How to become a raftguide? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-09-2008   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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How to become a raftguide?

Hey,

I just registered, couldn't find any useful information on the internet just some raft training offers with a duration of 10 days. Looks like a scam to me, can't believe 10 day training makes you become a raftguide lol

Maybe anyone here can give me some more details about it ?
Any certificates needed?
My experience is close to 0

thanks for any help :P

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Old 12-09-2008   #2
 
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Old 12-09-2008   #3
 
Boyertown, Pennsylvania
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Depends on where you want to start, If you're starting on the east coast the Lehigh and Lower Yough are good places to start. The training to guide on the Lehigh is 3 days, and I'm not sure about the Yough. If you wanna go big right away check out the Upper Yough or Upper Gauley also the New. There are really no certificates, usually just training through the company. P.S. if it takes you more than 10 intensive days to learn how to guide a raft, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.
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Old 12-09-2008   #4
 
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okay so those trainings for certificates are really a scam :P
cbieh: oh okay, i thought that 10 days is enough to learn how to guide a raft but I think you still lack lots of experience then

what do you think how many seasons of work you need to get a job oversea?

oh an d thanks for the advice badazws6 ;P
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Old 12-09-2008   #5
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Different states have different requirements. In general, you will have to be CPR and First Aid certified. The 10 day training is not necessarily a scam- you just have to talk to the companies to find out what the training entails. You will probably have to have a certain number of hours on the river you plan to guide. State parks rangers will look at logged hours and CPR/First Aid certs for commercial guides. As cbieh said, if you need more than ten days, you shouldn't be guiding, however, no amount of training will teach you how to read water- that comes from instinct and experience.
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Old 12-09-2008   #6
 
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In Colorado almost every company that hires new guides does a 7-14 day training that the prospective guides pay for. The cost of these ranges from $250-$1000. Some companies will reimburse some or all of this cost after you guide for that company for one or two seasons.

After the initial training period the company will decide which guides to hire. Then the guide training will continue, often for 2 or 3 additional weeks. Then the guide will be given a check-out run with a guide trainer before starting to run commercial trips on their own.

Of course the length of the training will depend on the difficulty of the river - Class II is a lot easier to guide than Class III+/IV- and rookies will guide across this range depending on the company and location.

In Colorado 50 hours of on water time is required by the State but many companies require 100 hours before a check-out run. An additional 20 hours of classroom training plus First AID and CPR are also required.

The certificate programs aren't necessarily a scam, they may offer good training. What I would look for is a company that offers training for new guides, and that hires the vast majority of the guides that they take into their guide training program. Ask them how many of the people in their training program that wanted jobs, got jobs (also ask about full-time jobs vs. part time jobs). Press for actual numbers like 11 out of 13, which would be a good sign. Some programs will honestly have numbers like 5 out of 27 which is a tough for you as a prospective guide, but great for the company because they make some money and they get to do a 2 week job interview.
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Old 12-09-2008   #7
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I worked on the Lehigh about 2 summers ago. If you're looking to be in-raft back east, I wouldn't try the Lehigh. Pretty much all of the companies have the customers take themselves down, with the guides in kayaks "raft hearding" guests down the river. It's fun, but I very rarely hopped in a raft. I was with Whitewater Challengers, trained for about a day because I was already a whitewater boater, and was working a lot. Training is cheap too, I think I paid $25 to train on the Lehigh (CPR and First Aid Certification offered through the company) and $450 to train in raft out here in CO. Don't get me wrong it's a good time, but if you're looking for more of a challenge I agree with cbieh589, look into guiding on the Gauley.

Here's the link for the company I worked for: http://www.whitewaterchallengers.com/
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Old 12-09-2008   #8
 
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Old 12-09-2008   #9
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Do you like whiskey? Do you like middle-aged women, nursing students, and high school girls camping with you and begging for your guide stick? Do you like corn liquor? Do you like whiskey?

Try West Virginia. (Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia) Email them and ask if they are training guides this spring.

Rob will whoop your ass into shape over the course of a summer and he won't let you go hungry. You can guide in WV from late March through late October.
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Old 12-09-2008   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Randaddy View Post
Do you like whiskey? Do you like middle-aged women, nursing students, and high school girls camping with you and begging for your guide stick? Do you like corn liquor? Do you like whiskey?

Try West Virginia. (Whitewater Rafting in West Virginia) Email them and ask if they are training guides this spring.

Rob will whoop your ass into shape over the course of a summer and he won't let you go hungry. You can guide in WV from late March through late October.
there's no possible guy who would answer any of those questions with a no.. sounds like a paradise haha

Thanks for all the replies/advices, sure helps me alot ..
@nobody: sadly kids wont give me money to life, they would just suck it out of me :P
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