Sawatch Rescue

Training Provider Information

  • (719) 221-6716
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About this Training Provider

Instructor Profile

Campy Campton

For Campy, rivers just run in the blood. His grandfather started kayaking the Arkansas River in 1954. Campy’s father and uncle soon followed in his watery footsteps.

Campy grew up in Buena Vista and at age 13 could be found out on the river in his own kayak, alongside his dad. He enjoyed it so much that, for his eighth-grade graduation present, his parents set up a four-day self-contained kayak trip down the San Juan River.

As soon as he turned 18, Campy trained to become a rafting guide.

“As soon as I was old enough to guide, I got into guiding and haven’t stopped,” he said.

After becoming a commercial guide, Campy worked seven seasons at a family friend’s company before deciding to test the waters outside the state boundary. He made his way to both East and West coasts, spending a summer on the Gauley River in West Virginia, then making it over to California, first south and then north, followed by a stint in Tahoe before returning to Colorado. Campy then became a Rescue 3 Instructor in 2006.

While he still enjoys kayaks, he thinks that rafting is still his favorite river activity.

Eric Young

Eric's whitewater career took off in 1985 at the age of 15 when he began kayaking the rivers of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. He soon began working throughout the area as a Class V safety kayaker, video boater and raft guide.

He now has more than twenty years of experience as a professional river guide with more than 25,000 documented river miles in the United States, New Zealand, Costa Rica, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He spent 14 years as the Operations Manager for a large Colorado-based rafting company and throughout his career he has provided primary patient care for several serious river-related incidents involving prolonged and often technically challenging evacuations with unique patient care challenges.

His extensive overseas experience includes extended travel throughout South and Central America, Africa, South East Asia and New Zealand.

His emergency services career includes more than twelve years of service as an officer with Chaffee County Search and Rescue where he has participated in over 200 search and rescue missions providing backcountry patient care for river accidents, climbing falls, hunting accidents and avalanche rescue and recovery.

In addition to working as an Instructor for Rescue 3, he is also employed as Firefighter / EMT with North Metro Fire Rescue in Denver, Colorado.

In his free time Eric still enjoys kayaking, climbing and mountaineering throughout the United States and abroad. He is an avid backcountry telemark skier, mountain biker, climber and trail runner.

These diverse life experiences have brought him to where he is today as a Rescue 3 Instructor and Owner of the Sawatch Rescue Center specializing in professional training and consultation in Swiftwater Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Mountain SAR and Wilderness Medicine.