Slaughterhouse 5


Forget Homestake or the North Fork. There’s a creek race for kayakers in Colorado that’s miles longer and comes with more meat, an even tougher-sounding name and tougher-sounding beer…

Presented by Aspen Kayak and SUP Academy and with water levels the stretch hasn’t seen in years, Slaughterfest 2017 was held Sunday July 2, drawing some of the best Aspen, Colorado, area kayakers and rafters to the legendary Slaughterhouse section of the Roaring Fork River.

Racers started in 30-second intervals at Henry Stein Park and sprinted 4.5 miles to the take out at Jaffe Park. En route they faced innumerable Class III and IV rapids, including Entrance Exam and Slaughterhouse Falls, a classic drop that used to be the site of a slaughterhouse in the old days of Aspen (thus the name of the run).

After surviving the bloodbath, they ended with an awards ceremony at Jaffe Park, wrapping up a race down one of the best town runs in the country. “Prizes included lots and lots of meat and a huge cook out to boost the protein levels of the competitors,” says organizer Paul Teft.

Best yet, beer was provided by Roaring Fork Beer Company and its aptly named Slaughterhouse Lager!

In the end, Conner Flynn took the top prize with a time of 28 minutes, followed by Jules Campbell 25 seconds back and Green Race guru Tommy Hilleke at 29:14.

“It was a great, carnivorous and festive celebration of the valley’s tight-knit paddlesports community,” says Teft.