05 Sep 5 REASONS TO BE A WHITEWATER RAFT GUIDE IN ALBERTA
Whitewater raft guides on the Kicking Horse River are exceptional. There is no doubt about it. Not only do they expertly maneuver rafts downstream through some pretty big whitewater, but they also entertain and get to know their guests while pushing and pulling on the oars.
Raft guides, in general, are a talented bunch of individuals. They are strong, witty, knowledgeable and know how to have fun! Wild Water Adventure guides are that much more talented because of the demanding whitewater we raft. Not just anyone can guide on the Kicking Horse River. Previous guiding experience from similar big whitewater rivers is mandatory. After all, the safety of our guests is our #1 priority.
For those thinking about guiding on the Kicking Horse or just starting out in the industry, here are 5 solid reasons to be a whitewater raft guide in Alberta.
Rocky Mountain Playground
Right on our doorstep are five (yes, 5!) national parks: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho and Glacier. This means there is no shortage of things to do on a day off. There’s kayaking, biking, hiking, rock climbing and mountain climbing … just to name a few.
Even though the river itself is in British Columbia, it’s just across the provincial border from Alberta. And the Kicking Horse River truly ‘kicks’. A river classification of 2 through 4 guarantees this BIG whitewater! During high-water season in June, the Kicking Horse’s most famous section bumps up to Class 4-PLUS. It’s the biggest whitewater for Canadian Rockies rafting. Who wouldn’t want to guide a raft downstream on such dynamic whitewater?
Build Up Your Arm Muscles
On rivers such as the Kicking Horse, most rafts are rigged with oar frames. Rowing is great for the arms! Guiding on a river, in the great outdoors, is so much better than going to the gym for a workout.
The beauty of river rafting is that it is a seasonal activity. Whitewater raft guides (and the entire crew) work extremely hard for 5 months of the year and then get to mix it up for the winter season. Many guides turn to jobs in the ski industry once the snow starts flying. Others travel internationally, chasing the sun and going after the rafting version of The Endless Summer!
Invaluable Life Skills
Who doesn’t love a problem solver, or quick-thinker or someone who stays level-headed when something unexpected happens? Or, better yet, someone who anticipates and tries to actively avoid something from happening? Whitewater raft guides are all of the above and are, by nature, great leaders who instill confidence. Such skills are invaluable from an employer’s perspective. They are also invaluable for human beings living in this great big wide world of ours.
How To Become A Wild Water Raft Guide
If you’re ready to become a raft guide (or any part of our crew) with Wild Water Adventures, check out our Employment page. Guides first need a minimum of 3 years’ Class 3 & 4 commercial rafting experience. We have very high standards. Additional certification such as Swift Water Rescue and wilderness first aid are also required.
Along with raft guides, crew positions also include Sales & Reservations, Base Managers and Drivers. Every person is a highly-valued member of the team and pivotal for each season’s success.
See You At The RiverBase!
Author: Deborah Wade