Best Outfitter to work for in Colorado? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-04-2010   #1
 
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boulder, Colorado
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Best Outfitter to work for in Colorado?

I've been guiding II-V since '95 and am thinking of a season on the Ark or somewhere in CO. I don't mind scenic trips and have a solid interpretive. preference is center-mount oarframe, but can do it all. Looking for suggestions on good employers and best pay. If you can tell me who not to work for, I can appreciate that too. thanks

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Old 01-05-2010   #2
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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Most oar trips are on the Colorado (shoshone, upper C), the Arkansas, and stern mounts on the upper animas. Of course fishing companies and flat water tours also use oar rigs.

I if was going back to work professionally my first choice would be All American Adventures on Clear Creek - I worked there and really enjoyed it. But that's mid-low volume creek boating. 4 Corners whitewater in Durango would also be on my short list. There are a ton of companies in Colorado, I've only worked for 4.

I would skip Rocky Mountain Adventures and the company on Clear Creek located at the old ARGO mine. I would also skip Djvorak's. Good guides work at all three places - their management style differs from how I believe employees should be treated.

I thought that Echo Canyon on the Ark was reasonable, but I disliked that they expected you to be available 6 days a week, but only got you on average 4-4.5 days of work. Want two days off? They took away a trip from your rotation. They do a ton of walk in business so this worked well for the companies bottom line, but it's bad for your free time. However if you take the shoulder seasons off you might not mind.

Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2010   #3
 
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boulder, Colorado
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thanks raftus. that's the kinda beta I was looking for. anyone feel free to pm me if you don't want to post a public commentary.
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Old 01-06-2010   #4
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If you end up looking to paddle guide I'd add Arkansas Valley Adventures and Timberline Tours to the list, especially if you're a solid class V rafter and want a little Gore time (thought they both have solid crews and you might spend more time on the Ark. AVA is a great company for Pine Creek/Numbers trips. It's right across the street.

For the Poudre Wanderlust is where it's at. Nothing but seasoned guides, respect, safety, and a chill work environment. I'll second Raftus' notion about RMA. It's a rookie factory run by an evil tyrant.

If you really want to row you might look to the desert runs of Utah (or Lodore just East of it).
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Old 01-06-2010   #5
 
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If you are interested in the Arkansas Valley but don't necessarily want to run Pine Creek everyday, I would suggest Buffalo Joe's, Performance Tours, or River Runners. They are all owned and managed by good people (especially Buff Joe's), and get lots of business. Most of your trips would be on Numbers and Brown's, or Parkdale and the Gorge if you work out of Canyon City. Performance also does trips on the Blue and the Upper Colorado, and has an office in Breck as well as BV.
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Old 01-06-2010   #6
 
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For the lower Ark, Whitewater Adventure Outfitters (WAO) run more center frames than anyone else. Good company to work for too. Everyone else is a pretty even when it comes to a oar/paddle ratio. The only real bonus to the Ark when comparing it to other rivers is the season lasts until early sept. If you're looking for multiple rivers this season stick to upstream Ark companies or check out summit county.
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Old 01-06-2010   #7
 
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My short list in no particular order would be River Runners..best put in above Browns. Buff Joes....my son trained with them. The Adventure Company...small company and I know the owner. KODI, Timberline Tours, Performance Tours. I've had friends work for all of them with no complaints. Maybe it's best if people PM you with suggestions who not to work for.
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Old 01-06-2010   #8
 
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The arkansas river is about a 90-95% paddle raft river so if you really want to row it may not be the best. On the Ark there are two companys that do the rowing thing more often. Four courners seems to have quite a few oar rigs (maybee 20% of thier buisness). Noah's Ark runs the center mount oars almost exclusively, however it is a christian company and requires some odd commitments from its employees (the rumors state that you sign a contract saying you will not drink or have sex etc.) Just a thought
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Old 01-06-2010   #9
 
Missoula, Montana
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Not the best pay or organization, but Dvorak Exp. will give you an opportunity to row the Dolores, Green, N. Platte, Chama, and Gunnison if you fish when #s is closed down. It has been above cut off for a significant chunk of the season for the last couple years, and getting your trips switched to Brown's (especially with your experience) is a drag. AVA, DVK, Echo, and Timberline seem more willing to push their #s trips within 1cfs of cut-off. If you are looking for pay and solid work, I'd recommend working Clear Creek. AAE and RGR run good operations on the Gorge, too (I would personally hate to live in Canon for the summer though because private boating options are limited).
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Old 01-06-2010   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony View Post
Noah's Ark runs the center mount oars almost exclusively, however it is a christian company and requires some odd commitments from its employees (the rumors state that you sign a contract saying you will not drink or have sex etc.)
I'm gonna hafta take those folks off my Xmas card list.
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