April 16th, 2014

Staff Highlight: Jaime Schultz

NAME: Jaime Schultz

GIVE US A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT YOURSELF.

While whitewater is a huge passion of mine there are many other activities that bring me a lot of happiness in life. I'm currently a Music Education major at CWU where I play the saxophone. It's a difficult major but by the time I graduate I'll know how to play about a dozen instruments and I get to create music in multiple ensembles for hours on end every day... so I'd say I'm pretty lucky for that!

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Jaime rockin' one of her custom hats.

GIVE US A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT YOURSELF.

While whitewater is a huge passion of mine there are many other activities that bring me a lot of happiness in life. I'm currently a Music Education major at CWU where I play the saxophone. It's a difficult major but by the time I graduate I'll know how to play about a dozen instruments and I get to create music in multiple ensembles for hours on end every day... so I'd say I'm pretty lucky for that!

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Jaime playing her saxophone at CWU.

I'm also very passionate about rock climbing. I first went outside two years ago and have been scaling up big walls ever since. It was what ignited the fire that is my love for outdoor adventure and last year I even became a PCIA certified climbing instructor.

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Jaime rock climbing at Vantage.

Lastly (and probably most random) is that I custom paint hats and shoes! I absolutely love to paint and while it started out as a way for me to make cool personalized and wearable gear for myself, my friends soon started to ask if I would make custom hats and shoes for them as well. After a while I decided to take it public and have actually gotten orders from all around the United States and even different countries around the world! Crazy how things work out sometimes.

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Another one of Jaime's custom hats, you can get them here.
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Jaime's custom painted shoes you can get them here.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RIVER THAT WILDWATER OFFERS?

This is such a hard question because every river is awesome for its own unique reason! But if I had to choose, I'd have to say the White Salmon for its BIG hits and the unreal fun of Husum Falls or the Green River at high flows for its almost constant rapids and unbelievable remote scenery.

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Jaime's perspective from her GoPro while running class V, Husum Falls on the White Salmon River.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RIVER OR MULTI-DAY TRIP?

My favorite river I've been on is the multi-day I did on the Lower Salmon. We spent 7 days on the river, and while the rapids were not huge, the whitewater offered plenty of fun during the day and the endless white sandy beaches were unbelievable. It was truly an experience unlike any I'd ever had before and I can not wait to do it all again this summer!

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A photo from the Lower Salmon River multi-day trip Jaime went on last year.

WHAT GOT YOU INTO WHITEWATER? WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A GUIDE?

I had always wanted to go whitewater rafting, but my family wasn't exactly what you would call "adventurous". So, the summer after my first year of college my mom said I could plan a family road trip around Washington. I quickly booked spots to go bungee jumping in Amboy and whitewater rafting on the Skykomish River in Index. While the trip terrified my mother beyond all belief, after we went through that big first rapid on the Skykomish I was instantly hooked. I couldn't believe that our guide actually got paid to do this every day, so after the trip I asked him how he got so lucky. He told me I just had to take guide training and I could get hired on for a summer. That fall I took a whitewater kayaking course, which only solidified my love for the river. I'd never felt more alive in my life than after a day full of whitewater, so after meeting the right people at the right time and never losing that desire to become a guide I found myself at Wildwater's guide training last spring. It was a huge game changer- and I can't imagine it any other way.

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Jaime bungee jumping.
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Jaime exploring Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park.
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Jaime rowing on the beautiful Skagit River during Guide Training 2013.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love quotes and while its a bit long, this one has always been my favorite:

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

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Jaime hiking at Rattlesnake Ridge.

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL AND WHY?

It sounds cliche when talking about whitewater- but I'd have to say my spirit animal is a fish. I'm one of those people who just loves the water in any form and would rather swim than walk any day. I grew up next to the ocean and the water has always been and continues to be a huge part of my life. And heck... my astrological symbol is even Pisces! So I suppose it was all just meant to be :)

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Jaime stand up paddling with her dog Ralph on the Puget Sound in her hometown of Kingston.

Written by: Jaime Schultz

Jaime joined the Wildwater crew after participating in our Guide Training course in 2013. We are happy to have such a fun loving, friendly individual working for us. It didn't take long for Jaime to pick up the skills to guide the Wenatchee River, Skagit River, and guide down river stand up paddling trips for Wildwater.