Pac. NW vs. BC vs. AK - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-29-2008   #1
willieWAO's Avatar
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Pac. NW vs. BC vs. AK

Whats the best place you would recommend for summer('09) raft guide & kayak safety/photo/video position?
I narrowed it down to these 5: Pac. northwest (OR, ID, or WA), British Columbia, or Alaska.
What would give me the most/easiest options for extra-credit boating after a days work?
Longest season? ('til late august, than Gauley)
Any particular company you would recommend?
If you know of a place better then these, please share.

Ill consider CO. again, only if its another stellar snow year.

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Old 10-29-2008   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
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if you like multi-day, Idaho Rocks, but I haven't done AK or BC.
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Old 10-30-2008   #3
Rockingham, North Carolina
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There is a great forum for Alaska. Go to and select the rafting forum. I suspect you would get some good insights there. I am too new to rafting to be of much help but spend a lot of time in Alaska. Amazing place.
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Old 10-30-2008   #4
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Moscow, Idaho
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I'm not a raft guide, but I usually boat the North Fork Payette with guides from Bear Valley and Cascade Raft and Kayak. The rafting scene centered on Banks Idaho is one of the better ones that I have seen (I grew up paddling on the East Coast, and know all the major raft hubs out there). Raft trips run on the SF Payette (Canyon and Staircase runs), Main Payette, and the Cabarton run on the North Fork Payette. I would recommend trying for a job with Bear Valley as they have a more advantageous location (at the confluence of all three rivers) for after work boating. Each of the rivers starts flowing strong well before rafting season and they don't shut off until after Gauley season starts, so you've definitely got a long enough season here. There is lots of free camping along the Payettes, so you can live out your dirtbag fantasies on the cheap.

I can't say enough about how cool the guide scene out here is. And, I understand that the guiding can be pretty challenging, especially on the SF Payette.
"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 10-31-2008   #5
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Thanks for the info. Ive been looking at OARS and ROW adventures. Anyone have info on these two companies? Can anyone else chime in for these areas?
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Old 10-31-2008   #6
Westminster, Colorado
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I have friends who have worked for both. ROW you get lots of work in Idaho and get to guide some of the lesser run stretches, OARS you get to travel the hemisphere as a boater but only work the classics. ROW is more top-down, which means there can be less headaches sometimes but you need to take directions. OARS is more guide-centric, which means it can be a bit of a cluster at times but you get more freedom. I wouldn't work for either of them unless I planned on putting in at least a couple years though, you need some seniority to pull the good trips / schedules. If you want to make a career out of guiding, either one is a good home - it really becomes a personality fit and location preference. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2008   #7
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
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Where have you been boating the last few years? WV? CO? There is good boating everywhere you mentioned, so its really about setting priorities for next season. Multiday trips, after work boating, lots of nearby stretches of river, what type of scene, how much money you need to make, etc.
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Old 10-31-2008   #8
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Developed skills as a III-V commercial raft guide in CO for the past 5 seasons. Class V photo/safety kayaker.

Main priorities: guiding commercial class IV-V rafts, and safety/photo kayaking class III-V, on a good selection of runs(Multiple). West is best.

Scene: Oppurtunity to run a multitude of creek/play runs, (For work and Extra credit/recreation.) with fairly easy accessibility, Someplace where a good KAYAK community exists.

Trips: Any good combination of multiday and half - full day trips.
(If somewhere mostly offers multi-day trips, they must have a good selection of other runs for extra credit.)

Money: Need to make enough to remain at about zero.
(Not making a bunch running the same stretch every day, but making enough to support my dirtbag lifestyle.)

Living situation: Camping, ideally. Can easily do guide housing in bunk/large volume(community) setting.

I know some/ a bunch of you can comment on this.
I would like to stay out west, and in the above mentioned areas, but if something sounds exceptional out east, ill consider it.
I apprecaite any ideas,
Thanks 'buzzards!

Happy Halloween!

P.S. Ive applied to OARS, but I wanted to get some idea of a good location/ company before i go to Costa Rica in Nov. and return in early April.
early bird catches the worm? too early to tell where the good water will be.
Thanks Asleep.
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