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India Guide Profile: John Brown

January 23, 2016

 

Currently traveling around Europe being a ski bum in steep and amazing mountains, John grew up around the Buffalo National River in the Arkansas Ozarks and spent much of his childhood and teen years paddling the river and exploring the woods with his family and friends.  After graduating high school in 2001, he headed out west and began river guiding.  He spent the next four years bouncing between the Arkansas River in Colorado and the University of Arkansas where he studied history with a minor in anthropology.  After graduating with his bachelor's in 2005 he moved out to the rivers of the Sierra Nevada and has been travelling ever since.  

 

John started working on rivers year round at this point connecting different seasons in California, West Virginia, Costa Rica, and Arizona trip leading class IV and V day trips such as the Yuba (CA), Kaweah (CA), and El Chorro (CR) and multi-day wilderness trips such as the Salt (AZ), San Juan (UT), and Tuolumne (CA).  First raft descents from that time include the Infinislide section of Dinkey Creek in California with a 400 ft drop in a half mile and the remote and nearly impassable Diamantes section of the Rio Naranjillo in Costa Rica.  He also managed a rafting operation for Whitewater Voyages on the Kaweah River, one of the steepest watersheds in North America, for a few seasons.  After a few years of the never ending summer, John switched to spending his winters either on skis exploring different mountain ranges around North America or on other travel less adulterated with employment.  The past few years, he has spent most of his time between Alaska, British Columbia, and Colorado but with plenty of time exploring in between and afar. 

 

Favorite recent wilderness river trips include a few Grand Canyon trips (AZ), the Middle Fork Salmon (ID), the Upper Kings(CA), the Babine (known as the "River of Grizzlies" in northern BC), and the world class Futaleufu (Chile).  He loves long treks whether that be the John Muir Trail in California, exploring the deepest canyons in the world in Peru, months of solo trips in the Patagonian Andes, or exploring the rugged backcountry of Denali.  The past year has seen him exploring the many backcountry ski huts of Colorado, skiing the razor sharp Canadian Rockies and Alaska's infamous Chugach Mountains, working river trips on Alaska's class V Six Mile Creek, and exploring North America's largest wildernesses in the Wrangell, St. Elias, and Brooks Ranges of the far north.  This winter he is in the Alps skiing the mountaineering meccas of Chamonix, La Grave, and Davos.  He reads more than is healthy for a raft guide and is very fond of food.  He has worked on over 20 rivers in the last 15 years with most of that time spent on class IV and V sections.  He is most at home seeing new country on a boat with some good conversation.

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