Wilderness Rescue International (WRI) specializes in professional trainings in swiftwater rescue and wilderness medicine. They run approximately 30 courses a year across the globe for agencies, outfitters, and private groups. Nate Ostis is the founder and director of WRI and holds a BS in Education and a K-12 teachers certificate. He is the author of the River Rescue Field Guide which won the National Outdoor Book Award for Best Instruction.
Jake has been running rivers his entire life, but became a part of the Far and Away family in 2012 at the age of 19. He quickly became one of our favorite fishing guides and a talented oarsman. Jake’s passion and zest for the river is infectious. He values the importance of play and can always be found filling his free time with an extra run down a rapid- in a boat or swimming, fishing, laughing on a boat with his friends or gracefully swinging the ladies around the campfire. In the fall of 2018, Jake enrolled in the University of Idaho’s MOSS (McCall Outdoor Science School) program to earn his Master’s in Natural Resources and is now working for the Alzar School as the Outdoor Program Coordinator. Which means he gets to keep messing about in boats for pay! We are always happy to have him back for a trip or two!
After joining us on a training trip and working some late season trips, we couldn’t stand the idea of running the Middle Fork without Galen. After 3 seasons of running the Main Salmon and occasionally the Middle Fork, he was excited to make the transition to the Middle Fork full time. A Wood River native, Galen grew up on Idaho’s rivers and has a passion for the outdoors. Galen is a recent graduate from the University of Idaho with a degree in Recreation trying into Outdoor Education. He minored in Business and wants to learn as much as possible about the outfitting world. He spent two years working for the University’s Outdoor Program where he helped instruct field courses and lead all different kinds of trips around the Northwest. During his free time, Galen can be found running rivers all over the West, kayaking, and backcountry skiing. We are excited to welcome this enthusiastic, fun loving, hard worker to our crew! Get excited to run the river with this hilarious guy.
Hanna is the heart and soul of our crew. She is the hard working backbone, and the spiritual connectivity that guides us to work best with one another in the river corridor. She grew up in the heart of the Idaho wilderness, recreating in all ways, including hunting and fishing. If you have never fished before, she’s an incredible teacher; patient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. After spending years dreaming about the Middle Fork, Hanna found her home working with Far and Away in 2015 and spent 5 years working on the river. If you are looking for a spiritual time on the river, Hanna is your go to girl. She’s spent hundreds of hours studying yoga and meditation in Bali, and she’d be thrilled to talk to you about it! Whether you are on her fishing boat, or her paddle boat, be sure to pick her brain about world travel. Her love and passion for the Frank Church are infectious, you’ll love getting to know Hanna.
Born and raised in the Wood River Valley, Reed is no stranger to being outside. His knowledge and comfort in this element are sure to put you quickly at ease. Reed found his place on the river starting in the summer of 2014. He was thrown into the fire (or rather water) of sweep boat driving and had the unique experience of starting out on one of the “big boats.” Starting out as a sweep driver never stopped him from jumping at every opportunity to get in one of those “small boats.” If you are lucky enough to end up on a boat with Reed, pick his brain about the history of the Middle Fork. He has a wealth of knowledge about the rapids, geology, those who lived in the river corridor and so much more! Around camp, he can frequently be found around the fire either grilling up dinner or playing the guitar. Off the river, you will find him outside as often as possible. He spends his falls working for a hunting guide in the Frank Church Wilderness, as much of his winter skiing and adventuring as possible.
Chris has had rafting and the Middle Fork of the Salmon in his blood since well before he was born; Chris is one of the lucky souls who was fortunate enough to be able to grow up on the Middle Fork. He rowed the river for the first time at 14, began working on the river at 16 and guiding the day he turned 18. At 22, Chris is in his fourth year of college at the University of Idaho studying Geography with a minor in Business. All the while, he is also working for the UI Outdoor Program, and college ambassador for Red Bull. He just bought a kayak and is looking forward to picking up a new sport! We’re excited to share his upbeat personality and musical talent around the campfire with you!
Sanne is a river enthusiast through and through. She joined our family in Spring 2017 and has spent the last 6+ years of her life dedicating as much time as possible to her two loves: running rivers and anadromous fish. Born in Canada with a brief stint in Chicago, she moved to Bozeman, Montana to study Environmental Sciences and wrote her Senior thesis on our beloved Middle Fork Chinook Salmon and the impact the removal of the 4 dams on the Lower Snake River would have on their population recovery. When not on the Middle Fork, Sanne teaches for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) on several rivers in the American Southwest and soon in the Northern Yukon in Canada. Come winter time, good luck getting her skis off her feet. She loves spending her time exploring the backcountry in the winter just as much as in the summer. Whether you are setting the hook on a native Westlope Cutthroat with her on a fishing boat, splashing and giggling on a paddle boat, hiking or around camp, her infectious spirit will get you fired up about anything!
Ross grew up between Ketchum, ID and Santa Barbara, CA; two wildly different climates and landscapes. But what is one thing that these two places have in common? Water! Ross grew up swimming in the ocean, rivers, lakes, you name it. As a result, he swims better than most fish. Ross first joined the Far and Away family in 2011, and over those years has become an incredible guide. Nobody can get a paddle boat paddling together better while corralling a group of duckies who are learning to surf and catch eddies better than Ross. While he isn’t playing on the river, he is enjoying everything that Mother Nature has to offer us, especially rock climbing, surfing and snowboarding. Outside of play, Ross is a certified Massage Therapist and works in children’s outdoor adventure education. When you meet Ross, try to find a random topic that he isn’t well versed in!
Daniela is another Idaho native, born and raised in the Wood River Valley. She first fell in love with the river in 2015 after an invitation from her brother to “drop off the face of the earth for a week” and come out on the Middle Fork with less than a day’s notice. It is doubtful that he expected for her to not want to go back to life before the Middle Fork, but these two are proof that siblings make the best coworkers. Daniela will greet you on the river with a quick smile and an even quicker wit. Splashing and giggling are pretty much mandatory on her boat, and every boat for that matter. She’s no stranger to the outdoors and how best to keep the spirits high through everything Idaho can and will throw at you.
Matthias is a one of a kind dude; he is one of the most kind, enthusiastic, smart, goofy guys you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Matti is an Idaho native but is now spending his days living in Oregon studying Water Law at the University of Oregon. Being a long time kayaker, Matthias has an understanding of water that takes most people years to learn. When we are lucky enough to have him back out on the river with us, we usually put him to work on one of the sweep boats. Up there, you will find him working nonstop and giggling the whole time. We are so lucky to have Matti a part of our team and look forward to the great work he will do protecting our rivers as his career progresses!
Sage was lucky enough to start working for Far and Away and on the Middle Fork when he was only 16 years old, and it became a huge part of the man he has grown into. A Hailey native, he was brought to the Middle Fork by his cousin and like the rest of us, wasn’t able to imagine his life without it. Sage spent 8 full seasons working with us before he left us to pursue a career in Journalism. At least once a year, we get to have Sage back out with us and it is always exciting to have his contagious energy back with us. Sage knows more about the native Tukudeka (Sheepeater) than your average guide. It is always worthwhile picking his brain about those who lived in the river corridor before we started passing through.
Caroline first found her love for the Middle Fork as a guest at 10 years old. At 13, she came back, fell in love again, and wrote her first song about it. At 15, she knew that she couldn’t go another unknown length of time without being able to call the Middle Fork home. Caroline has a contagious love and energy about her. Her constant smiles and giggles are always a pleasure to be around, not to mention her songbird voice will draw you in from anywhere in camp. We look forward to watching Caroline continue to grow and watching her love and knowledge of our home flourish.
It doesn’t get much more Idahoan than Cody. He grew up in the Wood River Valley, officially making him 7th generation Idahoan. That being said, Cody got to explore a new part of Idaho when he came out for his first summer on the Middle Fork. Cody joined us on the river in 2018 for a crash course in high water rafting, and was instantly hooked. He too was fast tracked and quickly picked up the beautiful art of driving sweep and has excelled and thrived in one of his new favorite spots in Idaho. He’s doing a pretty good job of playing as much as possible both professionally and recreationally. In the winter he gets in as many days snowmobiling and skiing as possible, and if he can help it, he’ll make a career out of it. Fun fact: Cody is full of them! With a freakishly good memory, this guy has a fact about anything you can ask him about.
Claire joined us on the river in 2019 after having come down with us as a guest two years prior. Having grown up in Ketchum and attended Quest University in Squamish, British Columbia, claire is no stranger to outdoor adventures. She came to us with a lot of experience running an Inflatable Kayak (IK or Ducky) which made learning the art of running oar and paddle boats a breeze. Claire is a true gem to have in our family; she’s kind hearted, thoughtful and is a top notch conversationalist. It’s hard to walk away from an interaction with Claire without some great new insight or a smile on your face.
Ali joined us in 2019 and is one of our favorite Idaho transplants. She came to us from Wisconsin, and brought us endless amounts of cheese knowledge and passion for her home state. Like many of us, it is hard to say whether she found the river or the river found her. Either way, it worked out in favor of this free spirited hard worker. Ali has a contagious energy like you would not believe. Her constant desire to connect, both with the place and the people is an inspiration to be around. Ali is one of our yoga instructors, you will be lucky to get to take one of her classes riverside.
Tia is the wizard behind the gourmet food that you are eating on the river. Tia is (literally) a member of the Far and Away family and as such, has worked every possible position. Her knowledge of the workings of what we do is second only to Steve and Annie! These days, she spends an entire week preparing every individual detail to make the wilderness chef role as fluid and easy as possible. We might not see her in action, but the work that she does provides us with extra time to get out and play in between our delicious meals!
Mac joined us for a handful of trips in the 2019 river season before returning to his real world life in Lander, Wyoming. In Wyoming, Mac is a Nursing student, as well as an employee of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Mac grew up in the Wood River Valley and always made good use of his access to the surrounding wilderness areas. For most of his life, he was able to spend at least one week a summer on the Main Salmon, Middle Fork or other surrounding Idaho rivers. Mac’s compassion, knowledge, and work ethic are going to serve him (and others) well as he transitions into his Nursing career! We are lucky to have him as a part of our team!