Rescue 3 provider, raft guide, raft racer, original Project RAFT participant and holder of several very recent long distance outrigger accomplishments, this week we meet Julie Munger. Her first raft trip was when she was 15 years old, 40 years ago. Now she crosses vast ocean stretches between Hawaiian islands and runs her own rescue services company whilst somehow squeezing in the time to still compete in the USA Women’s Raft Team.
How did you get involved in rafting?
We did family trips throughout my teenage years on rivers such as the Tuolumne and Middle Fork of the Salmon. I loved where rivers would take us. Although I was initially terrified of water, I was inspired to overcome that fear because of the incredible places rivers take you; and the friendships that are formed on the river.
What made you start delivering IRF training?
My passion for the past 25 years has been improving the professionalism and safety of the rafting and river running community. This is right in-line with the IRF mission.
What’s your favourite river experience/memory?
All of us that were at the Chuya Rally in Siberia in 1989 will remember it as one of the greatest events in rafting history. 100’s of rafters from all over the world camping in a huge meadow for a week, sharing the joy of the river and being together.
Worst moment on the river?
The worst moment for me was the first time I came around the corner and saw the beginnings of the dam that would plug the Bio Bio River in Chile. That was a great moment of sorrow.
Advice for anyone new to rafting?
Yes; absolutely! Always be safe, always speak up, and always know before you go!
Where can we find you or see you next?
I am the CEO and co-owner of Sierra Rescue International. We provide Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue courses for IRF members and paddlers worldwide.
If you’re into your raft racing, you will see Julie at the International Rafting Federation World Rafting Championship next month in Neuquen, Argentina
Julie is one of our River Family. Are You?
#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #RiverFamily #StrongerTogether #WeAreIRF #LikeAGirl #RaftersAreAwesome
We’re looking for more stories of River Family – if you have a story to tell, email Sean with your story and photos.