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Old 04-15-2008   #21
Caspian's Avatar
Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882
Hood River or WV. If it is raining, the Nantahala - the river isn't exciting but there is park and play after work (and boof if the Cascades are running) and 8 minutes from good MTB at Tsali. 90 minutes to the Green on your days off any then all the other SE rivers and creeks...IF there is water this year. Otherwise you're stuck on Sec. IV, the Nanny, Ocoee and the Green.

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Old 04-15-2008   #22
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Originally Posted by Paddle Iraq View Post
Yeah, I second spending a summer in West By God Virginia. For sure. I'm not sure I can recommend Ace though. They have a great base with hundreds of acres right on the river, but the only problem (at least it used to be this way) is that they always put in right there, and its a lot of flat water before you reach Cunard. Its not an issue at higher water, but it really sucks at lower water. I'd recommend Mountain River Tours or the Rivermen.
This is good advice. Plus if you get in good during New River season, you'll have a spot for the Gauley season. Lots of video boaters and safety yakkers out there. Fayetteville is surprisingly chill for being in the heart of West By God. My first 3 tips in WV were #1-jar of blackberry moonshine, #2- $100, #3- 2 lap dances at Southern Exposure. People generally tip better out East, and I don't care what anyone says, Buckeyes are way better than Texans!

If you do work Colorado, you'll be making your money pushing rubber most likely. You should look into the Poudre. It's Colorado's only Wild and Scenic river. It's beautiful and lots of fun. You will have work through August, though the low water is pretty rough... plus you'll be in Fort Collins, so where you would be playing kickball at Kogan's sausage-fest on the Ark, you'll be getting tang like an astronaut in college girl central!

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Old 04-15-2008   #23
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
i would go to west virginia too. i guided there from 93 through 2002. it is steady work every weekend, and a few trips during the week. water runs all year long, but the rafting season is basically april through october. makes the colorado boating season look pretty short. no highways beside any of the rivers, but there are train tracks beside the new. the new has such a big watershed that it is always running. the lowest i ever remember it being was 800cfs. however if you get there in the spring, you can do some of the biggest water you'll see anywhere outside the grand canyon. the upper cutoff for commercial rafting is around 33,000cfs, but you can boat it at any level. went once at almost 60,000cfs. the river was pretty much one big 10 mile long wavetrain with 15-20 foot waves, and monster holes that will literally suck you in and kill you.

tips were ok, but the living is so cheap there that you don't need to make tons of money to get by. the problem is if you want to move back to colorado at the end of the season it can be a bit of culture shock when you see how expensive it is here and you don't have a lot of money saved from the summer.

the best thing about being in wv is that there are so many rivers and creeks less than an hour away. the upper and lower new, top gauley, upper and lower gauley, upper middle and lower meadow, the dries of the new, mill creek, manns creek, the cherry, cranberry and much more. after guiding there it makes the colorado shuttles look pretty long.

the other nice thing about west virginia is warm water. the gauley is nice and cool in the summer because it comes out of the dam, but it is usually just shorty paddling jacket cold. the new is like bathwater. it is a welcome change after paddling in colorado in your drytop all summer long. you can save the drytop for winter paddling.
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Old 04-15-2008   #24
Winter Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13

The ark is a train of rafts eveywhere. Way too many people!! I would go with clear creek. Screw the view the rapids are awesome and water will be sweet on the ditch
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Old 04-15-2008   #25
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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What do people think about Asheville?
"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 04-15-2008   #26
rhm's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
there are a lot of creeks and rivers in western north carolina, but it depends on if you want to boat lots of creeks and rivers, or do you want more of a steady money making guiding job. there are rafting companies in western nc, but i think more are down in the southwest corner of the state near the nantahala area. i've never worked down there, but have kayaked several rivers in the nantahala area. that area is pretty close to the chatooga, and the ocoee, both of which have a bigger commercial aspect than anything near ashville. the tuckaseegee, and the little tennessee river are both real close to the nantahala as well. these are small class 2-3 rivers

i haven't boated any of the runs near asheville though. i think that the french broad runs right through or right beside ashville, the nolichucky is a little north of there near the tennessee nc border. i've heard good things about the nolichucky, but i don't know what kind of commercial season there is there. i think the the watauga is a little farther north than the nolichucky, but by the time you drive from ashville to the watauga, i think you maybe could get to the ocoee or chatooga about as fast. these rivers don't have real big watersheds, but the tva has so many dams in the area, that some of these may run due to dam releases, but i'm not sure which of these are free flowing and which are dam controlled.
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Old 04-16-2008   #27
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 81
After reading most of your posts here are your options if you want a challenge guide on Clear Creek, If you wanna guide and camp out all summer where safety kayaking and raft guiding is a lot easier guide down on the Ark. Sorry if Im raggin on the Ark guides but Clear Creek is a lot harder to guide on than Pine Creek or the numbers. I watch the big companies train their guilds down on the ark and send them to Clear Creek and everyday on the river, I watch the rookies get rocked by the creak( Part of me wants you to keep doing it for beer Fines as I pull your boats off the rocks!!!)
If I wanted scenery I would have worked for a company on the Grand or Middle fork. Here is a simple notion I raft guide to pay my bills and it makes more sense to do more trips in a day than only be able to do one or maybe two. Remember its a fun Job but its still a job.
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Old 04-16-2008   #28
eljim's Avatar
Overseas, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by MCSkid View Post
Runners just puts gore in the brochure to look cool! living on the dusty, windy hill next to you, allen o and mac, smoking cigs is about the same as suckin' fumes on 1-70. 12 years! are you back on the weed private jim, you can't be counting all those 3 week stints as a year.
T? (no he does use computers) true the hill is not for everyone (cranky a$$holes like me, waiting your turn for a girl etc.), I have been a celebrity boatet during that whole tucking you into bed under a blanket of freedom years. I don't need the pot to be stoney, and I don't know if we ran many trips last year in Gore except fun trips. There aren't many commercials crews I would want to run Gore with either, I've flipped a boat guides, twice. You'll find your self on the Class III team in most companies that run Gore. Clear Creek is stompin when the waters up and those kids can run like four trips a day. Not a lot of safety boatin on the ark either, single boat trips on high water in the Gorge, Numbers and of course Pine. It's tuff to double on Pine (maybe AVA is smooth enough to pull it off). Runners won't give you the work you need at the Gorge office, Browns is busy though. Nice camping scene in browns and there are girls who haven't bored 60 over, especially by SKID. I don't know shit about the Poudre. The Royal Gorge is still my fav. In the Gorge, RGR and Raft Masters would be good to you. RGR uses a pantload of kayakers to photo every trip.

Hows school in the Butte, buddy. I'll make a trip to OBJ Mayish and by your girlish hips a beer.
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Old 04-16-2008   #29
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 390
is there any floating beta on idaho river-rec related work?
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Old 04-16-2008   #30
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
There are a lot of good choices in Colorado for guiding. I have guided for companies on the Poudre, Eagle, Colorado (Upper), Clear Creek and the Arkansas. For me the loser of the group was the Upper Colorado. It is hot, has big head winds, almost no whitewater, no safety yakers and is fairly isolated. Thankfully I only have guided a handful of trips there.

I guided for RioJedi last season and would recommend working for him in a heartbeat. Clear Creek has safety kayakers on a regular basis. High water on Clear Creek probably has more rapids per mile than any other commercially rafted class IV in the state. And the 2 big rapids between Lawson and Dumont are absolutely going off at high water - think 17 small back to back drops in a row. On the bad side Idaho Springs is a fairly crappy town, but Golden is close and a much better place to live, and there are probably college sublets there for cheap in the summer. Then Denver is on one side and the mountains on the other - it's a nice balance if you like having the city close.

The Poudre is pretty and is also a good choice, call TJ at Rapid Transit. They don't usually run the harder stuff, but they have a super smooth operation and some of the guides get to run three trips a day. Ft. Collins is a sweet town and you can get a sublet in town for cheap. However there is little or no safety kayaking (or video boating) going on, at least at the two companies I worked for.

The ark has two main areas - the upper ark near Buena Vista and Salida, and down by Canon City. Both offer steady work, the BV/Salida area is guide central in Colorado. As others have mentioned a few companies here also run Gore - which is one the the classic Colorado runs, not to be missed if you are up for it. Canon city is okay, parkdale (the beginner guide run) is a fairly good place to learn, but the Royal Gorge is much cooler. I think some companies run three gorge trips a day, which would be good cash if you have some expereince.

I haven't guided on the Animas, but the Upper is supposed to be sweet and should have a long season if you are a solid class IV/V- guide. Durango is a cool town and there is a town run that you can get 4 paid runs a day on from what I've heard.

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