Training for Experienced River Guides
Guide Training & Education Workshops
Guide Training & Education
Guide and Trip Leader Workshops
- Location: Hood River, Oregon, USA
- Length: 3 or 5 days
- Dates: May 21-25, 2024
- Prerequisites: Experience as a commercial guide, logbook, and first aid certifications
- Additional Cost: IRF Award Fees
Highly Professional Course
Join us for an International Rafting Federation (IRF) workshop for river guides and trip leaders facilitated by Mark Hirst of Lapin Koskikoulu. This course is intended for experienced river guides and whitewater professionals looking to increase their education. IRF certifications can be used for guiding and trip leading whitewater around the world.
Raft Guide and Safety Craft Workshop
The first three days of the workshop assesses the fundamentals of commercial river guiding and/or safety boating. Assessments are completed on the level of whitewater corresponding to the level of the guide. While on the course, experienced river guides are assessed on a variety of tasks including:
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Safety and paddle talk
- Whitewater boating skills and crew management
- Flip and throw-bag tests
- Whitewater swimming
- Building a 3:1 rope system with appropriate anchors
In order to receive an IRF Guide Certification you must first submit a logbook, first aid, and CPR certification. During the workshop you will need to pass a guide assessment which includes a written exam.
Safety craft candidates will also be tested on the appropriate level of whitewater in their craft of choice (kayak or cataraft). They must demonstrate a safety craft talk, swimmer rescue, and strong boating ability.
If you have questions about IRF training, please give us a call or check out our IRF Guide Training and Education FAQ.
Trip Leader Workshop
The fourth and fifth day are spent evaluating trip leader candidates with on-river scenarios. These scenarios are designed to test their decision-making, communication skills, delegation ability, and performance during a rescue. They are desinged to be as realistic as possible, again corresponding to the level of the guide being assessed.
“The IRF Trip Leader class not only gave me an important certification for future guiding, it also allowed me to learn from other great guides, scenario-based situations, and improve my own skills in the process”– Ellie “Ldub” Friedmann
An IRF Trip Leader candidate also needs to have valid advanced first aid certificate that includes CPR. Upon successfully passing the qualification, the IRF issues an IRF Trip Leader Certification.
About Mark Hirst
Mark is an international rafting and safety instructor who teaches courses for Rescue 3 Europe and the International Rafting Federation. He is originally from Manchester, England and is now based in Finland. He currently teaches river guide and safety courses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Nepal, India, and Morocco. Learn more about Mark’s philosophy on this Lapin Koskikoulu Blog.
We are licensed by the Oregon State Marine Board and operate under special use permit with the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area and Mt. Hood National Forest. Additionally, we are an equal opportunity provider and employer.