Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Not Just Rio's Handler

Arapahoe Basin's Assistant Ski Patrol Director Matt Norfleet is known to many of you as Rio the avalanche dog's handler. To many others, Matt is known as an incredibly strong member of the U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team. In mid January, he and seven of his teammates, launched at Lee's Ferry in a custom built 48 foot raft with the intention of breaking the Grand Canyon speed record of 34 hours and two minutes. At any one time, the raft had six people rowing, one steering and one resting. After 20 hours the crew reached The Canyon's biggest rapid, Lava Falls, in the dark and on pace to beat the record. An equipment failure in the guts of that maelstrom forced a multi hours repair on the beach below the rapid. In their first attempt, the team completed the 277 mile journey, just missing the record, in 39 hours and 24 minutes. This was truly an amazing feat.

Phil Lindeman at the Summit Daily wrote an excellent article on the journey that can be found at the link below.

http://www.summitdaily.com/news/sports/take-5-on-the-grand-canyon-cataraft-with-the-u-s-whitewater-rafting-team/

The project was sponsored and documented by Chaco. A film of the journey is being shown at the REI Flagship store in Denver March 9, 2017 at 6:30 PM. Details can be found at the link below.

https://www.rei.com/stores/denver.html#classes_events

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