Carrie Aronson

Where did you grow up?

Queensland, Australia

Where do you call home now?

Victoria, Australia and Flagstaff, AZ (I’m lucky to be able to split the year, half at each place)

Year started at OARS?

2007

What’s the best part of your job?

I get to talk to folks about all the great trips we offer. Since I’ve been on pretty much all of them and have also guided on quite a few I’m able to recommend which trip is best based on their interest. I also love to hear about their experience after the trip and am rewarded to know they had an incredible trip – in some cases it is life changing.

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

There are so many it is hard to single one out. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention Crystal Rapid in the Grand Canyon though. Not only is it a beautiful rapid to look at, exciting to run and scary enough to have your full attention, but it happens to be the place that my husband, Jeffe Aronson proposed to me … right in the tongue before we were completely engulfed in Crystal’s big whitewater.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

Before a big rapid I have a serious talk with myself, take at least 5 deep breaths, flex my fingers around the oar handles multiple times and then apply about 10 layers of lip balm. I can’t recall when I started this or why, but the key element is the lip balm. The whole process is not the same without it.

What can you not live without on a trip?

My lip balm, especially the strawberry flavor.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

I’m told my hand massages around a campfire are a special talent. One of my favorite guiding memories is from my days as a dive master in Australia. I took a guest on a dive who had no sight. I recall thinking it would be a disappointment for him as he wouldn’t see all the incredible sea creatures and the colors. What I didn’t understand to begin with is he ‘heard’ them and he had an incredible experience. Since then I often close my eyes when I am scuba diving and rafting so I engage and experience the audio senses much more.