Swiftwater Rescue for Packrafters in Moab Sept 2015

It has been awhile since I have taught a rescue class specifically for packrafters, but it is time to have another one. This September 17-20, 2015 in Moab, UT, Canyon Voyages Adventure Company will host a 4 day class called Swiftwater Rescue Training - Packraft Specific. This will be a Swiftwater Safety Institute class lead by myself, Scott Solle. Class cost is $435 and you can register by calling Canyon Voyages at 1-800-733-6007. 50% deposit is required to hold a seat and full payment is due 30 days in advance. It looks as though we will have demo boats from Aire, Kokopelli and Alpacka. Wetsuits will be sufficient for playing in the water. Field days will be held on the Fisher Towers section on the Colorado River just outside of Moab. I’m excited to provide this class and I hope we can make this an annual event. For questions relating to the class, I am available by email at scott@canyonvoyages.com and you’re welcome to call me at 801-560-9588. I have PDF flyers and registration forms I can send you. Thanks and happy boating!

I just completed Scott’s packraft oriented swiftwater rescue course yesterday (9/20/15). The course was great and I learned a lot. We started with a “classroom” day that covered knots, mechanical advantage systems, anchors, theory and a lot of discussion about various topics brought up by Scott or Andrew (assistant instructor) and the students in the course. The second day was a swimming day - swimming rapids, working throw bags, bringing swimmers to shore, swimming after someone, etc. That day was extremely valuable for me - it increased my comfort in swiftwater several fold. Scott didn’t baby us - we were swimming in a strong, swift rapid (probably a II) right off the bat.

The third day was into the packrafts for self rescue, using your boat to rescue others, their boats, and gear - and more swimming. This was in another strong cat II rapid. By the end of the that day, I suspect everyone was pretty adept at self rescue and better at swimming. The course finished off on the 4th day - again in the packrafts, with rigging and anchor work.

Throughout the course Scott was great at starting something with the normal “big raft” approach and then whittling down the gear to less stuff, then again to less stuff, until you could imagine actually doing the anchors and mechanical advantages with gear you’d be willing to carry on an actual packraft trip.

If you’re looking for a packraft swiftwater rescue course and you’d like something in the SW - contact Scott. I suspect the more interest that gets expressed the quicker there will be another course.