International River Guide Course
The Old Vicarage Adventure Centre (UK) and Equator Expeditions (Nepal) are offering one of the most comprehensive river guide training programs in the world. Taught over an intensive 20 day period in the heart of the Himalayas, the course combines raft guide training, kayak instruction and leadership education. The objective is to provide candidates with the skill set required to pursue a career as a professional white water river guide.
The course is also ideally suited for motivated adventurers wishing to broaden horizons, learn new skills and immerse themselves in the world of white water rafting and kayaking.
What You Can Expect to Learn
As a trainee raft guide, you will receive outdoor adventure instructor training designed to equip you with all the skills required to lead single and multi-day river expeditions. As a kayak student, you will learn the personal skills and techniques necessary to work as a professional safety kayaker.
Note: The aim is to develop raft and kayaking skills should this be desired.
20 Days > The first 8 days of the course take place at Sukute Beach River Camp, located on the banks of Nepal's famous Bhote Kosi River. The remainder of the course is taught while descending Nepal's classic multi-day river expedition down the Sun Kosi with a final assessment on the Trisuli river followed by a final debrief back in Kathmandu at the end of the trip.
A minimum age of 18 and the ability to swim and feel comfortable in water are prerequisites to enrolling in the course. No previous rafting experience is required; however a general level of fitness is essential. If you wish to learn to kayak or train as a safety kayaker, no extensive kayaking experience is necessary, however we require that you enrol on a basic white water kayaking course with us prior to your arrival. (Please contact the centre for dates). This will help determine whether kayaking is for you, significantly improve your confidence on the river and negate the need to spend valuable time teaching basic skills. Any additional experience you can gain before the course will be a great benefit.
Course Directors Gerry Moffatt, Anthony Eddies-Davies and Mahendra Thapa have spent a lifetime guiding the rivers of India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Nepal and are considered the most experienced river guides in the Himalayas. Combined with Nepalâ€™s top white water river professionals, these staff form a formidable team, combining an unparalleled level of professional expertise and local knowledge
Students will be trained by world-renowned expedition guides. The course includes the internationally recognised swift water rescue technician certification, run by Rescue 3 international, and a recognized First Aid qualification can also be gained for those without this training. At the end of the course each student will undertake an assessment of their personal guiding skills and will gain certificates outlining the skill level and grade of water that they can guide. In addition to this students will receive a comprehensive training record and course workbook, outlining the full syllabus and in depth training received.
All of this will be endorsed and signed by the course directors.
The course fee of £2400 includes hotel/lodge accommodation during the course dates, instruction and tuition, permits, transport, and all rafting/camping equipment and any activities on rest periods. The cost does not include international air tickets, Nepalese entry visa, student's personal equipment, personal medical insurance (required), alcohol, soft drinks, or meals in Kathmandu.
Why River Guide?:
Job opportunities exist on every continent. Whether in out of the way places like Uganda or Peru, or more developed countries such as New Zealand, the UK, or the US, there are a wide variety of avenues for river guides to pursue. Most guides tend to diversify between expedition guiding and day trips. A season taking people down the mighty Zambezi in Africa might be followed by a season floating through the tranquil glaciated National Parks of Alaska. This course opens students to a world of possibility and opportunity. More than an average career, river guiding is a unique lifestyle
River Running in Nepal > The Experience of a Life Time::
One of the best ways to explore a country is through its river systems. Rivers offer the ideal vehicle to access those "hard to reach places. In Nepal this means that, while rafting and kayaking, you frequently encounter locals who have minimal experiences of the outside world. Combine this rich cultural experience with the adrenaline-packed thrill of white water rapids and you have arguably the best multiday expedition river trips on the planet. It is not your average classroom. Our goal is to provide you with a unique opportunity to learn from the best and depart with the skills required to enable you to work as a river guide on any continent on the planet.
Day 1 : Arrive in Kathmandu
Day 2: Transfer to Sukute resort and an introduction to camp and staff. This is then followed by an introduction to rafting the section down to camp as a group of clients.
In the evening intro to RGC: course/directors, program & itinerary and roles responsibilities of students.
Day 3: A.M > Risk assessing and written procedures, Safety briefs, Signals and calls, role of the guide and leadership considerations. Look at raft construction and equipment maintenance and repair.
P.M. - Afternoon rafting from camp down to Dualaghat with basic paddling / guiding techniques and students own self rescue back into rafts.
Day 4: A.M > All Swimming techniques, contact rescues, throw bag work, swimming lines, shallow water crossings. (Just above camp).
P.M - Afternoon rafting from camp down to Dualaghat with students guiding. Look at rescue options from raft, bank and safety kayak.
Day 5: A.M > Hydrology, rapid navigation, scouting and portages. Early lunch and then head up stream to spend some time before rafting for students to group up and identify the morning's subjects.
P.M. - Raft Belephi kola to camp. Students not guiding but experiencing more technical water and introducing high siding and advanced manoeuvres.
Day 6: A.M > Medical considerations including casualty management, panic and survival. Raft Flips on the pool at camp.
P.M. - Raft from Dam down to camp, with students guiding suitable sections, more flips above camp.
Day 7: A.M > Tensioning systems/anchors (Z drag), Raft pins, foot/body/kayak entrapment. Tensioned diagonals.
P.M. - Raft from Dam down to camp, with students guiding suitable sections, more flips above sukute.
Day 8: A.M > Expedition planning and considerations including leadership and team management. Students spend the morning planning trip with consideration to pervious subjects covered in the previous 7 days including:
• Personal and group kit and needs.
• Rescue and repair kit. Spare kit.
• Emergency procedures and plan, and any other trip considerations.
P.M > Rest and assist preparation of Sun Kosi trip.
Day 9 > 15: Sun Kosi Trip
This Himalayan Multi Day classing trip will combine all of the skills of the previous 7 days. By this time you will be taking responsibility for the clients on the trip with the daily planning, organisation and guiding of the river.
Day 16: > Finish Sun Kosi and transfer to Chitwan National Park for the evening.
Day 17 : > Rest day with safari / jungle activities and an evening at Chitwan Lodge.
Day 18: > Depart Chitwan for camp on Trisuli river. Individual guiding assessments for participants in the afternoon.
Day 19: > Further assessments during the day on the Trisuli River.
Day 20 : > Travel back to Kathmandu and unpack raft kit. Evening Gala meal and presentation of certificates.
NB to Directors
• Each student to present a safety brief to the others on at least one session.
• All students paired up to take charge as trip leaders on at least on day of the SK trip, their roles and responsibilities explained by course directors.
• Clear objective on course intro evening for the students to know what the assessment will require. As to set the level of the course demands.
• Kayak training can be offered as an evening option or on any afternoons where we return to camp early.
• First aid can be offered as an evening option to those that have no training and a certificate issued.