I’m excited to write our first post of our “Get to Know The ARR Family” series. Each year we are blessed with an amazing team; everyone dedicated to making your trip the most memorable ever. Each of our staff brings a wealth of experience and comes from all over the world to our little town of Coloma, California. They’ve boated on the most challenging rivers in the US to Central and South America, Africa, Australia and everywhere in between and for the six or so months of the year that we call rafting season, these men & women call Northern California and American River Recreation their home.
Meet Carsten Stuhr
I had a chance to chat with Carsten this past week while he was vacationing in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he began rafting at a young age – all around Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina. Joining ARR for the 2010 Season, Carsten quickly became a vital part of our team. He has guided professionally since 2002 beginning with The Snake River in Jackson, Wyoming. “I enjoyed working on the Snake for five years because I really loved introducing people to whitewater” recalls Carsten. His other experience includes Utah’s Green and Yampa Rivers and the Class V Gauley in W. Virginia.
Carsten enjoys making sure each guest has a memorable trip by adding to the fun. “Families don’t generally go for the very challenging runs with their children, so a class two or three river is a great place to spark their interest and show them some really cool tricks that you can do in a raft (surfing, spinning in whirlpools and off of rocks, etc)”.
When I asked Carsten what drew him to Northern California and what he liked best about working with us his answer was easy; the family environment, great guests, the camaraderie with the other guides and the overall experience and knowledge the entire team possessed. His favorite memories at ARR are the friendships he developed and the end of day get-togethers where everyone would share stories and experiences from each of their trips. What drew Carsten to Northern California was the variety of rivers we have here, the varying challenges and the amazing scenery. He loves camping and overnight and multi-day trips are his specialty. In his spare time, it’s not uncommon to plan at least one, if not more, multi-day trip(s) each year. Not even winter can keep Carsten out of a boat. Last year he helped put together a 12 day camping/rafting adventure, accommodating 22 people spanning 166 miles, from Westwater Canyon in NE Utah through Cataract Canyon and in to Lake Powell. He also rowed 21 day trip down the Grand Canyon through several sections of the Green River.
Ever passionate about rafting; each Fall Carsten travels to W. Virginia for Gauley Season for his fix of big water excitement. Gauley Season is something many experienced rafters look forward to; 22 days of spectacular Class V+ whitewater heaven. When the snow starts to fall, you can find Carsten at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort just outside of Jackson, Wyoming where he works as a ski instructor. Most of his students are kids around 7-14 and anywhere from beginner to very advanced. Carsten told me some can even out ski him, but he loves being able to always teach even the advanced something new.
In the rare moment you catch Carsten out of the water and not in the snow, his other passion is music and playing his guitar. So, if you find yourself on an overnight trip with Carsten as your guide, be sure to bring your requests over dinner and he might play something just for you. Carsten is looking forward to coming back in the spring and guiding the North Fork American River and we look forward to having him!