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River Guide Schools

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River Guide Schools

River Guide School & Whitewater Guide Training

Interested in river guide training? Our river guide school and whitewater guide training programs cover the full range of river guide & rafting guide experiences: whitewater river training, river rescue training, and rafting guide training. When you complete your river guide training you'll have the foundation needed in preparing you to become a commercial river guide or to lead your own whitewater river expedition!

Whitewater Rafting Workshops & River Rescue Clinics Overview
High Country Expeditions whitewater guide & river rescue schools provide our students with the most comprehensive hands-on exposure to the world of river guiding.

Our guides and instructors are a wonderful eclectic compilation of highly educated and skilled boaters with an amazing array of skills, from Class V river guides to nature photographers, EMT's, river rescue instructors, ski-patrollers and storywriters.

High Country river guide schools are a truly hands on outdoor adventure experience. People retain 20% of what they hear, 50% of what they write & 80% of what they do! We focus our energy on having our students experience as much as possible hands-on rather than just being shown & told. This makes for a much more effective learning experience and really helps our students retain what they have learned. These guide schools encompass not only the fundamental skills of reading whitewater and maneuvering boats, they also cover knot tying, raft rigging, signals, safety put-in talks, dealing with clients, class V safety techniques, equipment maintenance and repair, river conservation, local history, being in the wilderness and the finer points of creating safe, enjoyable river trips.

High Country whitewater guide training will give you the solid educational foundation that is critical in the unforgiving river environment. This is a hands-on learning opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts wanting to get involved in commercial or private river guiding as well as for guides with previous experience wanting to enhance their skills. Having a variety of schools available allows you to pick the one that fits your needs and schedule. We offer several different types and lengths of schools to choose from according to what your individual goals are. We offer one week classes as well as weekend workshops for those who cannot commit to a one week course. We also offer a Spring Break Guide School for students and teachers in the school system wanting to learn river skills.

To get more information and a copy of our enrollment form please contact us by phone at 1-888-461-7238 or via e-mail.

We look forward to sharing an exciting and educational river adventure with you!


Spring Whitewater River Guide and Rescue school 3/25 - 3/30/2018Spring Whitewater River Guide and Rescue school 3/25 - 3/30/2018

Spring Break Whitewater Guide & Rescue Training School:

Our most intense, comprehensive and popular Guide course 17 years running.

This all inclusive course is designed for those seeking true adventure and comprehensive instruction, as well as summer employment opportunities as river guides for the upcoming season.
Details will be sent with your enrollment form).

A brief description of the itinerary:

Day one at camp: The first half of the day consists of a camp, gear and location orientation, description as well as an overall introduction to the world of whitewater and guiding. After which you go on the river and begin learning the art of river guiding and all it entails. The evenings consist of discussions of the day’s events and various dry land activities readying us for the next days adventure.

Day 2: From here on it is a rapid and intense succession of river training, rescue and navigation learning exercises. The majority of the course, conducted on the river, learning and experiencing all the skills needed to successfully “guide” in a whitewater environment. As a student you will be exposed to and learning the following: Leadership & Guiding Philosophies, River Hydrology, Reading whitewater, Flipped-Raft Drills, Unwrapping Rafts, Wilderness First Aid for the River, Basic River Rescue, Class II-V River Captaining in a paddle raft as well as an oar rigged raft configuration, Wilderness Camp Preparations, boat rigging, river and guide etiquette, river knots & many more necessary skills to be able to guide in a private or commercial environment.

The week will be spent camping in a wilderness setting along the river, running a river everyday. High Country Expeditions chooses not to try to go to more than 2-3 rivers during this course since with experience we end up spending more time in the vans than on the water. Instead, we set up one or two base camps and stay there for the duration. These rivers offer whitewater experiences from class I-II up to class V. There are only a few locations in the Northwest where all these levels can be experienced on the same river, and we choose our locations to utilize this, for maximum exposure to our students.
This course offers you the opportunity to experience every water level classification with an extraordinary 1:3 instructor student ratio. We are confident this will be more than just an amazing learning adventure, but a lifelong memory as well.
Days do not only consist of running rivers, but also engaging in a wide array of boating exercises. In the evening, relax around the warmth of the campfire while practicing various knots and rope work, and enacting land based scenarios such as camp setup and guest hospitality.
This course is highly recommended for all first year future High Country Expeditions guides, and for anyone else interested in river guiding on a professional level. We are confident that this course will lay the groundwork for anyone seeking to become a professional river guide.

We will also assist those interested in finding work as river guides for the upcoming rafting season, either with High Country Expeditions or one of our many partner Outfitters in the Northwest.
The cost of this 6 day course is $725.00. This includes all meals, travel, instructors, instructions, literature, all boating equipment and necessary gear and maximum river and guiding time.
To get more information and a copy of our enrollment form please contact us by phone at 1-888-461-7238 or via e-mail. We look forward to sharing an exciting and educational river adventure with you!



Spring Whitewater River Guide and Rescue school 3/25 - 3/30/2018
Spring Whitewater River Guide and Rescue school 3/25 - 3/30/2018
Spring Whitewater River Guide and Rescue school 3/25 - 3/30/2018

[See Pricing Details]  [Register Now]

Summer Guide School - 06/20- 06/24/2017Summer Guide School - 06/20- 06/24/2017
Summer Whitewater Guide Training School:

The course is designed for those seeking true adventure and comprehensive instruction, as well as summer employment opportunities as river guides for the upcoming season.
A brief decripion of the itinerary:

Day one at camp: Morning meet at 10:00 am consists of a camp, gear and location orientation, description as well as an overall introduction to the world of whitewater and guiding. After which you go on the river and begin learning the art of river guiding and all it entails. The evenings consist of discussions of the day’s events and various dry land activities readying us for the next days adventure.

Day 2: From here on it is a rapid and intense succession of river training, rescue and navigation learning exercises. The majority of the course, conducted on the river, learning and experiencing all the skills needed to successfully “guide” in a whitewater environment. As a student you will be exposed to and learning the following: Leadership & Guiding Philosophies, River Hydrology, Reading whitewater, Flipped-Raft Drills, Unwrapping Rafts, Wilderness First Aid for the River, Basic River Rescue, Class II-V River Captaining in a paddle raft as well as an oar rigged raft configuration, Wilderness Camp Preparations, boat rigging, river and guide etiquette, river knots & many more necessary skills to be able to guide in a private or commercial environment.

The week will be spent camping in a wilderness setting along the river, running a river everyday. High Country Expeditions chooses not to try to go to more than 2-3 rivers during this course since with experience we end up spending more time in the vans than on the water. Instead, we set up one or two base camps and stay there for the duration. These rivers offer whitewater experiences from class I-II up to class V. There are only a few locations in the Northwest where all these levels can be experienced on the same river, and we choose our locations to utilize this, for maximum exposure to our students.
This course offers you the opportunity to experience every water level classification with an extraordinary 1:3 instructor student ratio. We are confident this will be more than just an amazing learning adventure, but a lifelong memory as well.
Days do not only consist of running rivers, but also engaging in a wide array of boating exercises. In the evening, relax around the warmth of the campfire while practicing various knots and rope work, and enacting land based scenarios such as camp setup and guest hospitality.
This course is highly recommended for all first year future High Country Expeditions guides, and for anyone else interested in river guiding on a professional level. We are confident that this course will lay the groundwork for anyone seeking to become a professional river guide.

We will also assist those interested in finding work as river guides for the upcoming rafting season, either with High Country Expeditions or one of our many partner Outfitters in the Northwest.
The cost of this 5+ day course is $725.00. This includes all meals, travel, instructors, instructions, literature, all boating equipment and necessary gear and maximum river and guiding time.
To get more information and a copy of our enrollment form please contact us by phone at 1-888-461-7238 or via e-mail. We look forward to sharing an exciting and educational river adventure with you!


Summer Guide School - 06/20- 06/24/2017
Summer Guide School - 06/20- 06/24/2017
Summer Guide School - 06/20- 06/24/2017

[See Pricing Details]  [Register Now]

Private River Guide TrainingPrivate River Guide Training
Have you ever wanted to be a river guide, experience river guiding, wanted to be able to get to those desirable fishing holes or fine tune some of your river guiding skills, but never found the time or where unable to take a week-long guide program?

This “one on one” program is specifically designed for outdoor enthusiasts with a busy schedule, for those looking for private lessons & river folks wanting to hone in on specific skill sets.

This river training course covers and exposes you to the primary fundamentals necessary to ensure safe and exciting river running. There is a lot more to being a safe, responsible and proactive boater than knowing how to basically maneuver a river craft.

This course is taught by senior High Country river guide/instructors. With this in mind private river guide training is only available during none peak season dates, September through May.

Our course philosophy is to expose one to as many hands-on river scenarios as possible.

People retain 20% of what they hear,
50% of what they write
& 80% of what they do!


Depending on what your goal is you will be exposed and have the opportunity to learn some or most of the following:

River running
  • Whitewater river Navigation
  • Oar & paddleboat techniques
  • Route selection
  • Foresight, proactive and aversive boating techniques
  • Hydraulics & reading water
  • Strategies (momentum, ferry angles…)
  • River etiquette
  • Paddle & Oar boat safety talk reviews
River rescue & safety
  • Swimming in whitewater
  • Ropes, knots, slings, and anchors
  • Dealing with flips
  • Dealing with wraps
  • Basic "Z" rigs
  • Swift water crossings
  • Throw bag rescues
  • Strainers
  • Hand signals
  • Foot entrapments
  • Dealing with an accident
  • Evacuation strategies and planning
  • Load Placement Strategies
  • Rigging frames
  • Gear rigging strategies
  • Proper Care of Gear
  • Boat patching - valve repair, jammed valves
To name a few.

This is a very unique opportunity for anyone wanting the utmost attention and exposure to this wonderfully spiritual world of river running.

Please contact us and let us create a course designed specifically to your needs and desires. Whether you are looking for a one day private river experience or a custom course that can stretch out over a season.

We look forward in sharing a wonderful, exciting and educational river experience with you on the river.


Private River Guide Training
Private River Guide Training
Private River Guide Training

[See Pricing Details]  [Register Now]


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