ExtraHyperActive: Rafting
Showing posts with label Rafting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rafting. Show all posts

Rafting And Bald Eagle Watching On The Skagit River

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Birdwatching or birding is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or through a visual enhancement device like binoculars...
WOW ! It even sounds boring ! Makes me fall asleep half way through that sentence.

But, combine something as dull as bird watching with rafting down a scenic river while enjoying the spectacular views of snowpacked mountains in the background ( and of course the eagles !) ...you get yourself an epic adventure !

Multisport Adventures : Ski-Raft-aineering

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I am a huge fan of multisport adventures, action packed weekends, and destinations that offer a variety of outdoor opportunities. Our state has an abundance of places where you can hike in the morning, climb in the afternoon , and finish your day with a relaxing sunset paddle.

Recently, I came across a post on "the Mountain Murmur " blog about Forrest McCarthy and his friends, who had been pioneering a " new outdoor sport ".

They combine paddling the lightweight rafts with multi-day climbing or hiking excursions for a rugged, hybrid adventure he and his mates call - “ski raft-aineering.”

Here is a video of them skiing into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness with their boats on their backs, and floating 75 miles down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River ( Idaho’s most famous rafting river) in seven days :

Add To Your Bucket List : Rafting the Zambezi River in Africa

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Rafting season is coming ! 

Whitewater rafting  was my very first outdoor activity, and the beginning of my quest for adventure ! If you haven't had a chance to try it, add rafting to your Bucket List, and make it a priority ! Trust me, you won't regret !

And if you've been on a rafting trip ( or two ), I strongly recommend to look for a rafting trip on your next vocation.

Rafting is more than just a wild trip. It's a great way to learn about ecology, history, and culture of the place you're visiting, it also makes for an exciting way to explore and immerse deeply in the backcountry.

Almost every whitewater rafting destination has something more to offer other than the ride itself.

Take for example rafting on the  Zambezi River !

Acclaimed as the wildest one-day whitewater run in the World, the Zambezi River is also recognized by rafting and kayaking enthusiasts as one of the top ten paddling rivers on the planet!


The base for whitewater rafting and kayaking ( they also run river boarding on the river ) is located 4 km upstream from Victoria Falls, considered by some to be among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World !

I was even more fascinated by ''Devil's Swimming Pool'' on the edge of Victoria Falls ! During the months of September and December, people can swim as close as possible to the edge of the falls without falling over. These falls are becoming very popular in the adventure travel industry, when more and more people are looking for the ultimate experience.

Rafting And Fly Fishing On The Cle Elum River, WA

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Last year, while driving  cross country, and passing through Montana, I (unexpectedly ) fell in love with this beautiful state, and one of its most popular outdoor activity - fly fishing !

There is something very special about fly-fishing. The experience is not only about catching fish. Fly fishing offers the opportunity to enjoy and learn about nature, relax, spend time with friends and family and even solve problems.

Fly fishing is a great stress reliever. It's is a great outdoor activity that combines physical and mental therapy. Learning how to tie flies, cast a fly rod and hook a few fish and then going on a fishing outing , introduces people with ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety to the tranquility and fascination that fly fishing offers.

Of course I added fly fishing to my Bucket List :) And it was only the matter of time before I got to try it !

A few weeks ago, while visiting Cle Elum, WA to test drive 2014 Toyota 4Runner and Tundra, I had a great opportunity to go on a nice relaxing rafting float, followed by a brief fly fishing lesson with Troutwater, the local fly fishing guiding outfitter.



While drifting down the scenic Cle Elum River, we learned a lot about the area's geology, river ecology, wildlife, regional history, and of course, the basics of fly fishing.

The fly fishing part of the trip consisted of learning how fly and spin fishing differ, how to make the basic overhead cast and a roll cast, basic knots you will use every time you go fly fishing, how to make your own flies. You'll also learn about the bare essentials you need to get started in this fun and addictive sport.


 But as we know, knowledge without action is futile. That's why, once you've mastered the basics, the next hour or so you spend trying to catch your fish. According to our guide, the Cle Elum River is not the best place for fly fishing.  For more thrill ( and fish ! ) the Yakima River ( which confluence with the Cle Elum River at the dam ) is a batter choice.

Though there wasn't a ton of fish in the river at that time, I  still managed to hook a little one ! For me, it was truly a fun, educational, safe and successful day on the river !


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Raft Surfing On The Wenatchee River, Leavenworth

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Been planning to attend the annual Riverfest ( the Pacific Northwest's largest river and white water festival to raise awareness about river conservation, access and safety issues in the Pacific Northwest ) for the past two/three years.

But since now I go rafting may be once/twice per summer, I can't really justify spending 2.5 hour drive just to take pictures of other people having fun :(

I think Rodeo Hole Surf Competiton is the highlight of the festival, and a lot of fun !
Before the competition had only raft and kayak surfing. But recently, the event started to include a wider range of water crafts ( boogie/river boards, surfboards and SUPs )...

Even if you're "not into whitewater rafting/kayaking" or any water sports, it's fun just to watch this friendly competition, or just wonder around Riverside Park in Cashmere to tap into the paddlesport culture.

Below is a clip provided by Icicle TV to highlight the best moments:




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Rafting guide - the best recession- proof job

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Even in this economic chaos, some jobs are recession resistant. There are jobs that will always be in demand: teachers, doctors, soldiers, lawyers...But nowadays, more and more people are looking for more than just a job. They are looking for their "True Calling", "Dream Job ", "Passion"...

According to a new report from the University of Chicago:

People looking for jobs that bring satisfaction and happiness should concentrate on professions that focus primarily on serving other people...
A river guide is perhaps the quintessential outdoor job. You are around people and the outdoors. The best part of the job ? Freedom ! You don't have to wear a suit and tie. You can just be yourself.


But remember- you are not on vacation ( have you noticed the word "Job " in " Dream Job ? " ). Because the river guide is responsible for the well-being and safety of his or her clients, quality river guide training is absolutely crucial.

Rivers Inc. offers the top Guide Training course in Washington: a highly intensive, hands-on series of classes taught by some of the top white water river rafting guides in the state. This course will teach you all that you need to know to begin guiding white water rafting trips and exceeds Washington State requirements for white water guide training.

Though, no previous experience is needed, commitment, dedication, and a willingness to constantly learn and improve throughout your career is a must.

To learn more about the course and register for the upcoming season, visit their web site - Rivers Inc.




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Packrafting : Great Alternative To Whitewater Rafting And Kayaking

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I received an email from one of my readers about my " Ski-Raft-aineering " I wrote some time before. He noticed in the video that those folks used spray skirts ( a piece of kayaking gear worn around the waist to keep water out of the boat ) on their rafts. Something unusual for "regular" cheap inflatable boats you can buy from WallMart.

It caught my attention, and after doing some research, I learned more about packrafting.

Packrafts are small, portable inflatable boats designed for use in all bodies of water, including technical whitewater, ocean bays and fjords...the entire package is designed to be light and compact enough for an individual to negotiate rough terrain while carrying the rafting equipment together with supplies, shelter, and other survival or backcountry equipment.
Weigh less than nine pounds they can carry a single passenger and all his gear!

So, why are they a great alternative to whitewater rafting and kayaking ?

For WW (whitewater) rafting you will need a big 6-8 passengers boat, gear up all the paddlers, have a guide to navigate the river, transport the boat and paddlers from and back to put in spot, make sure they are all safe...

For WW kayaking you will still need to transport your boat between put in and pull out spots, it's relatively heavy to carry around, and if you don't know how to roll,it might be hard to get out of the boat. Even if you are kayaking in an inflatable kayak, it's easier to bail out of it, but you won't be able to roll ( as they don't have spray skirts).



The only downside ( for me ) was the price of the boats. Averaging between $ 700-1000 they are less than WW rafts and more than some of the WW kayak.

Nowadays, you can find pretty much everything on Amazon, though NRS PackRaft doesn't look quite like other packrafts, it might still work.


Photo: You can see more awesome pics of packrafting and other epic adventures in Alaska at Ground Truth Trekking

Blackwater rafting

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Not all rafting is white water...

Black water rafting takes place ...underground in an unlighted cave or ... sewage.




Waitomo is one of New Zealand's original adventure travel destinations. 30 million years ago the entire Waitomo region lay far beneath the sea. Undulating green fields, tumbling waterfalls, spectacular rural vistas and its world-renowned limestone formations and cave system make Waitomo a destination like no other. The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company is a classic New Zealand adventure travel outfitter that provides a 3 hour cave tubing excursion that calls on you to weave, jump and gently float your way through Ruakuri Caves glow worm lit underworld universe.
Check out the video here Black Water Rafting Co.

If rafting in an underground cave is not extreme enough for you, try Moscow sewage.


When it’s freezing cold outside and all the rivers are covered with thick ice some Russian guys prefer underground rafting in the Moscow sewage. Their boats are equipped with electric headlights so that to find a way in the totally dark dungeons of Moscow sewage...



Whitewater Rafting Guide Training

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The beautiful contrasts of the Wenatchee Valley Pay attention ! It will save your life. Our experienced instructors are the the cornerstone to our course.
Rescue drill
The breathtaking Wenatchee river

The end of the trip


Another exiting guide training season has started on the Wenatchee river in Leavenworth ! More outdoor loving, adventure seeking, adrenaline junkies will go through rigorous ,but the most fun 5 weeks of their life. And at the end, as a reward, they can proudly call themselves - river guides.

The Wenatchee River ranks within the top 10 most popular rivers for whitewater rafting in the entire U.S.! Due to its low hazard , the Wenatchee river can be enjoyed by paddlers of all levels. The river's appeal : plenty of Eastern Washington sunshine, pleasant scenery of the Wenatchee Valley and safe, professional outfitters.

One of them is Rivers Incorporated, a "smaller sized " company providing rafting trips and guide training since 1985.The company's multi-week instructional course presents information on virtually every aspect of raft guiding. During the 5 week course the trainees will learn : reading the river, paddle boating, swimming rapids, boat flipping, river rescue, pinned boat extraction, teamwork and group management. The course exceeds the state of Washington's minimum requirement of 50 on-river training hours.

But just like I wrote in my last year's post, besides of all the training , you will also get one more thing that not any other company can provide- warm and friendly atmosphere created by the company's owner Lynda Myra , who unlike other companies, teaches all the classes herself.

For more picture shots, check out Snow Dragon Adventure Shots. The highest quality outdoor photography in Washington.

Whiteriver rafting (Leavenworth, the Wenatchee river)

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Icicle river


Safety drill




Boat flip drill




''River guides''


This was my first summer as a rafting guide. There are many companies in WA state that offer guide training every spring.

I chose ''Rivers Inc'' and its owner Lynda. Besides the obvious fact that her price for training was comparatively lower than some other companies, with her, you'd get lots of personal attention and that family type atmosphere.

The training was lots of fun, but tough and challenging. Most of the training takes place in Leavenworth on the Wenatchee river. You get hands on experience every week end.