Hello! This is Sean Bierle, and I just wanted to report on the recent trip I helped lead down the Green River in Utah. Working for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), I was fortunate enough to be a part of a great group of folks that explored the Green's Desolation, Gray, and Lodore Canyons for the past 14 days.
For those of you that haven't been down those sections, I'd highly recommend them. The Green cuts through the Colorado Plateau and creates these amazing, diverse canyons. April in Utah is a bit cold (I had the bowline of our oar rig freeze solid multiple times), but there was an abundance of wildlife in the canyons. We saw bison, big horned sheep, mule deer, and loads of herons and eagles. One of our students even found an elk antler.
The water in Lodore was at a low-average level, as they haven't yet begun releasing much from Flaming Gorge Reservoir. However, down in Deso, the water was at a fun level, with a decent amount coming off the undammed Yampa River. The NOLS students, all beginner paddlers, loved the Class III rapids of the Green, and many expressed interest in getting into kayaking. I was excited to see them battle the mental challenge of frozen neoprene and still realize how exciting and fun whitewater can be.
Kristin and I have a lot more programs lined up for this Spring. She's about to compete at the US National Slalom Team Trials in Charlotte this weekend, and then we will both head to Durango to finish becoming ACA instructor trainers. Later in May, I head to California to lead a two week rafting trip in the Klamath River drainage. Our biggest program, though, is WILD Idaho, which we are leading for Boise State University this June. We just got our new WRSI helmets and throwbags, and look forward to putting them to good use!
More later. Sean