Risa Shimoda – Rockette Woman

The Upper Eagle River segment can barely be seen from the road which winds hundreds of feet above its steep walled canyon located near Vail, Colorado. Stohlquist’s Colorado guide book describes this as 100-200fpm run as “loaded with extremely difficult and dangerous rapids.” The book goes on to say that after Waterfall Creek, “the river goes berserk. From here, long Class IV rapids feature rebar, rails, seriously mangled, sharp boulders….Vertical pin spots are everywhere. Next comes a 12-18ft waterfall”. This rating by the way, was down at low water!

This kind of whitewater is one place you will find the diminutive dynamo from the East Coast, Risa Shimoda. Largely unphased by widely held perceptions of objective river dangers, she has risen quickly to the top echelons of American whitewater cruising.

Risa and others on the Upper Eagle in full flood in 1984 had much to contend with…

Read: Risa Shimoda – Rockette Woman | American Whitewater