Whitewater Raft Guiding
Standard letter grades
Contact hours total
OL 271, OL 273 and OL 171.
This course is designed to instruct the student on how to provide a fun and safe whitewater raft experience to people of all ages through a combination of lecture and hands-on practice. Students will learn how to guide paddle rafts and oar rafts, read whitewater, lead group trips, and execute various whitewater rescue techniques. The majority of the class time for this course will be spent in the field, including overnight camping, and a variety of weather conditions may be encountered. A background in camping or outdoor living skills is strongly recommended. Please dress appropriately.
1. Safely maneuver a raft in whitewater, including back ferry, front ferry, high siding, and avoiding rocks and other hazards.
2. Read whitewater from on the river as well as from shore (e.g. safe routes, hazards, options, etc.)
3. Perform self-rescue and rescue of others in a whitewater setting, including having swimmers in a whitewater; managing safety regarding holes, trees in the current, wrapped boats, flipped rafts, and use of throw lines.
4. Lead single and multi-day river trips (including logistics, emergency plans, and food / equipment planning).
5. Maintain and repair river equipment (rafts, oars, etc.) in the field and in the shop.
6. Recognize personal limits on current ability.
7.Teach the basics of paddling (how to, basic strokes, etc.), how to stay in the raft when in rough water, and what to do if you fall out of the raft.