SheJumps Paddles Whitewater Rapids on Idaho's Payette River
Surrounded by a luscious green valley in Southwest Idaho is the Payette River, a perfect escape from the heat on a hot summer day. On August 2nd SheJumps held an exciting all-day whitewater rafting trip down the Payette River as part of the Water Seeker Series, co-sponsored by Carve Designs.
The particular section they paddled was the South Fork of the Payette River, often referred to as the ‘Canyon’ stretch. It featured a full day of 25 splashy class III-IV rapids, a portage around a waterfall, jump rocks and most importantly a deli lunch.
At the beginning of the day Payette River Company gave a comprehensive river safety talk on how to paddle, sit in the boat and instructions if things go sideways. Before even getting on the water, each woman felt prepared to take on the rapids of the South Fork along with an experienced guide maneuvering the raft.
“It was a blast,” said Nicole Jorgenson, the organizer of the event and SheJumps ambassador. “We were joined by nine other women aged from 25-60 years old. There were first time rafters and more experienced rafters as well.”
Stacey Hopstad, Idaho regional coordinator added,“We were particularly proud of one attendee … she started the day very nervous of the big water we’d face. After taking an oar and rowing through some huge rapids with nothing more than a splash she was feeling very confident. She even ended the day jumping off a rock cliff with the group!”
Strangers became friends, nerves turned into smiles and everyone at the event left stoked on whitewater. “Our guide tried to surf a rapid and three or four people got dumped into the river from the raft,” Nicole said. “During the entire scene Kim, another regional coordinator, was standing up in the middle of the boat twerking while everyone else was holding on!”
Nicole has been an Idaho ambassador of the intermountain region since the summer of 2017. She became involved with SheJumps after volunteering at a Wild Skills Camp. “I love their mission and passion for the outdoors,” she said. “It was worth giving it a try and I found that SheJumps is such a solid organization.” After the Wild Skills Camp, she applied to be an ambassador.
During the winter Nicole works as a ski patroller at Sun Valley Mountain Resort. She’s previously organized two junior ski patrol events through SheJumps, which led her to organize the whitewater rafting trip. At Sun Valley Nicole works alongside with Sean Glaccum, one of the owners of Payette River Company. He was impressed with the organization and mission of SheJumps and encouraged Nicole to create an event with Payette River Company.
Ginger Glaccum, the co-owner of the rafting company, is a strong believer in the SheJumps message as well. “It’s great for women of all ages to get together and share experiences - rafting provides an activity that everyone can enjoy together, no matter the skill level.”
The water seeker series of events are co-sponsored by Carve Designs, a women owned and founded company that focuses on creating women-specific outdoor apparel. Each lady received a rashguard from Carve Design as well as goodies from other companies such as Coola.
“A big thank you to Payette River Company and Carve Design for accommodating this event,” Nicole added. “We hope to grow it in the future.”