Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-05-2012   #21
idahoriverguide's Avatar
stanley, Idaho
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 61
I'm with jerry. The TL is sometimes just a title. I've run trips where the least experienced guide has 5+ years. In that case the TL just is the first point for guests. He leads talks and such. For trips where you have less experienced guides. If I'm the TL I run point or sweep. That's where your most experienced boaters should be. Paddle boat 3rd or later. Sweep has your trauma and wrap kits. If you don't know the river remember to ALWAYS cut your c's and ride your v's. the lead boat keeps pace and stops when needed for the group to always be in sight. You don't want the guy in back to have issues so you pick the most experienced. If that guy gets in trouble there is a chance he'll have to deal with it alone for a bit. Just my 2 cents. Jerry always knows what he's talking about (except with level prediction, that needs work!

idahoriverguide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2012   #22
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
My perspective is based on the belief that divided or ambiguous leadership is a significant hazard in any outdoor activity. The best illustration of that hazard is the 1986 Mt. Hood climbing disaster, where ambiguous leadership led to nine deaths.

On guided raft trips, the perception is always that the trip leader is the one out front leading. If the person in that position is not the trip leader, your guests will not have a clear picture of who is in charge. Since my commercial trips were row-yourself, it was critical that all of the novice boaters in the group follow the lead guide's instructions. The middle guides reinforced what the lead guide said, and coaxed any stray boats back in line. And as several have pointed out, there are some critical responsibilities for the sweep boater, but leading the trip is not one of them. If a trip leader doesn't have a strong boater to assign to sweep, maybe he should re-think the trip.

The Mogur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #23
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 23
So many different ideas! I agree it depends, but in bigger water situations, or at least when you question the competency of the group, rear is best. You keep first aid and wrap gear, and you can actually get to the emergency. Wrap gear in TL's boat does no good if you are one and # 10 wraps. Also takes longer to get major first aid if you aren't last.
boaterbrune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #24
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
A good TL can lead from anywhere! Encluding shore. And just because your the "best boater" doesn't qualifiy anyone as TL. Just saying..
idahofloater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #25
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
Heck, I have even TL/safety kayaked trips before
DoubleYouEss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #26
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
Originally Posted by boaterbrune View Post
So many different ideas! I agree it depends, but in bigger water situations, or at least when you question the competency of the group, rear is best. You keep first aid and wrap gear, and you can actually get to the emergency. Wrap gear in TL's boat does no good if you are one and # 10 wraps. Also takes longer to get major first aid if you aren't last.
why is the TL necessarily the guy with the wrap kit and first aid? yeah that needs to go in the sweep boat but L stands for Leader and he/she should be Leading the pod - IN FRONT.
mania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #27
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by idahofloater View Post
Encluding shore.
That must be a short trip.
carvedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #28
mhelm's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 267
I am a big advocate of TL being the sweep for good reason. I was leading a 9 boat trip back in 2004 on the Upper Ocoee ( I know, not a crazy hard run... but plenty of dangers) We stopped to set safety and have a snack just below the '96 Olympic Course. I gave the signal to go after snack. As I did my visual sweep to make sure all my guides were on track, I noticed a man with no pfd jump into the river above a large hole (Humongous). He surprisingly swam through without any problems, stood up in the middle of the river behind a rock. My guest looked at me, and were like "oh, he's fine now." Not even close. There were strong currents on both sides, and he decided to swim river left straight across the current with no ferry angle. He was swept downstream, hit an eddy line, and disappeared for a 10 count. He came up briefly below a bridge heading towards one of the coolest/largest rapid on the river (Roach Motel). We chased him down and pulled him from under the water, and got to shore before the rapid. One of my rookie guides noticed I was not right behind him and pulled over to assist as we came to shore. Without exaggeration, he coughed up close to a gallon of water. When they got him to the hospital, his core temp was at 93degrees. He survived, but just barely.

I know this was a long story, but the point is that as sweep boat you can observe a lot more things than in the lead or in the middle of the pack. I've been involved in some crazy chaotic situations in my years as a raft guide/TL/kayaker/bus driver. The main thing to remember is that anything can happen at any time. Be safe out there!
mhelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #29
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Originally Posted by carvedog View Post
That must be a short trip.
It could be. but yeh, if it all goes bad the TL needs to be good on shore too! Don't ya think? Thats where a good TL is worth his/her weight in gold.
idahofloater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012   #30
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 184
This is a great question and the answer to it matters. There are a lot of factors to consider, but there is a correct answer for your group and river. Some really good information has already been thrown out in this thread, but there has been some misinformation as well. This discussion has expanded from the OP to a great topic on river roles and how those roles are defined. I come at this with a ton of experience both commercial and private on all sorts of rivers.

I believe that the rafting community has a lot of outdated safety principles kicking around. These crappy ideas get passed along because of the general benign nature of the sport and an overarching lack of experience with the crap really hitting the fan. The vast majority of rafters only see a couple dozen swimmers, a few flipped boats and a single wrap in their entire career. From this mindset, I think practice and discussion are super important. Discuss the what-ifs around the fire or on the buzz and take a swiftwater rescue course. Debrief lessons learned and think critically when you do have an experience,

A commercial TL's role varies by company, but it should include dealing with the customers, the government, making sure stuff goes smoothly, and lots of delegation. A private TL is the permit holder and deals with the government. The TL is NOT responsible for determining who runs where. Effective communication between all trip participants (guides on a commercial trip) should determine the safety plan. This group discussion needs to occur on a scout, at the put-in or in the truck on the way to the river. It is important that everyone is present and everyone have a voice. Study after study shows that risk decision making conducted by the entire group rather than one strong leader results in greater group safety. A great example of the one strong leader is the Korean mountaineers and we all know what happens when they go to K2.

So you are having this group discussion where everyone is present and everyone has a voice and you are deciding:
Whether or not to put-in/run this rapid?
How far to go/where to stop?
What rapids to scout?
How to communicate non-verbally?
How tight to run?
If order matters?
What order to run-in?
Who has the emergency gear (major pin kit, major medical, sat phone/radio)?
Who is in charge if the crap goes down?
Alternate if that person is unavailable?

Risk decision making is not disaster response decision making. Risk decision making should be done on the front end by the entire group, and through that process someone is elected to be in charge (and alternate) when the crap hits the fan. The crew needs to be immediately ready (without discussion) to deal with two types of scenarios and often both simultaneously. Emergencies that go downstream and emergencies that stay put.

Whoever is in the lead is primarily responsible for emergencies that go downstream. They will stay downstream of any swimmers. They will almost never throw a bag. They will deal with all swimmers before even giving notice to gear. The sweep boat is responsible for emergencies that stay put. They have the major emergency gear. They bag swimmers out of holes, they pull over to deal with medical emergencies on the bank, they pull over to pick up swimmers that have gone to shore, they pull over to unwrap boats. What I am trying to say here is the crew needs to deal with a certain level of common anticipated crisis automatically, then look to the incident commander to provide further direction.

On the water, just boating along, the first boat is responsible for pulling everyone over to regroup, if a hazard is identified, to take a break or if something doesn't seem right and needs a scout.

pearen is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for a good 4 day trip - thoughts? JCKeck1 Whitewater Kayaking 2 05-21-2010 08:22 AM
Dear Leader at his best... yarmonymatoid The Eddy 92 11-29-2009 08:42 PM
thoughts on the M3 progers Kayaking | Gear Talk 1 02-07-2006 04:03 PM
Thoughts on BOZEMAN MT. boof512 Whitewater Kayaking 5 12-09-2005 05:02 PM
Perception 3D -- thoughts... ringer Kayaking | Gear Talk 0 05-25-2004 07:07 PM

» Classified Ads
Jackson Karma (Medium)

posted by Paddling Life

Brand Spankin' New 2016 Jackson Karma Creek kayak!

Fiberglass Slalom boat

posted by Krynn

Glass Slalom Boat. Great edges. Fast boat. Snapdragon...

Jackson Superstar

posted by Gary Rempe

Beautiful boat with awesome performance. Very lightly used...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.