Best outfitter and river to work? - Page 5 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #41
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Different strokes for different folks.

I acknowledge your point of view and agree with some of the sentiments...but disagree with some of it too and am fully comfortable with my decision to not want to pursue a WFR certification. Some people have different interests and goals and ways that they want to expand their knowledge.

For you...that means spending hours and hours of your time and thousands of your dollars getting training and certifications. For me...that is time and money I would rather expend in other ways. Just like my decision to forgo getting a College degree and learn on my own on the job(in a career I am quite successful in I might add)... I can skim through a book or website or watch a few videos to supplement what I don't already know that will give me ample knowledge in which to assist someone in the wilderness.

I have no qualms that that stance will not negatively effect me, my family, my friends or other river users in any way due to my experiences outside of a classroom giving me experience dealing with it and seeking knowledge outside of a classroom or certification program.

To each his own... don't really have much more to say about it then that.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #42
 
Hood River, Oregon
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If you want to be a professional river guide on remote, multi-day trips then you need to take a WFR class. Even if you aren’t in charge of a medical emergency, you need to have the knowledge and skills to support those who are. In addition you can’t always be guaranteed that you’re working with other people that do want to be in charge of these situations. It might end up being you whether you want it to or not.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #43
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Grants Pass, Jefferson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcollier View Post
If you want to be a professional river guide on remote, multi-day trips then you need to take a WFR class. Even if you aren’t in charge of a medical emergency, you need to have the knowledge and skills to support those who are. In addition you can’t always be guaranteed that you’re working with other people that do want to be in charge of these situations. It might end up being you whether you want it to or not.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #44
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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Originally Posted by Jakesktm View Post
I am going to apply with ARTA. They do 1-3 day trips here in California on the Tuolumne (one of my favorites) and are one of only 5 permitted raft outfitters on the Selway. They also have permits on other favorited rivers of mine, except the Grand Canyon. And "maybe" I would rather hold that river in reserve for private boating. Gotta keep something sacred!

Just FYI there are only 4 Outfitters on the Selway. ARTA would be sweet, they have a MFS permit as well and don't run a sweep boat, which could be a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it.



ARTA
Hughes
SOAR Northwest
Selway River Adventures


SRA just bought it last year. Chances are you could get on with them, I heard all their guides quit last summer in the middle of the season so I figure they are looking.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #45
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zcollier View Post
If you want to be a professional river guide on remote, multi-day trips then you need to take a WFR class. Even if you aren’t in charge of a medical emergency, you need to have the knowledge and skills to support those who are. In addition you can’t always be guaranteed that you’re working with other people that do want to be in charge of these situations. It might end up being you whether you want it to or not.
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Originally Posted by RogueGuide View Post
+1 👏👏
Yep....and I'm not even sure I want to be a professional guide. If I decided I wanted to do so I acknowledge that its a requirement for most of the places I would want to work and out of respect for those requirements would get one. Until that happens... I've shared my stance on that already.

Ok...back on track. ARTA sounds like a great place to work for at least from their river permits.

Zcollier, who is the owner of Northwest Rafting Company, might a great guy to talk to as well. His company runs a bunch of the popular but also more rarely commercially run but awesome rivers in the Pacific Northwest and Idaho. He's got a Youtube channel that has a lot of interesting videos about his thoughts on rafting too.

I think wherever you end up it will be a pretty fun start to your "retirement". If wherever you start out isn't the right fit it will at least be a start and a way to show you have recent experience.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #46
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Marysville, 95901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverwild View Post
Just FYI there are only 4 Outfitters on the Selway. ARTA would be sweet, they have a MFS permit as well and don't run a sweep boat, which could be a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it.



ARTA
Hughes
SOAR Northwest
Selway River Adventures


SRA just bought it last year. Chances are you could get on with them, I heard all their guides quit last summer in the middle of the season so I figure they are looking.
looks like Hughes River Expeditions just bought a license. They are booking trips for 2020 and 2021? Maybe they bought a license that was released from another outfitter?

I wonder why SRA guides walked out? Not a good sign, but that could also be the guides trying to mutineer the company. Crazy!

OK- on to the certifications.

Personally I have mixed opinions about certification. My OPINION means jack when insurance providers mandate minimum levels of certification by employees. That said, my OPINION is that certification has become a little ridiculous. I mean seriously, culinary arts certification? OK, we don't want people getting food poisoning, is that the point? Can we simply have training on how to pack coolers and label food appropriately? Can we have food prep training? I'm a dutch oven master. I love teaching others the art of it. But do I need a certification for that? Where does that whole thing end? Should we have a juggling certification so guests don't get hit in the head with bowling pins? You see where I'm going?

It's all relative to the safety of the guest experience and what insurance policy mandates. There was a time when I was current and holding SRT-1, EMT-B, CPR and FA. In 25 years of boating, I can say the knowledge I gained in those classes 25 plus years ago was useful less than a handful of times. Not to say it isn't good knowledge when you need it, and I am grateful for having it. But like others, I have no interest in maintaining a certification beyond CPR and First Aid, and I truly believe that is OK.

Requiring all these wilderness specialized certifications is puckey. What is the difference between wilderness EMT and urban EMT? Nothing. Except an urban ambulance company might not hire you if you are "wilderness" trained. A rafting company WILL hire you if you are an urban EMT - regardless. Skip the "wilderness" label. It just means you trained with tree bark and rescue baskets. I'm more inclined to hire someone with actual experience versus someone who is merely certified. If it isn't a strict requirement for the job, it simply means the legal liability has not been established. Is it a good idea? Probably. But not a requirement.

Still, it should have a significant value of added compensation considering the time and money investment, which in my past experience it does not. This in and of itself tells you the "actual" value of being certified. Again not a requirement. I did it for personal reasons because I had children at home.

During my guide school in 1990, we had a registered nurse on our trip. She was part of the staff at the guide school. We were on the Merced River, Chevron Run (Class V) when a guide trainee separated his shoulder. The entire party stood around the trainee watching this nurse fail to reset the guy's arm. Finally one of the senior guides stepped up and made the trainee lay face down over a large rock to support his body while draping his separated arm over the edge. The guide then put a heavy rock in his hand which promptly returned the shoulder to its socket.

Proof it doesn't take a degree or certification to do what is common sense. Oftentimes we overthink it.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #47
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #48
 
salt lake city, Utah
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Some thoughts

I really enjoyed working for Holiday in Green River and Vernal on Westwater, Cataract, Yampa and Lodore. I felt I was part of a good company and team. This was in the 90s. I would say OARS, Holiday,Sherri Griffith are all well-respected companies and probably great to work for.

Man I can't wait to do the same thing when I retire from my desk job...
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #49
 
Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric-Mayhem View Post
Yep....and I'm not even sure I want to be a professional guide. If I decided I wanted to do so I acknowledge that its a requirement for most of the places I would want to work and out of respect for those requirements would get one. Until that happens... I've shared my stance on that already.

Ok...back on track. ARTA sounds like a great place to work for at least from their river permits.

Zcollier, who is the owner of Northwest Rafting Company, might a great guy to talk to as well. His company runs a bunch of the popular but also more rarely commercially run but awesome rivers in the Pacific Northwest and Idaho. He's got a Youtube channel that has a lot of interesting videos about his thoughts on rafting too.

I think wherever you end up it will be a pretty fun start to your "retirement". If wherever you start out isn't the right fit it will at least be a start and a way to show you have recent experience.
All of you have good points. A little knowledge is also a very dangerous thing. The vast majority of issues you encounter in the wild are easily treatable with common sense. That WFR or OEC course helps you make some good common sense decisions. Bracing a fractured extremity, how to get vitals, CPR whatever.

If you have a real emergency it doesn't matter your training, you're in trouble. No amount of training can help reverse a stroke and you can't bring a cath lab into the Middle Fork for the MI that someone gets.

We are always on trips with surgeons, doctors, nurses or HCP's that have actual real experience dealing with trauma. The stuff they are capable of doing is the same stuff you can learn in your classes because your tools and resources are significantly limited.

The certification is to create barriers to entry and ensure a standardized learning requirement for everyone. Fact is, if you know when to give zofran vs flagyl and have a pair of fingernail clippers you're going to be just fine. If you fall 37 feet with nothing but oil of cloves and a sat phone for a 6 hour chopper rescue well...that training is pretty irrelevant.

In terms of not wanting the responsibility to deal with medical emergencies thats competently understandable and commendable. A good team requires people with different strengths and I'm sure you are always complemented with people who would rather deal with that stuff. I'm like you, I just go with people who are more equipped than I am (with my OEC license) and don't deal with it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #50
 
Portland, Oregon
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Posts: 22
Don't be upset if you end up working on the same river for a bit. Like you, so many people want to work for a company that does all sorts of trips. However logistics, scheduling, and you driving between all of those places don't aways allow for that. Every guide is looking for the "dream season." I think the old saying "working your way up from the bottom" still applies to guiding. You are lucky you have experience but there are menus to learn, camps, camp set ups, side hikes, crew members to get a long with.
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