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Hey guys. I'm interested in working on the Arkansas in the next couple years. How would a guide with 2 or 3 seasons of New River work, and a couple Gauley seasons fare? Any recommendations on companies to work for?
 

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USAFA

Hey guys. I'm interested in working on the Arkansas in the next couple years. How would a guide with 2 or 3 seasons of New River work, and a couple Gauley seasons fare? Any recommendations on companies to work for?

I would suggest USAFA. I was a trainee guide back during the summer of 2000, came up short of getting the required hours to cert before I left for the Army. I've always rafted with them every chance that I got when I was home for leave, so, my input may be a little biased.

Anyway, they are knowlegable, safe, and a great group of river rats to work with. They Do quite a few runs on the Ark.

The Guy that you'd want to talk to is Cecil Gaddy. He used to guide on the New river and also the Gauley as well.
719-333-2940
 

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You will have no trouble getting a job on the Ark, 2-3 seasons is probably the average experience level. Most companies take on a fair number of rookies each year and generally are quite happy to have experienced applicants. Some companies start hiring as soon as Jan/Feb so apply early so you can screen the companies for what you want (number of trips a day, housing, pay, etc.). Search the previous posts for peoples opinions on which companies are better/worse.

The only operation I have worked for on the Ark was Echo Canyon, 8 years ago and under different ownership. So I can't make very relevant comments, but I believe that that the same head guide, Ben is still there and I though he was a good guy to work for. Echo is one of the bigger companies and mainly runs the lower ark - Big Horn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge. Most companies either run the Upper Ark - Pine Creek, Numbers, and Brown's Canyon or the lower Ark. Some companies run both and have a separate group of guides that live at each location.

If you are living on the Front Range you might also consider guiding on the Cache La Poudre or Clear Creek (both are smaller and more technical in general). I would recommend Rapid Transit Rafting on the Poudre and All American Adventures on Clear Creek.
 

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There was a thread about a month ago that ended up being like 3 pages of suggestions. dont look at any other companies than PT, TAC, BUFF Joes, and AVA.
 

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DON'T work for USAFA or any of the other military companies. Reason, carn, carn, carn, terrible decision making. Ask any gorge guide about USAFA and I guarentee they have at a pocket full of carn stories. Decide which section of the Ark you want to work on first (Numbers, Browns, Bighorn, Gorge) then look at the companies. Personally, I enjoy working for the smaller ones. The big thing is to ask how they rotate guides and how much work that'll be.
 

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What are the numbers like. I've got a couple connections at AVA, and Buff. Joes, and the people there seem to be big on the numbers
 

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The numbers are fast and fun, more difficult than browns by far. If you are looking to guide the more difficult sections the narrows and gorge are the two you should look at. AVA does the numbers more than the gorge. Buff Joe has an office that does the gorge daily. Expect to start in browns or bighorn sheep canyon, depending if you work upstream or downstream. It usually takes some time to run the bigger stuff, espically if you work for a big company like AVA or Buff Joe. Good luck!
 

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What are the numbers like. I've got a couple connections at AVA, and Buff. Joes, and the people there seem to be big on the numbers
first of all, some one mentioned ava doesnt go to the royal gorge "that much". AVA dont do the gorge at all. if yur an asspiring #s guide you can expect to be there on your third year of guiding if you are on your shit. you really gotta think about your goals of raft guiding. are you in it for a couple summers??(go to WA,or noahs) are you in it for life(BJS, TAC, PT, AVA, kodi) personally I will admitt I work at ava. I trained there, I cant get away from that frikkin place cuz I get to drive wings and sotars everyday(plastic is the shit)with many fabulous guides. you will also find some of the best guides on the planet at other mentioned companies.

just like others mentioned in other threads, yah gotta figure out the differences from every company. if you want the honest truth I'll take the time to help you out.
If I wasnt sucked into AVA i would be at TAC or buff joes in no particular order.
I believe play is huge. play on the river that is.. every compny has slugs that guide a boat go get drunk right after work everyday and wake up the next morning to do it again. every company also has the gang that wants to fire it up every afternoon. most of what will help you decide is what you think of the manager.
 

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I don't think with all of those seasons of experience under your belt you should have any problem getting a guide job on the Ark......After that, it is probably an issue of seniority and skill before you get on the more difficult stretches.....Really from a raft guide perspective, the Ark is really not that difficult of a river to guide and comparable to any east coast river, bottom line.

Good luck and have fun, it certainly is a nice place to spend the summer.

Cheers
 

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I don't think with all of those seasons of experience under your belt you should have any problem getting a guide job on the Ark......After that, it is probably an issue of seniority and skill before you get on the more difficult stretches.....Really from a raft guide perspective, the Ark is really not that difficult of a river to guide and comparable to any east coast river, bottom line.

Good luck and have fun, it certainly is a nice place to spend the summer.

Cheers
keep tellin yerself the ark aint that hard to guide on(browns). NO it isn't, It is the fat fuckers that dont get screened by the raft companys that decide to have heart attacks or the fatties that decide they wanted the float trip after getting on the water, or the 6 jewish guys that won't listen to their female raft guide no matter what that 5 year guide tells them in the numbers(really happened) . blaaa
 

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Hey guys. I'm interested in working on the Arkansas in the next couple years. How would a guide with 2 or 3 seasons of New River work, and a couple Gauley seasons fare? Any recommendations on companies to work for?
You'll be fine. You should talk to several companies, tell them your experience and that you would like to work on Numbers trips. If you're a Lower New and an Upper Gauley guide you will be fine. I've guided all 3 places commercially and you're going to be fine. Don't work for someone unless they commit to letting you train and try to check out on Numbers as soon as flows cooperate. A lot of people will talk the talk and stick you on double Brown's half days all summer.

Who are your friends at AVA? I would seriously consider working there. You'll be right across the street from Pine Creek and should have plenty of chance to get in there and Numbers to learn it. Pine Creek is flat class V, a little tougher than Lost Paddle if you ask me. Numbers, solid class 4 but a little tougher than the Upper G in my opinion, without all the undercuts of course.
 
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