Bram Role

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Lewiston, Idaho

Where do you call home now?


Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

One of the coolest things is towards the end of a longer multi-day trip when everybody starts zoning out and REALLY getting into the the trip: watching the twirls and swirls in the river, staring at the afternoon glow of the canyon walls, watching canyon tree frogs jumping around on the limestone, pointing out little flowers and plants they hadn’t noticed before… basically letting go and becoming totally absorbed in the river / canyon/wilderness and the moment…

Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike or camp and what makes it special

Ledges, or really anywhere else in the Muav Gorge. Amazing shady paradise with endlessly interesting cliffs and rocks to admire.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

I like to jump in the river. A lot. It’s energizing, and rejuvenating. I’m also an extremely ardent proponent of the rubber spatula (aka. “Rubber Policeman”) used for removing food scraps from dishes. Those things are the BEST!

What can you not live without on a trip?

Water. Most of these river trips would be quite horrible without lots of water. If we had to hike the boats down through rocky canyons, I’m not even sure it would be that fun. So, yeah, water.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

Mid-August circa 2000 AD: Main Salmon River, Idaho, Maxwell Bar (River Left) medium low water, 88 F, calm. Top-notch Shadow Puppetry starring Riley (the Yellowjacket), and Mikey Thurber (can’t remember). Anyway, I assume the crowds went wild. It was truly a masterpiece, probably our magnum opus. Having reached this apogee, and so early in my career, I was forced to retire from this exquisite form of thespianism…