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Chile: About Us

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The Long Family has made annual pilgrimages to Chile since 1991. At the behest of a family friend interested in offering raft trips, Tom and Kenneth traveled to Chile and discovered unbounded waters tumbling from the heights of the Andes and across the country’s narrow width, creating pristine and varied whitewater rivers. It didn’t take long before they began offering instructional kayaking adventures to students from the Idaho-based Cascade Kayak School. While the entire family (currently numbering 17) travels to Chile each winter, Debbi returns to her Hunter/Jumper barn in Arizona where she teaches students and trains horses for the winter show circuit in Tucson. She has imported several Chilean horses for development. Learn more at: www.longfarms.net

Tom Long
Job Titles: Kayak instructor, wine connoisseur, slingshot sharpshooter
Tom has been kayaking since around the time dinosaurs roamed the earth. He pioneered many runs in California before kayaking was popular, logging first descents and drawing people to the sport. With his wife, Debbi, he developed a successful program for teaching kayaking to youngsters (after experimenting on his sons, Kenneth, Chad and Tren). After many years in the outdoor business, he still brings a passion for whitewater and teaching that is unsurpassed.
Kenneth Long
Job Titles: Kayak instructor, Chile culture expert, male model
Learning to kayak in lifejackets custom-made by his mom (there weren’t any youth lifejackets on the market then), Kenneth survived the instructional experiment by his parents with style (or was it stubbornness?). Kenneth and Chad spent many years racing slalom C-2 (double canoe) on the US national team and filling their passports with foreign entry and exit stamps. Kenneth enjoys instructing over the 13 days of our Chile adventures as he is able to help people make visible steps toward their kayaking goals and get to know each of them better.
Chad Long
Job Titles: Kayak instructor, off-road vehicle fabricator, kid magnet
After overcoming a few of his own obstacles to learning, Chad grew into the teacher of the family. His background in slalom racing supplies his technical expertise and his desire to share something he loves with others supplies the passion he has for kayak instruction. Truly patient and fun-loving, Chad’s favorite “job” is teaching Cascade’s youth kayak camps. After he “retired” from Boise State University, Chad took up welding and VW’s as codependent hobbies.
Tren Long
Job Titles: Kayak instructor, general handy guy, professional submission fighter
Featured as the cover boy for Paddler Magazine’s kids in kayaking edition, Tren is long on experience in slalom and freestyle kayaking. As a member of the US team in C-1 (single canoe), Tren gained the technical background of slalom and as a kid who grew up kayaking, he picked up exemplary freestyle skills through a fearless trial and error procedure. Certified instructor in Swift Water Rescue and a volunteer Wilderness EMT, Tren is an asset to every whitewater trip.
Anne "Smiley" Long

Job Titles: Kayak instructor, logistics coordinator, orphanage liaison
Anne grew up racing slalom in New Hampshire and her family, the Mitchells of Mitchell Paddles, and the Long family met at many competitions. Her race day seriousness earned her the nickname “Smiley” from the Long boys. After joining Cascade as a kayak instructor in 1995 and the family in 1998, she promptly started organizing. Her teaching strengths are in instilling a proper technical base as a method for advancing kayaking skills.

Krista Long
Job Titles: Chef extraordinaire, power shopper
Krista joined the Long family in 2002 and asserted her status in the family by taking over the café and catering department in Idaho. Falling into the role of cooking tantalizing dishes in Chile was a natural progression. Krista generally is the subject of the most complaints—her cooking is the cause of much weight gain!
Linzie Long
Job Titles: Action photographer, childhood development specialist, all-around artiste
Linzie was a welcome addition to the Long family in 2002 and used her graphic design skills to quickly bring many company projects in-house. In Chile she has the patience-testing yet ultimately rewarding task of supervising the “little Longs” and ensuring the quality of their South American summer vacation.
Gill Mallinckrodt

Job Titles: Shuttle driver, international financier, retired Italian scooter racer
A native of Pennsylvania, Gill joined the Long family in Chile in 1993 after one half day kayak lesson in Idaho from Tom and has been heading south off and on every since. When he retired from his "real job" as an aerial surveying pilot, he was able to dedicate his talents to kayaking. Gill's very busy schedule has him splitting his time among his wood-fired pottery kiln at his home studio in Pennsylvania, a few months in Italy to polish his motor-scooting skills, and winters in Chile to fill the important role of shuttle-driver.

Cristian Huenchuleo

Job Titles: Kayak instructor, entrepreneur
Cristian began his kayaking in Los Queñes in the early 1990’s by trading his boat transporting services for time in a kayak. He took every opportunity offered to further his river skills and eventually moved to Pucón to work and train as a member of the Chilean National Slalom team. Cristian remains our best consultant and local river expert.

Nicko P

Job Titles: Boat loader, monkey boy, underage disco supervisor
Nicko joined the Cascade team in the summer of 2008-2009 through an initiation by fire. He spent his first 4 days in an IK trying to keep up with a group of highly-skilled teen paddlers from the Idaho River Kids. On day 5 he jumped in a hardshell kayak and never looked back. The trials and tribulations of learning to kayak in a foreign language were far outmatched by the experiences he gained. He had “the best summer vacation EVER.”

Rachel Long
Job Title: Assistant to the boat loader
As the eldest of Tom’s eight grandchildren, Rachel shoulders much responsibility. Developing her river skills under the tutelage of “Uncle Chad,” she enjoys swimming as much as kayaking. You will typically find her watching Nicko load boats (I mean, supervising), organizing her sisters and cousins, and serving drinks at dinner.
updated February 10, 2010 River Blog