About Us - Vlad and Zach
Vlad and Zach met on a cold day on the Cal Salmon river
in California twelve years ago and have worked together as river guides
ever since. Since then they have both guided and managed river operations
throughout the Western United States. They bring together their respective
skills in order to outfit (mainly) river rafting trips in the former
Soviet Union specializing in the rivers of Siberia.
in the former Soviet Union, Vladimir
Gavrilov earned two PhD's in solid state physics and published over a hundred
scientific articles and one book. Most of his vacation time (in the USSR you
get extra when you work with radiation) was spent traveling through the former Soviet Union leading
expeditions on all types of rivers in Russia and especially Siberia.
His love for rivers brought him to a rafting competition in Costa Rica
where he was recruited to guide on the class IV Tuolumne
River in California. In 1991 his guiding skills allowed him to
move to California and bring his family there two years later. He now
works as a river guide in the summer and as an AP Physics teacher during
the off-season. On the river Vlad is known as a fun-loving sour cream
aficionado while in the classroom he is known as the hardest teacher
in school. He has recently published a book titled Rivers
of an Unknown Land about the rivers of the former
Collier developed a passion for river kayaking while working in the Sierra
Nevada guiding mountain bike trips during college. While studying mechanical
engineering in graduate school he took a river rafting class and found
his career. This led him to drop out of Stanford to join a paddling trip
to Costa Rica. After returning to finish graduate school he began working
as a high school teacher (with Vlad) so that he could continue his career
each summer. Since taking up kayaking and rafting he has paddled rivers
throughout the United States as well as rivers in Honduras,
Chile, Costa Rica, and Nepal.
He now runs his owns and operates Northwest
Rafting Company in addition to planning trips to the former Soviet Union with Vlad.