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Raft Guide Training with Mountain Whitewater

Whitewater raft guide training offers the chance to learn the skills needed to be a certified guide in the Sate of Coloradoand the chance to earn a job with the best rafting outfitter on the Cache La Poudre River.

by Ben Costello, January 2016

Guide Training at Mountain Whitewater

This year’s raft guide training will start on Monday, May 16, 2016. The first week of the course will consist of classroom style training at Mountain Whitewater in the mornings with on-river training in the afternoons. These classroom sessions will consist of a compilation of videos, slides, handouts and lecture.

The following weeks of the course consist of mostly on-river training. We will take two trips per day, seven days per week to complete the state mandated number of hours required to be a guide. There is a Swiftwater rescue training and a CPR and First Aid course during this period of guide training. We will be doing some intense training so that we can get you on the river as soon as possible.

Class Schedule for the 2016 Raft Guide Training Course

Trainee Takes the Final Exam during Guide Training

  • Monday, May 16th – Paperwork, Employee Handbook, Equipment & Gear Rigging
  • Tuesday, May 17th – River Currents, River Features, Paddle Commands, rating scales
  • Wednesday, May 18th – Running the Rapids, Safety, Safety Talk, River Hazards, Poudre Bloopers Video, Slammin’ Salmon Video
  • Thursday, May 19th – River Rescue, Emergency Procedures, Heads-Up Video, Rope Rescue
  • Friday, May 20th – Miscellaneous, Outdoor Impacts, How to be a Better Guide

Other Requirements

  • Colorado State law requires that guides have First Aid and CPR certifications. Classes are usually between $50 and $80.
  • The Mountain Whitewater Swiftwater Rescue class will also be a required part of guide training. The cost of the Swiftwater Rescue course is included in the training investment.
    Whitewater Raft Guide Training with Mountain Whitewater

  • The State of Colorado requires that you have 50 hours on river time before you can guide commercially.
  • Mountain Whitewater will require that you have 100+ hours.
  • We will have a Poudre rapids check-off sheet that will require all trainees to run all of the rapids of the Poudre Plunge at least 5 times.
  • Once complete, if deemed appropriate, there will be a check-off run, top to bottom, with customers and a trainer in the boat. If all goes well, you will now be part of the Mountain Whitewater team.

Training Investment

The cost for the course is $395 (half is returned after the second fulltime season working with Mountain Whitewater, half returned after the third fulltime season working with Mountain Whitewater).

This cost covers the classroom sessions, dry land sessions, equipment used during training (PFD, wetsuit, booties, splash jacket, and helmet), swiftwater rescue class and transportation to and from the Cache la Poudre River Canyon.

Being a river guide is a multidimensional job. It is physically and mentally demanding, days can be long with exposure to the elements. It is also very rewarding and tons of fun. We are looking for people who can fulfill those needs. Ask around…Mountain Whitewater has the best trained guides you will find. Call 970-419-0917 if interested or email

Raft Guide Training on Cache La Poudre River
Guide Trainees Smash a Waive during Raft Guide Training
Trainees Having Fun During Raft Guide Training

Third Annual Poudre River Forum – February 5, 2016

The third annual Poudre River Forum theme is Cultivating Connections for a
Healthy, Working River.

by Ben Costello, January 2016

The Poudre Runs Through It is a study/action work group dedicated to all things concerning the Cache La Poudre River. The group is made up of about 25 citizen experts representing a diversity of interests who were selected to study the Poudre River and formulate cooperative actions based on what they learn. One of those members is Brad Modesitt, Owner of Mountain Whitewater. The goal of the group is to build relationships and to put in action the initiatives they have identified, “to make the Poudre River the world’s best example of a working river that’s also healthy.”

The groups flagship event, The Third Annual Poudre River Forum will take place on February 5, 2016 and will be held at The Ranch in Loveland from 9am to 4pm. This years event theme is Cultivating Connections for a Healthy, Working River. The event will feature several different informational sessions and discussions surrounding the current state of the Poudre River. I have been able to attend the past two years and the event is very informative and well worth attending. It is important for anyone who cares about the Cache La Poudre River to be involved with groups and events like this as the river is the lifeblood of our Front Range communities.

The event will also include sponsor booths, door prizes including a rafting trip from Mountain Whitewater, networking opportunities, lunch, fun videos, and a closing celebration with music from Blue Gramma and beer from Odell Brewing Company. This will be a great event and I hope to see you all there!

Register for the event here:

2016 Poudre River Forum Poster