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Whitewater River Guide School
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Whitewater River Guide School

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 16 people
Destination(s): Chile  
Specialty Categories: Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting  
Season: December - April
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1995 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1995 US Dollar (USD)

This uniquely challenging environment is a great place in which to get professionally certified for swiftwater rescue training, raft guide training, or ACA kayak instructor certification. This year we are offering a week-long River Guide School, Rescue III Swiftwater Rescue Technician (Level 1) and the ACA Instructor Development and Certification Classes.

You will leave the Futaleufu Valley with one of the most respected certifications in the world. Very few raft guides, rescue professionals or kayak instructors will be able to make the claim that they earned their certification on Chile's Rio Futaleufu.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Introductions

Arrive at either of our entry points in Puerto Montt, Chile or Esquel, Argentina, the gateways to Patagonia. Connect with our representative and travel to the remote riverside town of Futaleufu, surrounded by majestic mountains. Here you will find your accommodations at our Tres Monjas Eco-Camp. A hearty meal, hot sauna, and wonderful views welcome you to Chile.

Day 2: Introduction to Rafts & Equpiment

Our guide school program starts on the Class II/III Rio Espolon. Here we orientate ourselves to the rafts and equipment. We will then outline paddle rafting strategies concerning command of the crew and control of the raft with stern mount oars and paddle crew. Before we move onto whitewater, we go over the fundamentals of the “Triangle Safety System” and learn about the job of safety kayaker and safety catamaran.

In the afternoon, we put into practice what we learned on the "El Macal" section of the Rio Futaleufu, hitting each eddy on opposite sides of the river as we zig-zag back and forth through the section. Each student will have a chance to change positions in the raft, and experience every part of the raft. We return to the camp for a summary of the information presented and dinner at our Campo Tres Monjas.

Day 3: Guide School Training Day - El Macal & Bridge to Bridge

We return this morning to the "El Macal" (Class III) stretch of the Rio Futaleufu giving each participant an opportunity to man the oars and command the raft. This will be the final warm up before putting in at the Class IV sections of the Rio Futaleufu. Before moving up to the Bridge to Bridge section we will review the strategies of the run and decide who will start on the oars and the catarafts in the afternoon. The Bridge to Bridge section requires the team work we have developed on the easier sections below. Afterward we will return to camp for a lecture on the specifics of each rapid and what could be improved using video taped analysis.

Day 4: Guide School Training Day - Bridge to Bridge

We will spend both the morning and afternoon rafting on the Bridge to Bridge section, going over all that we have learned in the previous two days and mastering our river running techniques. Participants will be involved in setting up safety and develop decision making skills. We will rotate all participants so that each gets a turn on the oars and safety cataraft, if they so desire. At the end of the day we will do a swim test of all the participants in anticipation of the Class V runs to come. This evening we will do a video review of the runs, discuss river running strategy and diagnose problems.

Day 5: Guide School Training Day - Paddle Boats on the Rio Azul

We will spend the entire day on the Rio Azul going over the techniques of commanding a paddle boat. Here we will emphasize team dynamics and communication skills to motivate a team of raw rafters. In the evening we will here a lecture on safety and commanding a team.

Day 6: Guide School Training Day - Terminator & Casa de Piedra

We start at Campo Tres Monjas as we head down for a complete descent of the lower Futaleufu; 21 kilometers of challenging whitewater. We group scout the "Terminator" as our team threads the needle. After this Class V rapid, we continue to rotate our team through the oars increasing your time guiding oars.

This day is a full day of rafting, taking out after the "El Macal" section, passing the technical Class V "Casa de Piedra" and "Mas o Menos" rapids. During dinner we will have the opportunity for video review of our runs, critique and diagrams of strategies and memorization of the danger spots to avoid. We will discuss the action plan for the following day of rapids and how to get the team around the two rapids we will portage.

Day 7: Guide School Graduation Day - Infierno Canyon (Class V)

We take our entire class for an early morning descent of the world class "Infierno Canyon" (dependent on water levels). This descent will require the best efforts and attention of the entire team. We will ghost raft the Class V "Zeta" and the "Throne Room" rapids. We will take out at Camp, deflate rafts, and carry gear back to our vehicles, learning every part of being a guide. Graduation ceremonies will begin before dinner and carry into the always fun award ceremonies.

Day 8: Departure

Wake up for an early breakfast and drive back to Chaiten, Chile and your flight to Puerto Montt, or relax for a couple of hours and take our shuttle to Esquel, Argentina. As you catch a final view of the Río Futaleufu; surrounded by hanging glaciers and snow capped mountains, take a moment to reflect upon all of the amazing sights and experiences of this past week. After all these years we are still stunned that views like these exist.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Included: All meals, lodging, transportation, guides and kayaks while paddling with us. Round trip transportation between Futaleufu and Puerto Montt or Esquel.

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South America   Chile   Outdoor: Water Drifter   Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting