White Water Rafting below the surface.
If you were to ask our insurance agency what it is that we do at Elk Mountain Expeditions and what it is that we are selling; it would probably sound something like this.
They get paid to navigate people safely through rivers. That is what river guides are trained to do, they go through extensive training and certifications to eventually navigate Class V whitewater and they are required to learn special swift water rescue techniques and acquire high levels of first aid training to properly manage the risk associated with White-Water Rafting.
This is not an incorrect analysis; that is what we do… But is that what we are selling or why we do it? Because if we safely navigate enough people down the Roaring Fork river each year the value of our business goes up and we have more change in our pockets? The safe navigation of the river is a given, we are a river guide service… DUH! Turning a profit is surely the objective of running any business and is usually the byproduct of doing your job. Although personally anybody that hinges their business off the hollow premise of doing their job and making a profit is worth me re-considering my patronage to them.
Watching a family of four generations come together on the river in one raft with no river experience only to learn later that the highlight of their entire two week vacation around Aspen and the Western Slope was that half day trip they took down the Lower Roaring Fork River with Elk Mountain Expeditions is why we do what we do. Teaching a group of complete strangers to rely on each other and trust each other through paddling for each other through Class IV Whitewater; watching character build and friendships be created is why we do what we do.
It is experiences like these that remind us what is at the heart of being a river guide and running rivers. We see what the power of bringing people together on the river can do and how that can enrich and shape all of our lives. Sure the feeling of flawlessly paddling a raft through the Class IV Slaughterhouse Falls Stretch on the Roaring Fork River just outside Aspen Colorado, is an amazing feeling for both the guides and clients alike and it will take your adrenaline levels to new heights. But that is only a fragment of what we are selling or why we are in business. We do this because WE LOVE IT!
Clients walk away from these experiences with a lasting memory from the day that may be the name of their favorite rapid; but more than likely it will be the memory of watching their son or daughter holding a paddle twice their size in front of them paddling through their first Class II rapid or watching their best friend eat a mouthful of water going through toothache rapid or maybe it is the new friends they made on the river that day. The point is when we share experiences with other people that challenge us, or open our eyes to something new or takes us to a beautiful landscape; we grow and learn from that experience until it becomes a lasting memory.
We bring people together through the common medium of flowing rivers, to learn from both each other and the rivers that guide us. At Elk Mountain Expeditions we advertise Great White Water Rafting, but truly we are in the business of creating lifelong memories.