“Delightful,” “awesome,” and “stellar” are just a few of the adjectives those who went on the first-ever whitewater first-year orientation trip used to describe their adventure.

“I have no idea why it’s taken so long to get a FOOT trip out in [this] discipline,” said participant Ellen Gilbertson.

It seems that the success of the trip’s first block break debut bodes well for future whitewater FOOT trips.

The group spent a couple of nights at a hot springs to relax, feast, and wait out some chilly weather before they “put in,” embarking on their journey down the Colorado River.

“The best part of the trip was the sheer amount of food we consumed on the trip,” said trip leader and junior Kangmin Kim.

This food included “several pounds of Nutella and some very creative calzones,” said participant Nina Lundstrom.

The group rafted and kayaked about fourteen miles of the River below Gore Canyon close to the town of Kremmling, CO, over a span of three days. The water temperature hovered at around 40 degrees.

“The rapids were challenging for beginners, and everyone progressed in their kayaking abilities such as ferrying, eddy peel-outs, attaining, edge control, and boofing,” said trip leader John Nestler.

The ‘trippees’ also engaged in “bow wars,” which involved kayaks charging at each other, trying to get the front of their boat on top of their opponent’s.

“[The trip] was the perfect combination of changing aspens against blue skies and whitewater kayaking under the first snowfall,” said Gilbertson. “We all bonded really well, from playing hot seat in the hot springs to dog-piling in the tent during the snow and reading Junie B. Jones for three hours.”

The other kayakers agreed that the group dynamic was a wonderful aspect of the trip.

“My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet a new batch of lovely souls; people who just like to laugh and eat and be paddling on a beautiful river,” said participant Kayla Jacaruso.

“Everyone came out of their shells and turned out to be a bunch of lovable wierdos,” said Lundstrom.

“My favorite night was when we all dressed in prom clothes and had a dance party around a huge bonfire,” said freshman Andrew Kirvin-Quamme.

“It was easily the most coveted FOOT trip and will hopefully be inspiration for more whitewater FOOT trips to come,” said Kirvin-Quamme.

There is no doubt that this group has paved the way for many more joyous trips in coming years.

Emma Longcope

Staff Writer

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