White Water School
For the 40th year, we will offer a series of intensive, seven-day training courses in boat handling of oar-powered inflatable rafts and hydrology and water reading study.Students will then learn boat handling in small (12 to 15 foot-long) inflatable rafts on increasingly technical water as the week progresses.We begin on Class II (easy) water and advance to Class IV (difficult) water by week's end.Each course will cover more than 100 river miles. The New Mexico course will take place on the Rio Chama near Tierra Amarilla, and on the Taos Box, State Park, and Pilar sections of the Rio Grande.
Far Flung Adventures Whitewater Rafting Schools
Learn To Row The Big Ones From The Pros
WHITEWATER RAFTING SCHOOL SCHEDULE FOR 2017
May 13-20, 2017 New Mexicos Rio Chama & Rio Grande
June 17-24, 2017 New Mexicos Rio Chama & Rio Grande
For the 40th year, we will offer a series of intensive, seven-day training courses in boat handling of oar-powered inflatable rafts and hydrology and water reading study.Students will then learn boat handling in small (12 to 15 foot-long) inflatable rafts on increasingly technical water as the week progresses.We begin on Class II (easy) water and advance to Class IV (difficult) water by week's end.Each course will cover more than 100 river miles. The New Mexico course will take place on the Rio Chama near Tierra Amarilla, and on the Taos Box, State Park, and Pilar sections of the Rio Grande.Junes session will take place on the Arkansas River in Colorado.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: It is quite a challenge to "come off the streets" and one week later be rowing Class III & IV rapids.To accomplish this, one must have his or her learning apparatus fully engaged.One should be able to sit still for constructive criticism. Since advancement is necessarily so rapid, the days are full and good physical condition is useful. Some physical training prior to the course is suggested for students who aren't ordinarily active. Persons who are uncertain of their physical abilities should not be discouraged from applying. No one will be asked to do more than they, or the staff, thinks they are capable of doing. Our intention is to challenge the student to find the highest level of his or her performance.Rowing is not a difficult skill to acquire. It is a natural and balanced motion. Done properly, it feels good. Rowing injures few if any people. It is highly satisfying to look back on a successfully negotiated run through a turbulent section of river. Nor is failure normally painful, though one may get wet and feel a little silly!
Once the rowing skill is gained, we strongly encourage students to continue to ply their skills. We will be happy to try to make a boat available to persons who have completed the course. We can assist students in securing good quality rafting equipment for their own use. We do recommend using your skill during the summer following the course. A long wilderness trip such as the Grand Canyon or the Salmon River will "set" the lessons. Some students have used the course to qualify for employment in the rafting industry. We've successfully graduated students ranging in age from 15 to 62, and we look forward to opening the door for you.
STAFF:Instruction is given by our veteran boaters: Jake Walker, Harvey King, and Christine Lowry, all of whom have previously conducted the training over the last several years. Classes are limited in size allowing for an approximate 3:1 student-instructor ratio.
TUITION: $1350 + NM sales tax. Price includes instruction, boats, frames, oars, personal flotation devices, meals*, shuttle, and base camps. On Day 3, students will travel on their own from El Vado Ranch to Rio Grande Gorge State Park. Price does not include approximately 3 meals out, taken as a group, during the week. We suggest you allow an additional $25-$30 to cover these meals.
DAY 1:Plan to arrive between 4 & 6 pm on Friday. Arrival for New Mexicos session is at El Vado Ranch near Tierra Amarillo. Arrival for Colorados session is at Fishermans Bridge near Nathrop. An orientation and get-acquainted dinner will be served at the Base Camp the evening prior to the start of the school. Day 1 instruction begins at 9 a.m. with about two hours of theoretical material including personal preparedness, trip preparation, safety, boat handling and control, hydrology study, and water reading training. Practical instruction includes inflating, rigging, and preparing boats for river launch.
DAY 2:Instruction will focus on boat handling and control. Practice includes; the double-oar pivot, finding and maintaining appropriate ferry angle, entering and leaving eddies, reading water, and scouting rapids. Pattern will be established of students alternating on the oars for approximately 20 minutes each hour. Entire day spent on Rio Chama. Arkansas River schools eliminate the downriver camp night. Low-impact camping skills will be taught and practiced in the week's basecamp (same site all week).
DAY 3:Sixteen miles on the Upper Chama run. Students will demonstrate improvement in boat handling with the double-oar pivot and strong upstream rowing technique. Mid to late afternoon we will move base to State Park (near Taos).Dinner is on the road in Espanola.
DAY 4:"Remedial" rowing and pivoting for students who have not demonstrated strength in these areas; "advanced" group to Pilar runs (Class III). Practical boat handling instruction: technical moves using double-oar pivot, ferrying in swift water, large waves. Full day with multiple runs of Pilar.
DAY 5:Continue with Pilar run until every student has rowed the whole section at least once (3-4 runs) and is demonstrating boathandling control. Afternoon short hike to scout Lower Box.
DAY 6:Rise early for day run of Taos Box. Emphasis on boathandling control, timing, and reading the increasingly complex water. Students alternate on oars.
DAY 7: "Finals" on the Box. Course ends about 5 P.M.
Schedules & locations subject to change due to water conditions or other possible considerations. Be prepared for possible changes.
WHAT YOULL NEED
- Sleeping bag, ground cloth, pad
- Rainsuit (jacket & pants)
- Cap or hat
- Sheath knife
- Notebook and pen
- Fleece, Polypro or Wool clothing
- Waterproof shell
- Sweater, pants, socks
- Dry shoes or boots for camp
- Sneakers/wool socks or wetsuit boots
- Parka or heavy vest
- Eyeglass strap
- Canteen or water bottle
- Backpack tent
- Kayak helmet
- Wetsuit or drysuit
- Hiking boots
- Rescue knife, whistle
- Waterproof Bag, pouch
- We suggest water-ski gloves to avoid blisters