New Mexico Whitewater Rafting Guide School

We’re really excited about this season! Prepare to get wet, have a bit of fun, and learn a lot. We’re also excited about adding a few new guides to Kokopelli Rafting’s staff.

Guide School Student Objectives:

The Goal of this 8 day program is to be able to:
• Conduct a passenger safety talk
• Pack and rig a paddle raft for a day trip
• Identify river features and hazards
• Understand the basics of reading water
• Effectively use basic paddle strokes (forward, backward, pry & draw)
• Understand and use upstream and downstream ferry angles
• Use basic river signals
• Be able to throw a rope, recoil and throw again
• Be able to manage swimmers and flips
• Safely coil bow and stern lines
• Tie 5 useful knots and/or hitches
• Set up a basic mechanical advantage system
• Understand the finer points of running a commercial trip
• Pack and prepare a lunch for clients
• Learn the basic history, geology, and ecology of the Rio Grande Valley
• Safely navigate a paddle raft on whitewater up to Class III
• Introduction to rowing and rigging an Oar Rig
• Introduction to the History and Geology of the Rio Grande Valley

Preparing for Guide School

For Guide School 2012 you will need a place to stay in Santa Fe May 17- 21. If you are visiting Santa Fe, there are a few reasonably priced accommodations in the area. The El Rey Inn and Sage Inn are pleasant and affordable and are both convenient to our office. Other options include the Santa Fe Hostel, the Hyde Park Campground, and free camping at Pacheco Canyon. Starting on May 22, we will be camping at the river and we will return to Santa Fe in the early evening on the 25th to complete the course.

Guide School Equipment List

Participants Must Bring the Following:
• Lunches & power bar type snacks
• Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the last 3 days
• Appropriate Footwear: River booties/shoes (recommended), tennis shoes or sandals with neoprene socks
• Rafting clothing that insulates when wet and dries quickly (polypro, fleece and nylon)
• Hat (wool or fleece) and fleece gloves (or rafting gloves)
• A bag of extremely warm dry clothes will be necessary everyday for the ride home and for camping
• Bring your own rafting equipment if you have it, such as helmet, throw rope, and pfd
• 2 liters of water each day
• Sunscreen/lip balm
• A thermos of hot water or other beverage is recommended (weather dependent)
• Camping equipment

Kokopelli Rafting will provide:
• Rafting equipment: helmet, paddle, pfd
• Splash gear & wetsuits
• Throw ropes
• Booties
• Pot and stove for cooking at camp

Suggested Reading List
• The Guide’s Guide by William McGinnis
• Kayak: The Animated Manual of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique by William Nealy
• Professionally Guiding Whitewater- fundamentals of Running Rivers as a Paid Guide by Brad Modesitt
• Whitewater Rafting Manual by Jimmie Johnson
• The Complete Whitewater Rafter [Paperback] by Jeff Bennett
• Essential Guide: Whitewater Rafting by Graeme Addison
• Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History by Paul Horgan
• Rio Grande by Paul W. Bauer
• New Mexico Roadside Geology by Halka Chronic

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