Each weekend during the month of April 13 of us from a mix of backgrounds and skill levels got together at Wet Planet to learn the fundamentals to become a whitewater rafting guide. Wet Planet’s Guide school 2010 was an awesome action packed 8 days of getting on (and in) the river everyday with a great group of people. We had a phenomenal team of instructors which include: Andy Round, Hootie Boucher, Giani Benevento, Lance Reif, with help from many others.

In my opinion the course was a huge success; we got out on 4 different rivers including the White Salmon River, Klickitat River, the East and West fork of the Hood River, the Main Hood as well as the Wind River. We spent every weekend with a great group of people learning the essentials to become a whitewater rafting guide.

The 8 days on the river covered a wide range of topics relevant to turning all of us into competent and knowledgeable raft guides with continued practice. We covered river hydrology, class system ratings, learning to read water and your crew. We discussed the importance of trip talks and why it’s important to inform your rafters whether they are friends on a private trip or commercial guests about what is going on during the river trip. We also practiced our trip talks on each rafting trip we took. All of us got a lot of stick time (time in the back guiding) and some of us even got to kayak for the first time! Of course we had a rescue day with our swift water rescue instructor Todd Collins where we learned a lot and got the pleasure of swimming rattlesnake rapid and practicing rescue techniques.

All in all it was a great course and with more practice we can all take the knowledge we gained and get out on the river, whether it is with friends on a private trip or working as a commercial raft guide. Wet Planet Guide School 2010 was awesome!