Trip Report: Beginner White Water Rafting Trip - Swasey's Beach, Green River

Beginner White Water Rafting Trip - Swasey's Beach, Green River
By Shane Andrus
BOATING 05/17/2019 Class II+

Beginner White Water rafting Trip at Green River may 17-19. Twenty-four members participated. Trip report submission.

Trip Report - Beginner Boating Trip May 17-19 Green River

The big snowfall this winter provided 24 WMC boaters with 11,000 cubic feet per second of beautiful water in the Green River on their May 17-19 boating trip. Those participating were - Robyn Heilbrun, Heidi DeMartis, Kelly and Martin Beumer, Bret Mathews, Neal Olsen, Kevin Earl, Tony Zimmer, Bob Cady, John Marks, Greg Clark, Tanner Morrill, Deirdre Flynn, Mohamed Abdallah, Wilmer Sandoval, Katie and Logan Rios, Marty Goldsberry, Geoff Hardies, Chris Cox, Natasja Fisher, Colin Dunn, Virginia Price and Shane Andrus. The weather was still a bit cool but sunny on Saturday. Unfortunately, 15-20 mph wind with gusts to 35 mph prevented rafting on Sunday.

I think all would agree the excellent rafting/kayaking on Saturday, delicious and ample meals, and wonderful camaraderie made this trip a great success. Coordinators Heidi DeMartis and Robyn Heilbrun did an excellent job organizing and communicating throughout. Everyone was accommodated with the appropriate watercraft for their skill level and the campsite they reserved allowed everyone to pitch tents in a community site in Green River. And a big thanks to the experienced boaters for their indispensable skills and knowledge that ensured all the gear and boaters were efficiently and effectively moved to Green River and back. And of course, they also imparted their valuable river skills on all the beginners. Among other discussions, Bret Mathews gave an important talk on safety. There was also a general discussion with the group - Intro to Whitewater Boating - held May 2nd by Heidi and Robyn to indoctrinate new boaters and review the trip details with the group. And a big thank you to Neal Olsen who contributed his personal truck, trailer, and oar boat, a critical addition to the WMC equipment in order to accommodate 24 boaters and their gear.

Friday May 17 - cloudy and cool. Loading went smoothly and quickly at the boat shed. Coordination by Bret and Kelly along with ample labor allowed loading of trucks and trailers to go swiftly and securely prior to any rain. Eleven rode in the rental van, four in Neal's truck and nine drove their personal vehicles. The drive was interesting with snow flying at Soldier Pass and winds pushing the van around a bit from there onward. Most of the crew stopped at Ray's Tavern for dinner on Friday. Good cheeseburger and fries! Upon arrival at iCamp, tents were pitched in no time, boats were inflated and loaded onto the trailer.

Saturday May 18 - sunny and mild. Coffee and a delicious breakfast began the day. Prior to heading to the river, Bret gave a valuable safety talk. On to Nefertiti launch site. We had two paddle rafts with seven on one and five on the other, one oar boat carrying three boaters and the remaining seven manned duckies. Of course, ALL were wearing snugly fitted personal flotation devices. Thanks to Bret and Bob for running the shuttle vehicles down to the takeout point. The high water level provided a strong current but covered most of the rocks and prevented the rapids from being very undulating. The class 1 rapids and maybe a class 2 in there made for relatively easy rafting for this beginning crew. That said, these conditions were ideal for letting newbies man the captain's seats on rafts to hone their skills. It also made duckie kayaking easy enough for beginners and intermediates to float along with little trouble. Several miles down the river, all pulled out in a sandy area for a nice lunch in the sun. Neal's oar boat is great for carrying lunch and any extra gear needed. All in all, great conditions for beginners and intermediate boaters! At this point, I must point out that the WMC philosophy of passing down skill from veterans to beginners is alive and well. And as the old veterans get uh, older, this is vital to the success of the club. Many thanks to the veterans for their time, knowledge, and contributions in passing on skills and inevitably the torch.

Dinner, dessert, campfire and good conversation concluded the day. Oh, and singing Happy Birthday to Bret followed by celebratory Fireball shots added to the revelry.

Sunday May 18 - cloudy and windy. Breakfast and coffee brightened the morning. Unfortunately, it was decided that the wind was just a bit too strong for a safe and enjoyable day on the river. Tents were packed, boats deflated, and all loaded up to head back to SLC. Since we had our lunch packed for Sunday, we stopped in Spanish Fork to eat it up. Once at the boat shed, unloading went even faster than loading! All gear was clean, checked in and put in its place. And we beat the rain.

What a great trip! Good people, good whitewater, good food, good times!

Writers note: The current is quite rapid at the takeout point at Swasey's Beach. Approach carefully along the left side of the river to enable a gentle, unexciting docking. Or, fly down the center and see if you can get over in time!

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