friendliest guy, full of good spirit and always smiling.
 

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Sad to hear. I met him last year,doing some low low water laps on the Poudre. His little cat weighed a ton. Very nice guy though. I didn't realize he was Waniac.
 

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I just saw Wayne, he stopped by to talk boating. We talked about getting on Cross Mountain when it dropped. He told me about the Sotar cat he bought and another older boat he had that I didn't know about. He offered that I could row one of them through Cross. I was busy (he came to my bar to see me when I was working) and we didn't get to talk as much as I would have liked.

I was with him the day of the Gore race that JDHOG72 is talking about. He, as well as I, were part of the safety crew. He got munched in the hole called Ginger in Gore rapid. A kayaker who also swam actually ended up ridding his upside down cat through Pyrite. We ended up leaving his boat there until the next day. But he had a smile on his face despite it. Actually I always remember him having a smile on his face.

This is sad news indeed. Rest in peace Wayne.
 

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I am sad to hear about Wayne's death, but I am glad that he was on a river trip doing what he loved. I met Wayne through my rafting friends. I ran into him on lots of rivers including the Royal Gorge trip Kevin mentions where Wayne and Dave had to buy the tubers off who caught the wayward boat and had it tied on the back of their truck. He was a regular on the Poudre where I just expect to always see him. I was at the takeout at Idaho Springs having ran Lawson/Dumont at a 1000 cfs when Wayne and Dave cruise in with their cats with big smiles of course. I'll miss his smiling face on the river.
 

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I think that's the day I met you Sue. I was one of the two Daves on HardCats that day. I had lost my boat (and dignity) in a swim above Idaho Springs and had to walk down a couple of miles to reach Wayne and Dave Russell who had recovered it. We still floated in to the park with smiles.
Dave Dennis

I am sad to hear about Wayne's death, but I am glad that he was on a river trip doing what he loved. I met Wayne through my rafting friends. I ran into him on lots of rivers including the Royal Gorge trip Kevin mentions where Wayne and Dave had to buy the tubers off who caught the wayward boat and had it tied on the back of their truck. He was a regular on the Poudre where I just expect to always see him. I was at the takeout at Idaho Springs having ran Lawson/Dumont at a 1000 cfs when Wayne and Dave cruise in with their cats with big smiles of course. I'll miss his smiling face on the river.
 

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Met Wayne three years ago thru Mountainbuzz. Did a lot of rivers with him in the last 3 years, Gore, Cross, Poudre, Clear Creek, Arkansas and many more.

Will miss his great spirit and always a smile. Last saw him at Golden City Brewery on a cold winter day and we spent two hours around the fire talking about the upcoming boating season.

Wayne, you will truly be missed.
 

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This is so sad to hear. I had the great pleasure of paddling with Wayne on several MF Salmon trips. His presence always helped give those trips a special character that made them some of my most memorable. I haven't seen him since the Gore race a few years back when he swam in Gore and had his oar locks sheared off. I paddled with him and Keith to retrieve his cat the next day. Turns out Gore isn't the best place for a kayaker to start R2'ing. Wayne roped me out of the water in Gore Rapid and then Toilet bowl, laughing with a big smile on his face. What a fun day on the river...I'm just sad it turned out to be the last day we shared on the river. My thoughts are with his family.
 

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I have heard from his family that he was on the second river day of his annual pilgrimage to the Salmon, and had walked downstream to scout a rapid. When he did not immediately return, other members including a physician who is often on that trip each year walked to find him. When they found him they attempted CPR for about 45 minutes but could not revive him.

I am sad to hear about Wayne's death, but I am glad that he was on a river trip doing what he loved.
Amen.


Rest in peace, Wayne.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. It had to be a tragic trip for those involved--I hope they can find peace in knowing he was doing what he loved.
 

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Sad to hear... I also remember Wayne from that legendary gorge run. We sure didn't encounter any other rafters braving it at that high of a flow. Memorable guy with a memorable rig. RIP
 

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I met Wayne through the Buzz. Within five minutes, I was taking notes as he turned a chaotic cluster of rafters into a cohesive group. I learned more every time we were on the water together, whether history, better rowing, side surf a raft, or to follow his directions but not his line to avoid the meat. I'll miss his huge grin, infectious enthusiasm, and gentle mentor-ship. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
 

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I met Wayne on an April day three years ago when my brother and I went to go check out Cross Mountain. We were clueless about the place and weren't sure how to go about scouting the run. He and Dave pulled up and got big, knowing smiles on their faces as they offered to show us through. I've never rigged up so fast. He showed me my favorite run.

I can't say enough about how kind and helpful he always was. Agreed. Best rafter I have ever met.
 

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Wayniac is my Uncle Wayne. He taught me how to boat on the Poudre, Colorado, and Arkansas as a little girl. He taught me everything I know about the river. I became a raft guide for 9 years because of him. But most importantly, he was a kind, loving father, grandfather, husband, and uncle. It's so hard to believe he is gone. The river will never be the same. For those who are close, his family is working on planning a remembrance trip for him. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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RiverGirl84,

Sorry for the loss of your uncle. I know how important family was to Wayne and how much he enjoyed river time with family. How about a river trip for his
MANY boating friends and family where we could run one of his favorite rivers and drink beer and tell "Wayne" stories around a camp fire?

Brian, Wayne had never done Slaughterhouse and you haven't done Numbers, I was looking forward to joining you both for the weekend both those issues were solved. I'm sure Slaughterhouse is one of very few Class 4 runs Wayne did not get to.

Going to miss his smile, his willingness to share his knowledge and his obvious joy on the river.
 

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I have been at a loss for words since I first got the news on Sunday. Wayne has been a friend, mentor, role model for as long as I have been boating. So many memories from so many adventures - including snowy Jackson, WY on July 4 many years ago. Wayne's smile, enthusiasm and genuine love of the river and of people was infectious. My kids (now all adults) adored him and loved boating with him. Gosh, one of the last times I saw him was at his house. I was picking up some gear for our mutual friend, Dave, and I got the tour of his boat barn. He was so proud of it and showed off all of its "charms" That's just one of many memories that I will cherish. Wayne was one of the best people. He respected the river, the people and loved his life, family and friends. There are not enough words to express my sadness and sorry for the family, friends and loved ones he has left behind. A joyful life cut short and he will be deeply missed but each memory will be deeply cherished.
 
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