3 Reasons Why Banff White Water Rafting Guides Make Such Great Story Tellers

“A River Guide’s tasks are many and varied”

This is written in the “Job Description” page at Wild Water Adventures, a Banff white water rafting company offering rafting trips on the Kicking Horse River, near Banff National Park and Lake Louise, Alberta.

Of course, all rafting guides need to have plenty of experience guiding boats on difficult white water rivers, and depending on the difficulty of the river on which they will be working, the prerequisites are higher to maintain good levels of guest safety. And, certainly, they need to keep updated with Emergency Wilderness First Aid and River Rescue training. Those skills are what make for a good, solid, professional river guide.

But what makes a good guide into a “great” guide? A guide that you’ll remember and want to tell your friends and colleagues about? Storytelling!
Here are just three reasons why river guides make such great storytellers.

  1. Great material to work with. Amazing rivers, new guests to meet and entertain on every trip and Mother Nature’s magnificent landscapes and creatures all around are just few reasons why they get such great stories to share. Near escapes from drama on the river in high water, amusing stag or stagette groups, professional athletes or celebrities that they’ve taken in their rafts and rare animal sightings along the river make for great story topics. River Guides are in an environment every day that puts them in an ideal position to experience something “story-worthy”.
  2. Practice makes perfect! Every day on their rafts, they have a new group (or two) on which to practice their stories and hone them to perfection. Not only that, every day presents an opportunity for a new narrative to share! Talking to groups of people is what guides do, and what they love, and they’ll never get tired of telling the favourites, and maybe even taking a small degree of “creative license” if it makes it even more entertaining for you! They work hard to get the punch line to their jokes just right, and choose to tell only those tales that fully hold their guests attention.
  3. Captive audience! On a raft, guests can’t just walk out the door…well, I suppose they can, but it requires getting very wet, and perhaps a short swim. To date, their stories and jokes haven’t gotten THAT bad to drive anyone to swim for it! Rafting combines the action and fun provided by the rapids with the calm and peaceful meanderings supplied by the river. It’s those peaceful times when you’ll get to hear amusing anecdotes about the black bear that was taking a drink from the river last week, or the difficulties that the Canadian Pacific Railway had in building the railway right alongside the Kicking Horse River in 1886, or what happened on that day in 2009 when the water levels on the river rose to unprecedented levels, or how each of the rapids earned their colourful names on the river.

So, of course you ultimately choose rafting for the excitement, and the chance to develop your own stories and tall tales to re-tell to your friends, family and boring work colleagues, but don’t be surprised if your guide gives you one or two of his or her own to remember! Learn more about our guides here and becoming a Kicking Horse rafting guide here!

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