Back in June of 2018, we were hungry for some heart-pounding adventure to shake off the work blues. We had just finished the IPW Denver show, the largest travel industry trade show in the U.S. After a grueling 3-day event, fun and adventure was desperately needed.
We booked this trip based on Trip Advisor reviews, knowing nothing about the area or the company, Whitewater Mountain Descents. But the reviews don’t do it justice! Can you say uber-friendly staff? From the minute we got there, everyone was helpful and accommodating. As we were lucky to be there during the high-water season (May – June), they outfitted us with the right gear to ensure maximum enjoyment.
Our gear consisted of a neoprene wetsuit which covered our neck to ankles, and neoprene gloves and boots to keep the hands and feet warm. But wait, there’s more! Add a fleece pullover and a waterproof wind-breaker jacket over all that. I felt like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when I came out to the briefing area. But trust me: You will be happy you wore all of this when you feel the icy cold water coming down from the mountains.
Lastly, the helmet, which allowed me to attach my GoPro to catch the action. Even if you don’t do a lot of this, get one anyway. You can take it anywhere because of its size, and once you get used to filming you can select the best still shots from the video. Sounds a bit uncomfortable, but when the adrenaline takes over (as you board the raft), you will quickly forget.
There is a sign that says, ” Our guides make the difference”, and I couldn’t agree more. From the pre-trip briefing, the drive to the launch point and the exciting trip down, our guide, Josh, was entertaining and informative the whole way. Although we all had a little experience (in my case, Costa Rica and Delaware), it was comforting to know that a safety boat with another experienced guide is always nearby. Good thing we didn’t need it! And as an added bonus, a boatful of guides-in-training (or wannabe comedians) accompanied us down the river… FUN, FUN, FUN! And very wet!
Check out the video of our descent in the gallery section
Our journey down the Poudre River lasted about two hours of non-stop excitement with some serious rapids. It was here that I learned that if you don’t go during high-water season, what you’re going to get is a leisurely boat ride down a slow-moving river. Josh the guide, taught us how to properly steer and row (although I suspect he did most of the work anyway), when to spin us around and even bounce off the side of a majestic rockface to keep us going. And to pump us up, the whitewater salute where we all tap our oars together in the air.
But it doesn’t end there. After a well-organized return of the equipment and very convenient changing rooms, another surprise: Paddler’s Pub! Our hosts, Brad and Lindsey regaled us with stories of their 7-month sailing trip, while enjoying a refreshing (and much needed) IPA. Their young son “Turtle” sauntered over to introduce himself, already quite the worldly traveler!
I also have to give a shout out to the photographer (sorry dude, forgot your name!) who quickly drove ahead and captured the action at the right moments, creating some of the best memories to relive over and over again.
As a Tourism industry professional, I believe service is the key; it can make or break your experience. Mountain Whitewater Descents does this admirably, making you feel like you are amongst lifelong friends. Thank you Brad and Lindsey for both the on and off water experience!
Mountain Whitewater · 1329 North Highway 287 · Fort Collins, CO 80524
970.419.0917 · firstname.lastname@example.org