Packrafting – Rivers & Whitewater


Ascent Guides Packrafting Rivers & Whitewater course is a comprehensive, 2 day course for paddlers looking to develop their river running and rescue skills and prepare for longer, remote wilderness trips. This course will teach you how to recreate in moving water safely, how the river works, and how to recognize hazards and mitigate them. You will become proficient in rescue techniques, river running, whitewater paddling techniques and wilderness considerations for multi-­‐day trips.


Event Details

As a requirement of participation with Ascent Fraser Valley Guides and Mountain School, you will be required to sign a waiver of liability prior to the beginning of the activity.

Course Duration: 2 days (8-10 hours per day)

Course Location: Local rivers ranging from Class I-III 

Class Ratio: 1:8 Guide to Guest 

Course Overview: 

The West Coast of North America is home to some of the best whitewater rivers on earth, and there is no better way to explore the backcountry than to paddle your way through it. This course is designed to give packrafters the necessary skills to paddle up to Class III whitewater and plan and execute wilderness packrafting trips. 

Each day will be a mix of dryland and on the water instruction building a foundation of paddling, rescue, river awareness and trip planning skills. The venues for this course offer a great progression through classic northwest whitewater with a variety of rapids, features and hazards to navigate. 

This course includes in-­‐depth sessions on topics including: Outfitting & Rigging Your Packraft, Reading Whitewater, River Safety and Self Rescue, Responsibilities and Techniques of River Running, and Trip Planning and Wilderness Considerations.

Participant Expectations: 

    • Participants should be comfortable swimming with a PFD and drysuit in cold and moving water.
    • Participants should be prepared to spend full days outside in a range of weather conditions 
    • Participants will be responsible for staying fed and hydrated through the day

Gear Required: *

  • Whitewater Capable Packraft (spray deck or self bailing) **
  • Class III or V PFD
  • Paddle
  • Throwbag
  • Dry suit
  • Paddling Knife
  • Whistle
  • Neoprene gloves or pogies (optional)
  • Closed toe shoes: paddling shoes or runners
  • Dry bag or bow bag for keeping gear dry
  • Helmet (strongly encourage white water specific helmet, although a climbing or bike helmet in good repair will work)
  • Food
  • Hot drink in a thermos (if you get cold)
  • Dry/warm Clothes & a Towel
  • Water bottle

*It is the clients responsibility to secure equipment prior to the course or trip. If renting through Mt. Waddington Outdoors, you will receive a 10% discount code for online rentals. Please allow adequate time to acquire your rental gear, specifically if shipment is required.

**Packraft availability varies from Mt. Waddington Outdoors. Please secure a packraft well before the course date.

Venue: Chilliwack River (Chilliwack Course) Mamquam River (Squamish Course)


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