Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area, Snake River -- At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, Zachary Lee Zoller, grandson of river pioneer and modern-day explorer Phillip Zoller, followed in his grandfather and father's wake by becoming the youngest state certified class IV commercial whitewater guide in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, all on the same day.
Destined for a life of outdoors and adventure, Zachary Zoller made his first trip down the class III-V White Salmon River just prior to his fourth birthday--a trip on which he was ejected from his father's raft at Stair Step rapid, 75 yards of class III fun. Once back in the raft he proudly proclaimed "that was cool" and his father, Mark, company president of Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys Inc., knew he had a future river guide on his hands.
The younger Zoller holds a modest record on the White Salmon River as the youngest person to guide a raft over the famous Husum Falls at age 12.
A home-schooled senior in high school, Zoller plans to attend cinematography school after high school graduation and work toward a career in directing and producing.
The Zoller family recently has been featured in the premier episode of the new reality TV show "This Job's A Trip", on KATU's "AM Northwest" program, and in NASE Business Magazine, Puget Sound Business Journal and PDX Magazine. It also was named Washington's "Family Business of the Year" for 2005 by the Family Business Institute at Pacific Lutheran University.
An outdoor adventure company for over three decades, Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys have been solely owned and operated by the Zoller family. The Zollers have entertained hundreds of thousands of guests from all corners of the globe on Washington's best rivers, and the Snake River through Hell's Canyon.