Really?! Whitewater Rafting Stories From Guides-In-Training (Part III)

Whitewater rafting is a very cool vacation idea. But what does it mean to live it? We’ve asked a few folks from our current class of guide trainees for look into what it takes to be a white water guide out on the New and Gauley Rivers of West Virginia with ACE. One thing’s for sure: being on vacation professionally is not as easy as it sounds.

What We’ve Learned So Far …

by Evan Moore

As we left the Tan Building today, there was a tangible energy that infected the trainees despite just finishing a written test detailing some of the more mundane aspects of guiding. Our first solid week of guide training is finished and things are beginning to click.

Not only did another day of rafting the Lower New pass with beautiful weather and amazing water, but there were also some of us who were allowed to guide our first Class Vs.

Earlier, as we pulled into a eddy to scout the upcoming rapid, Bryant, one of our trainers, looked at me and asked, “Do you want to take Double Z?”

“Absolutely,” was the word that came out of my mouth even though my mind wasn’t quite as confident.  With only a week under by belt, could I really guide such a serious rapid?

We scouted the rapid after a short hike and talked about the perfect line and angle I would need to avoid Buery’s Hole, a terminal hydraulic that wouldn’t treat our boat very kindly if we ventured that way.  Then, just as we passed Buery’s, I would have to turn the boat and charge away from Vulture Rock, an undercut rock that posed another hazard we needed to avoid at all costs.

Seriously?  To make a long story short – yes.

I can’t say it was a perfect run, but we made it to the end in one piece and I learned more in one rapid then I had all week long.  Things are beginning to click to say the least.

Lesson of the Day: Hard angles are a must.

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