The 12 th Annual Whistler River Adventures Rodeo went off with a bang on Monday, June 22.
The rodeo is a full day of rafting, games, and partying for employees of various service industries in Whistler. This year there were 26 teams competing for the coveted Golden Paddle. The teams were from: the Garibaldi Lift Company, Spaghetti Factory, 21 Steps, Le Brasserie, Firerock, Longhorn, Araxi's, Resort Cabs, Dups Burritos, Zogs, Moguls, Gone, Blacks, Alpine Café, Westin, Second Cup, La Bocca, Brewhouse, and the Tandori Grill.
Four separate events were designed to challenge the teams. The first event was "sumo wrestling," which consists of competitors having to wear five lifejackets and wrestle with another competitor on a raft in Green Lake. For strategic reasons, the smallest member from each team is typically chosen. The first person swimming was out and the last person standing was the winner.
Sumo wrestling was followed with a competition for the fastest raft flip on Green Lake. With instructions from their raft guide, teams had to flip their rafts upside down, then right-side up, and then all the team members had to climb back into the raft. The competition was fierce in this event, with some teams done in about 10 seconds!
An intense paddle race was next, where teams lined up and had to use their paddling skills and power to get to the mouth of the Green River.
Finally, the teams headed to the Pemberton Adventure Ranch where the last competition of the day was held. A team relay race of sorts included beer and spinning in a circle 10 times while holding a paddle in the air.
The team from 21 Steps claimed the Golden Paddle this year, edging 2008 champions The Brewhouse by one point.
After the long, fun day of team rivalry everyone got to enjoy a barbecue, with DJ Chili Thom providing sweet tunes well into the wee hours of the morning. The Whistler Brewing Company and Pemberton Adventure Ranch also helped make the day.
The staff from Whistler River Adventures were hosts for one of the events of the year, including raft guides who brought their talents and eye for safety to the show