Rafting pioneer pens river book

An author and pioneer of Canada’s whitewater industry has roots in Vernon.

Former Vernon resident Bernie Fandrich is the author of British Columbia’s Majestic Thompson River.

Former Vernon resident Bernie Fandrich is the author of British Columbia’s Majestic Thompson River.

An author and pioneer of Canada’s whitewater industry has roots in Vernon.

Bernie Fandrich has written British Columbia’s Majestic Thompson River, a detailed account of the river from Savona to Lytton.

“I’ve had superb reviews and comments. When folks start reading, most can’t put it down. I’m really pleased,” said Fandrich, who developed the Kumsheen Rafting Resort.

Fandrich’s paperback is part river guide and historical account.

It received an endorsement by Rick Mercer, of CBC’s The Rick Mercer Report, after Mercer paddled the Thompson River.

“Rich in Canadian history and adventure, this is my kind of book. Having gotten me on and off the Thompson, Bernie’s my kind of guy,” said Mercer.

Fandrich’s family settled in Vernon more than 60 years ago and all six children distinguished themselves academically and through athletics while attending Vernon High School. Bernie Fandrich was the youngest and perhaps the most adventuresome of the clan.

He graduated from Vernon High, attended the University of B.C. and then taught at an eastern university before returning to B.C. and pioneering whitewater rafting on the Thompson River near Lytton BC in 1973.

“The Thompson is no ordinary river. Its beauty can astound you and its power can zap you in minutes. Forty years of my life are interwoven with this majestic river,” he writes in British Columbia’s Majestic Thompson River.“For four decades, I have travelled its rapids, hiked along its shores, marvelled at it from the highway, and studied its history.”