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Chris Baer

River Guide

  • Job Title

    River Guide

  • Hometown

    Detroit Rock City, that's where all the great raft guides come from.

  • AVA Employee since


  • Favorite trips

    The Numbers Half Day

About Chris Baer

I’m an average athlete that is overly dedicated.

Maybe the Saturday Night Live skit about Chris Farley living out of his van down by the river left too much of an impression on me. My home is a 25-year-old pickup truck, with an extensive quiver of kayaks strapped on top, and it is definitely parked down by the river.

I am a professional whitewater enthusiast chasing my dream: big waterfalls, unexplored canyons, gorgeous landscapes, and a cold beer at the take out. These dreams have taken me to almost every state and across the globe.

Being born in the inner city of Detroit doesn't usually lead to a career in adventure travel. Luckily my family moved a fair amount and sparked my traveling itch. The water bug came from time spent on Mackinac Island and Minnesota (Land of 10,000 Lakes). It wasn't till I moved out of the house and tried school and a career as a freestyle skier that I stumbled into my true passion.

2002 was a draught year in Colorado the mountains had 20% of the average annual snow, and I was giving commercial raft guiding a shot. The water levels that year were low, and rather uninspiring, until a dam-released river began to flow in the fall. Gore Canyon had a handful of exceedingly hard rapids and a 8 foot waterfall. It was flying off that waterfall that sealed the deal.

Anything else: The risk is worth the reward.

Favorite Trip

The Numbers. Big waves, tight moves and low consequences make this one of my favorite white water sections in the world.

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