With rafting season now in full swing, many people (us included!) are pumped and ready to get back out on the water.
White water rafting is just another part of their summer adventure and they're ready and willing to make the most of their trip!
For many others, white water rafting is a new experience. It's an experience where they're not sure what to expect and there are often lots of nerves.
If this is you, that's OK!
It's totally normal to be nervous and you're definitely not alone. We have guests show up everyday who are REALLY nervous and we'll do our best to put you at ease.
We are the experts on the river and we're here to provide you with the best white water rafting adventure possible.
We asked our staff some of the best tips for you, our guests, to ensure you get the most out of your white water rafting trip. Whether it be your first, or tenth time out there, we have you covered!
Here are our 4 Tips to Have the Best Rafting Trip Possible:
1. Don’t think, just play!
All day long you're forced to make decisions. Some experts say adults make roughly 35 000 decisions per day. Per day!
That's a lot of thinking, especially given a lot of the decisions we have to make aren't easy.
Rafting provides the opportunity to give yourself a break. It puts you in a situation where you aren't the expert, so you can truly just go along for the ride. You can rely on the knowledge and expertise of your guide to safely navigate you down the river.
Everyone in the raft plays a role, for sure, but ultimately your guide is in control. It's the perfect opportunity to quiet your mind, do as you're told (in a nice way!), and try something new.
Raft guide Kris King wants guests to know that they are not on the river to think – but rather raft and have a good time. He says that, "you are here to play, and I, as your guide will do all the thinking for you. Just sit back and let your inner child soar"!
Don't let overthinking things take away from your experience. Take a break, this one's on us!
2. Bundle up!
The Kicking Horse River is glacial fed. This means it's roughly 3 - 4 degrees Celsius all summer, as the water is only about 12 hours old. This is the amount of time it takes for the water, that's melted from the glacier, to get to the spot you're rafting.
That being said, you're going to want some layers.
On the hot, sunny days most people will be fine in just the wetsuit, but if it's cool, cloudy or windy you're going to want to bundle up a bit more.
We have neoprene jackets, fleece sweaters, splash jackets, neoprene socks, mitts and boots. If you get cold easily you'll probably want to take it all, but we'll help guide you on the day of your trip.
Carmen, our office manager and guest expert, recommends taking as many layers with you out on the river as you can, even if the sun is shining. The weather can change quickly in the mountains and we provide it all. Don't be afraid to take extra jackets or fleeces.
“It's hard to warm up once you are out there, but we can always cool you down”, she says (remember the temperature of the water noted above).
If you've rafted in other countries around the world - think New Zealand, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, parts of the U.S., Uganda - or any other warm climate nation, this is a different ball game.
You won't be going in shorts and sandals, but it's clean, fresh and refreshing.
And, if you get thirsty you can take a drink. Our guides do it all the time. There aren't many places left in the world where you can drink the water you're rafting on. We think that's super cool!
3. Try it all!
There's more to rafting than just sitting in a boat and paddling away. Don’t get us wrong, enjoying the gorgeous scenery that the Kicking Horse River has to offer is definitely an option!
To make the most of the day, though, Glacier’s owner and fellow raft guide Ryan Johannesen says to try out the fun challenges the guides suggest, such as the famous rodeo move, or taking a dip in the water.
“People are just so pumped after they do that,” he adds.
Our rafting experience isn't just about getting down the river as fast as we can. It's about adding more to the day so you feel like you got more out of it than you thought you would.
We don't rush our trips because we want to have time to do these extra, fun things. Walking up to a waterfall, drinking fresh, mountain water straight from the waterfall or going for a bridge hang.
Try one, try none, or try them all. Do what will keep you smiling, and don't be afraid to test your comfort zone. We think you'll be happy you did.
(Note: we know for a lot of you just getting in a raft is really testing your comfort zone, and we give you a big high five for that too!!!)
4. say hello
On busy days there can be a lot of people roaming around the base at the start of the trip, and most of our guests are strangers to one another.
For many, being immersed in a large group of people can be fairly overwhelming. This can keep people quiet throughout parts of the day.
Raft guide Darren Trapp says to look around because, “there are lots of people in the same headspace as you.”
He says that guests who come rafting are all here for a white water adventure, so there's no need to keep quiet. Open up to the other guests and you will find that you have lots in common.
If you're really nervous there are lots of others who are too. If you're been rafting before in New Zealand, someone else has too (several of our guides have!). If you're travelling from Germany you'll be in the company of other Germans (we can almost guarantee, but if not, other Europeans for sure). If you're celebrating a birthday people are going to want to celebrate with you.
With 8 people in a raft, 9 with the guide, the web of commonalities doesn't take long to establish.
It always amazes us the number of people who hug their fellow rafters at the end of the day. The number of people who exchange email addresses and invite their new friends to stay with them should they be travelling in their home country.
Come rafting and leave with a new group of friends. We always say Glacier is more like a family than a workplace, and we want to welcome you to our family!
We want you to live an adventure on the river with us, and our experts are here to help make that happen!
Wake up. Go after it. Repeat.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact us. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us anytime at 1 877 344 7238
We hope to see you on the river soon!
Cheers from the Whole Glacier Crew