Angels Camp, CA — The founder O.A.R.S, George Wendt, has passed away.
The nationally acclaimed whitewater rafting company is based in Angels Camp, and in recent years Wendt was a recipient of the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The company was also twice recognized by National Geographic Adventure as the “Best River and Sea Outfitter on Earth.”
Wendt is also remembered for testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on River Preservation, and helping to create an ecotourism operation in Fuji.
To read more about Wendt’s life, click here.
O.A.R.’s has released the statement below about the passing of Mr. Wendt.
“George breathed his last at 1:36 pm on Saturday July 9th, by all appearances in comfort and with relief. Surely, he was loved – by those in the room with him at the end, and by the many he touched with his gentleness and grace. George was a kind and humble man who seemed to take a genuine interest in everyone he met. He was a river pioneer, an adventure travel icon, and a conservation leader.
George found his calling as a college student on the rivers of the West in the summer of 1962. That’s when he and a friend built a raft out of inner tubes and planking and floated down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. In the years that followed, as George continued to explore the canyons of the Colorado River and its tributaries, it became clear to him that these special places needed to be shared, fought for, and preserved for future generations. The drowning of Glen Canyon and then the Stanislaus River near his home in California had delivered a profound sense of loss for George; it became his calling to bring people into the wilderness and share with them his love for wild river canyons. As he often said, “we save what we love and we love what we know.”
George was an endlessly supportive father to two sons, Clavey and Tyler, a loving husband to his late wife Pam, and a role model, mentor, leader and inspiration to many more. We at O.A.R.S. are grateful for the kind words of support and encouragement during this difficult time.”