This course is intended for anyone who wishes to learn the basic skills of whitewater rafting. It is designed to provide an overview of the skills required for navigating a raft through class 2+ whitewater. It will meet a portion of the training requirements for the state of Colorado (first 30 of 50 hrs) as detailed in the River Outfitters Licensing Statutes and Regulations. For those seeking employment with Vessels For Honor Rafting Co. (VFH), this training will serve as the first segment of a two part training program.
Colorado River Outfitters are licensed by the Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation and managed by the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.
All participants should be aware of the inherent risks involved in raft guide training and be willing to assume personal responsibility of such risk. Participants will be required to sign a waiver of liability and assumption of risk document.
Each clinic will have between 4 – 7 people. They are offered on a first come first served basis. Throughout the course, you will receive constructive feedback on your rafting skills. Upon completion of the clinic, if you are interested in continuing through our full guide-training program, we will be happy to discuss summer opportunities.
What to Bring
If you have river gear please bring it.
We strongly recommend that if you have thermal layers such as polypropylene or Capilene bring those.
Extra warm layers, hats, wool socks, pile jackets, etc, will be valuable. We will be in the water frequently and it is cold!
You will need to bring camping gear if you wish to stay on our property. A bathing suit will be needed to wear under the wetsuit. Bring personal water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses, and any other personal items for around camp and off- hours.
What is Included
Swiftwater Rescue – (ACA or Rescue 3 card provided)
Course completion certificate
Training – lots of time on and in the water
Rafts and essential gear (not personal gear)
Shuttles from our center to various put in sites and from the take outs back to center
Camping will be provided by the company during training at VFH.
Guide discounts available on personal gear.
Use of type V PFD
Use of safety gear- helmet, throw rope, knife, 1st aid kit
Use of splash jackets, wetsuits, booties, and all the group river gear.
Meals & Lodging
VFH will provide lunch for each day on the river. Breakfast and Dinner may be purchased from Barry’s Den at Texas Creek, or you may prepare your own meals.
VFH offers free camping on the premises to participants during the course. No flush toilets or shower facilities are available on site. Other options such as nearby motels and campgrounds are available if desired. Ask VFH for suggestions and phone numbers.
Training begins at 7:30 AM and will end at approximately 6:30 PM daily.
* Full guide training will be conducted from the end of May through mid June. Those that are hired as Guides should be willing to commit to a minimum of 2 seasons with VFH.
* Rafts, paddles, oars, personal floatation devices, helmets, throw ropes, repair kits, and first aid kits
* Introductions to the design, construction, care and use of each.
* Safety and efficiency considerations
* Oar Boats
* Overnight & extended trips
* Current fundamentals
* Effects of obstacles/features (rocks, hydraulics, blind corners, etc.)
* Types of hazards (strainers, undercuts, low head dams, cold water)
* Types of rapids
* International Rapid Rating Scale I-VI
RIVER READING STRATEGIES:
* Boat vrs Land
* Private and public property considerations.
* Strokes (Guide/Guest)
* Eddy turns
* Peel outs
* Using current and features
* Boat control
* Self rescue
* Boat based rescue
* Throw bag utilization
* Response to: medical emergencies, entrapments, flips etc.
* Swiftwater rescue
ORIENTATION SAFETY TALK
* Conditions of weather, river, terrain, equipment, travel, housing, and vessels that guests may encounter.
* The personal equipment, clothing, and gear that guests should have.
* The proper fit, wearing and use of PFD’s
* Passenger riding and positioning in boat.
* Safety procedures for swimming through rapids and getting back into boat.
* Instructions on what to do in the event of an accident.
* Sanitation, litter prevention and human refuse disposal.
PADDLE TALK TO GUESTS
* River commands
* Power vrs weight, balance
* Getting the most from the crew
* Lead sweep boats and responsibilities
* Paddle signals
TRIP LEADER RESPONSIBILITY
* Primary responsibilities.
* Organization / timing of trip
* Evacuation routes