23 Jun River Blogged: Introduction to the Kicking Horse River
It’s always good to have friends on the river. So when my old friend Andrew encouraged me to join him for a summer of rafting on the Kicking Horse River, I updated my whitewater resume and sent it off to Wild Water Adventures. I’ve known Andrew for twelve years now. He’s a bald, lanky Englishman with a zany sense of humour. More importantly, he’s an excellent river guide and a trustworthy friend. We learned how to run rivers while working together on the Thompson.
The more experience I gained in the whitewater scene, the more I’d hear about one river in particular, the Kicking Horse. Veteran guides would tell of its fast continuous flow, its turquoise water that plummets from ancient glaciers, and its fun, technical rapids that challenge boaters from across the globe. I knew one day I would work on that river. That day has come.
It takes a considerable amount of knowledge and experience to guide on the Kicking Horse. I’ve been working on my river skills relentlessly. I’ve run a lot of the biggest, baddest rapids in the Canadian west. Even so, it was with a bit of trepidation that I floated off the bank for my first ride on the Horse. Fortunately, I got to learn the river from our Lead Guide here at Wild Water, Tarquino from Ecuador. With his round torso, shaved skull, and Fu Manchu style moustasche, he resembles Buddha in a life jacket. I really appreciate the patience he’s shown teaching us the lines on the Kicking Horse. By ‘lines’ I mean where to put the raft, and where to definitely not put it. It’s always good to make new friends on the river, especially when they have the skills this guy does.
We have an exceptional guiding staff here at Wild Water. We have a wonderful and caring support staff too. I look forward to introducing all the unique characters, and describing our adventures working and playing together on the Kicking Horse. River Blogged will flow right on through the rafting season with weekly installments, so stay connected. We’re heading into the best days of summer. Visit us here at Wild Water and you’ll be part of the story too – whitewater sandwiches included.
Until next week, keep your boats sunny side up!