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Offbeat Interview Series with Hatcher

Growing up in Nederland, Colorado, 18-year-old Hatcher fell in love with the big forests and cold rivers of the Rocky Mountains. He thrived in a family who valued spending as much time outside as they could, and inspired him to go on adventures like rafting on the Río Baker in Chilé and spending time as an intern ranger in Denali National Park, Alaska. 

His mom, an Idaho Native, and his dad, an experienced raft guide, fed his desire for adventure in amazing places like the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The clear waters and beautiful ambiance of the River of No Return drew Hatcher in and he knew he had to spend as much time as possible on its magnificent waters. Greg McFadden and Hatcher’s parents have been close friends for years, and now that Hatcher is old enough, Greg has offered to take him on as an aspiring guide for the 2021 season. 

Hatcher loves kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking in the endless playground of the Rocky Mountains, and if he isn’t boofing a wave or hitting a jump, you can find him reading everything from the Greek classics to John Kennedy Toole, or planning his next outdoor adventure with his Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Boone, by his side.

The Interview

In your guiding career (on or off river), what has been your most memorable “uhoh!” moment? 

That would have to be 2 summers ago on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. It was a low-water trip, and a group member pinned his boat beneath a HUGE log jam. After two hours of trying to unstick his raft, we decided to leave it, for the safety of the group. Walking the owner around Pistol Rapid, I learned that slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and that working together as a team is the best way to make a bad situation better.

What is your favorite dress-up theme? 

I am a newcomer at Canyons, but I can’t wait to see the costume box my parents have told me about.

What intrigues you about working for Canyons? 

Between doing a swiftwater rescue course with several Canyons guides and attending Alzar School, where other Canyons guides teach, I’ve come to know the awesome spirit of inclusiveness and positivity that Greg and the team radiate in all situations. I can’t wait to learn the ins and outs of guiding from a company known for as much for its professionalism as its goofiness.

What are three words that describe you? 

Witty, introspective, and STOKED!

What is your favorite thing about the Middle Fork or Main Salmon? 

Having done both on private trips with my family, I love different things about each. The Middle Fork is a Pandora’s Box enticing you with its beauty into a crazy trip no matter the water level, and the Main is an almost dream-like world with lower consequences and more chances to slow down and immerse yourself in the beauty of the wilderness surrounding it.

If you could be a river creature, which one and why? 

If I could be a river creature, I would be a sandhill crane. I love their laid back attitude, and how graceful they are when they fly.

If you could bring anyone on a river trip, who would it be and why? 

Hands down, Edward Abbey. He might be a hassle in camp, but he ran the Grand Canyon on a two-man expedition in a fossil of a raft, which tells me that he would make light out of any situation – and a cool story out of it, too!

What is one of your river rituals or superstitions? 

After seeing the number of scorpions that come out at sundown on the San Juan River, you’ll rarely find me without my sandals in camp. Is that a ritual?

What are your personal top 3 MUST HAVES on a river trip? 

A good book (reading and rivers go hand in hand for me), good people (especially ones with a rowdy sense of humor), and an extra paddle (hand paddling isn’t as fun as it looks!).

Where is your favorite groover spot? 

My favorite groover spot is at the Pistol Creek camp, the sound of the massive rapid you ran to get to this camp, plus the scenery, make for an awesome spot to relax! I actually wished I had to use it more than I did…

What is the most important lesson the river has taught you so far?

Understanding how rare it is that you get to spend a week totally cut off of everything outside of the 24 people you spend that week with. Something about getting out of the norm and being in a super unique world. If you understand how important it is, you come away as a new person — refreshed and renewed appreciation for nature.

About Guides

The written word by Team Canyons. Guides, Guests and Friends alike, share their creative writings with us, to share with you, here on the RIVERBEAT BLOG.

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