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
We’re well into whitewater raft guide training and I’m sure all of the other trainees would agree on one thing: the baptismal water here in West Virginia at ACE is cold.
We’re in ACE’s second raft guide training class this year. There are about 35 of us going through the New River Gorge ringer every day for the next four weeks, hoping to earn the privilege of guiding your trip later this summer.
But if we’re to make it to those sunny summer days, we have to brave the chilly spring waters now.
Luckily, the bite of the water is minimized by the enormous high water
we get to enjoy. The New River has been running between 8.5 and 9.5 feet the last two days (translation: really big) and we couldn’t be happier. I mean, you know you’re hitting some big stuff when the trainers, who have more experience than you can shake a stick at, are talking about “million dollar waves” and high-fiving after we pull the boats on shore.But the trainers have also made one thing clear. We won’t all make it to the end.
Some people have already realized that guiding might not be for them and headed home, which makes me wonder how the rest of us will fare when we get to the hard part. At this point, I’m sure all of my fellow trainees are just taking it one day at a time.
We’ll keep you updated throughout training. Lesson of the Day: 7:30 AM means 7:30 AM.