Date(s) Price(s)
May 3-7, 2023 $950

Canoe River Guide Training

Technical rivers are defined as having Class 2 and above rapids and/or mandatory portages around falls or rapids. This is not a white water skills clinic. Participants should be comfortable and competent in class 2 and above white water. You should be able to ferry, eddy out, peel out, etc. anywhere in a set of rapids in this level of difficulty. This course is designed for Maine Guides who want to become more competent and confident leading technical river trips and/or recreational paddlers who wish to run remote and technical rivers on their own. To view the course curriculum, click here.

Major topic area to be covered are two fold:
  • Information you, as a guide, need to cover before taking clients into a white water situation
  • Information you as a guide need to have relating to group management techniques, safety considerations, protection strategies for rapids, and judgement/decision making
Primary Topics Covered:
  1. River safety briefing, Self rescue, Objective River hazards, Throw bags, Sample stroke lessons, Sample river maneuvers lesson, Ferries, Eddy turns, Peel outs, Eddy sets, Offensive vs. defensive paddling techniques, Sample river reading lesson, Eddies, Eddy lines, White waves, Dark waves, V’s,
    Info to have in her/his head. Group management skills for approaching major rapids, major portages, for easier river stretches (class 2 or below)
  2. Protection systems for major rapids, shore based, throw bags, boat based, and in the water
  3. Portage organizing, tumplines, one/two person lifts, one/two person carries
  4. Lining, bridles, painter lines, canoe trim, tracking upstream
  5. Scouting from shore, from eddies, and on the run
  6. Upstream poling strategies/techniques and snubbing downstream

Other topics – as time and interest permits: Fly fishing, Lost clients, Map and compass, Contours and river gradients, Canoe/camping techniques, Canoe pins, avoiding, unpinning, haul systems, Knots every guide should know.

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Course Curriculum

Day 1

11 a.m. Meet at Grindstone Falls.

Afternoon: equipment, canoe outfitting, self rescue, group management, review & practice ferries, eddy turns, peel outs.

Camp – Oxbow.

Day 2

More of the above.

Scouting, reading rapids, paddle signals, t bag protection, navigation, communication in rapids, lining, portaging techniques, approaching portages.

Camp – Grand Pitch.

Day 3

More of Day 2 topics plus poling on Wassataquoik Stream.

Camp – Bowlin Falls.

Day 4

Paddle/pole to Grindstone Falls.

Camp – Grindstone Falls.

Day 5

Run Grindstone Falls after scouting.

Off river at noon.

Drive back to Grindstone Falls and picnic area by mid afternoon.