2010 Swiftwater Rescue Training & Raft Guide Schools - Montana River Guides

2010 Swiftwater Rescue Training & Raft Guide Schools

Montana River Guides and The Whitewater Rescue Institute are offering a variety of rafting and river rescue training Spring 2010 throughout Western Montana. The classes are being taught by Mike Johnston and Cody Harris and certified through the Whitewater Rescue Institute. Here’s a tentative calendar of 2010 River Rescue and Guide Classes. We’re still firming up some of the dates as we hear from agencies and organizations that are working out their training schedules.


Swift Water Rescue Technician: A two and a half to three day course designed for raft guides and private boaters, the SRT is a 20 plus hour class with a half day of classroom instruction followed by two plus days developing and practicing skills on the river. While the initial emphasis is safety & self rescue, the class offers an in-depth look at reading water, recognizing and avoiding hazards, quick rescue techniques, boat-based rescues, dealing with boat wraps and entrapments, technical rescue systems, and a variety of practical scenarios. We analyze footage of actual river rescues in the classroom and progress from a solid foundation of rescue skills and practice into rescue scenarios on the river. The class is challenging, fun and tailored to the students needs. A manual, test, patch, I.D. card, and certification are included. Cost: $335

RAFT GUIDE SCHOOL: We offer two to five day classes designed for people wanting to lead river trips. We focus on safety, reading water, and guiding paddle rafts through Class II, III and IV whitewater. Topics include trip preparation, safety talks, equipment, rigging, boat handling, communications, paddle commands, and rescue techniques. Our five day Raft Guide School combines river instruction with a certified Swiftwater Rescue Technician class the first two days. On days three, four and five you’ll guide whitewater raft trips on the Blackfoot River and Alberton Gorge. The course includes a Whitewater Rescue Technician certification and certificate of completion. Tuition: $455

PROFESSIONAL RIVER GUIDE SCHOOL: A seven day comprehensive course designed for students interested in becoming professional river guides. The class integrates certified Wilderness Emergency Medicine and River Rescue training with hands-on guide training while running the river each day. Guide topics covered include equipment, boatrigging, trip preparation, risk management, reading water, and rafting class II, III and IV whitewater. Students practice and develop medical skills in river rescue scenarios during guide training on the river. The course is hosted at the Alberton Gorge Ranch near Missoula, Montana. Upon course completion students receive certifications in CPR, Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue. No experience necessary. Tuition: $795

A full weekend of whitewater instruction and river skills practice for novice river guides and recreational boaters. One evening of lecture and discussion followed by two full days on the Blackfoot River and Alberton Gorge. We’ll focus on reading water and guiding paddle crews through Class II and III whitewater. Topics include trip preparation, safety talks, rigging boats, communications, paddle commands, boat handling, and rescue scenarios.: $185

Dates: May 20-21

June 14-15
Equipment: You will need a full wetsuit or drysuit; a pair of neoprene booties and gloves, a helmet (w/skullcap or hat); and a lifejacket. Personal equipment rentals are available from Montana River Guides for $25 the first day of class. Bring a lunch, water and extra dry, warm top & bottom layers such as fleece and polypropelene.
2010 Class Schedule

March 14-20 Professional River Guide School-Alberton Gorge, MT
March 29-April 4 Professional River Guide School-Alberton Gorge

March TBA Whitewater Rescue /WEMT-Alberton Gorge

April 10 One Day Whitewater Rescue Class-Blackfoot River
April 16-18 Swift Water Rescue Technician-Missoula, MT

April 23-25 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Missoula, MT

April TBA Missoula City Fire Scenarios-Missoula, MT
May 1-2 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Bigfork, MT

May 7-9 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Thompson Falls, MT

May TBA Whitewater First Responder-Glacier NP

May 9-10 Whitewater Rescue for Paddlers-Billings, MT

May 15-16 Whitewater Rescue Technician-Bozeman, MT
May 17-19 Swiftwater Rescue Tecnician-Missoula, MT

May 17-21 RAFT GUIDE SCHOOL-Missoula, MT
May 28-30 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Big Sky, MT
June 4-6 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-West Glacier, MT

June 12-16 Raft Guide School Alberton-Gorge, MT
June 12-14 Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Alberton Gorge, MT

June TBA Whitewater Rescue Technician-Yellowstone River

June TBA Swiftwater Rescue Technician-Great Falls, MT

Registration: Register by calling to confirm space in the class. We require a 50% deposit to hold your spot. Just call and give us a credit card number or send the deposit and your contact information to: Montana River Guides 761 Hidden Valley Rd, Florence MT 59833. Agency billing can be arranged over the phone. If the course is cancelled or you cancel more than three weeks prior to the class a full refund will be made–otherwise you may forfeit your deposit. For specific directions, a class outline, and lodging info, call Mike or Cody, at (406)-777-4837. For more information check our website at www.montanariverguides.com.


Mike Johnston, Instructor

Montana River Guides


406-240-0560 (cell)

Email: [email protected]




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138 Big Bend Ln, Alberton
We have taken many rafting trips over the years and hands down this was one of the best ones yet!!! We took a private full day rafting tour with river side picnic and couldn’t have had a better time!! Our guide set up the best lunch spread at the waterside including fresh fruit and veggie trays, salad, sandwiches, chips/salsa, and the best homemade cookies!!! We had many stops, chances to swim, small cliff jumping, and the most beautiful scenery!!! Shout out to Amy as being the most fun guide to our crazy “Billy Goat Cyrus” group from Texas!!! Request her and you won’t be disappointed!!!
Our Montana River Guide trip down the Clark Fork was the highlight to our Montana vacation. Our guide let us paddle some while we were going thru the rapids which was an awesome experience. Weather and sun on the morning trip made for some great pictures.
We did a scenic float with our young kids. This was the absolute best thing we did our whole trip! So beautiful, so much fun. Amy was our guide and she was incredibly fun, knowledgable and kind. Cannot wait to float with them again!
There were three of us over 60 year old gals on our trip. Our guide, Jack, was outstanding. We felt safe and secure under his care the whole time while having the time of our lives. The beautiful scenery and wildlife were a bonus to the incredible river with its rapids along with calm areas to relax & enjoy the ride. Top on my list of the other incredible things we did this summer.
One of the best experience in the US was spending our Sunday with Montana River Guides! The crew was able to accommodate to over 60 of us on the YSEALI alumni tour and all of us thoroughly enjoyed our time on the river - Whitewater Rafting or Scenic Tour. Guides are 100% professionals who have fun with safety in mind. Highly recommend and must visit when you're in Montana. Thanks for the memories!