"Eric is one of the best in the business - Obsessed with safety."National Geographic Magazine
I met Eric in 1988, when he almost single-handedly stopped the James Bay II Hydro-electric Project, which would have destroyed eleven major rivers in northern Quebec. I worked with him to save Headwall Canyon in British Columbia and Quebec's Magpie.Robert Kennedy Jr., Town and Country Magazine
Eric’s guiding began at 16 on a cross country bicycle trip where he met a guide who invited him to row a baggage boat on Oregon's Rogue River. Throughout his high school and college summers he guided on the Tuolumne River in California where he was one of the first to run a commercail paddle boat. After college, he spent his summers guiding on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and was a playwright the rest of the year. His plays won a number of awards including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. His play “Between Rails” was successfully produced off-broadway. (New York Times review). During this time he also co-founded the Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy in the Catskill and Sharwangunk ("gunks") Mountains of the Hudson Valley in New York which has protected over 3,500 acres.
In the late nineteen eighties, Eric gave up playwriting to start Earth River. The company was founded on a number of core principles; exploring and finding the most amazing trips, running the finest, safest trips possible and fighting to preserve important river resources. Over the past 23 years, Eric has organized and led dozens of conservation awareness trips taking policy makers and media down threatened rivers. His efforts focussed on stopping the James Bay Hydro-electric Project in Quebec and dams on Chile’s Bio Bio and Futaleufu rivers and Quebec’s Magpie. Eric's other conservation efforts helped bring awareness to the preservation of watersheds like British Columbia’s, Yosemite like, Headwall Canyon and New Foundland’s Main River, which were both threatened by clear cut logging. Using his land trust experience, he and his partner, Robert Currie, founded, the Earth River Land Trust on the Futaleufu which to date has protected over 20 kilometers of the river’s most dramatic shoreline.
Eric has been a pioneer in river rafting safety. He introduced the industry to foot cups to keep paddlers in the rafts and was among the first to teach clients active "self rescue" swimming techniques rather than passively floating on their backs. He was the first outfitter to offer a raft training day before running class 5 and introduced the industry to use of caterafts "safety cats" as a rescue craft on large volume rivers like the futaleufu. He was the among the first to introduce oar-paddle hybrid rafts and double guided boats on challenging rivers.
Eric has organized and led first descents around the world and has been featured in American Airlines Magazine, Outside, National Geographic (yellow), National Geographic Adventure, The New York Times, Conde Naste Traveler, Town and Country, Men's Journal and on National Geographic Television, P.B.S., ESPN, TBS and Nicolocdian. He pioneered and opened commercial rafting and multi-sport trips on a number of spectacular destinations including; Patagonia Chile's Futaleufu, Peru's Yavero, China's Great Bend of the Yangtze, Quebec's Magpie, Peru's Colca Canyon, Tibet's Po Tsangpo and Upper Yangtze, British Columbia's Headwall Canyon, Yukon Territory's Primrose, , Fiji's Vanua Balavu and Chile's Lakes of Patagonia. Eric was the trip leader and captained the lead boat on a number of notable first raft descents including; the Futaleufu, Magpie, Headwall Canyon and Tibet's Schulo ho which was featured in National Geograpic (yellow) Magazine; the first and only time a river outfitter has ever been featured in the Magazine's 100 year history. His two sons, Cade and Teal, are now guiding commercially.
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Virtual Tour of the Futaleufu