Course Overview

The International River Guide Training course puts you on Asia’s most dynamic river systems to teach you basic white water rafting skills (with an emphasis on safety boating for more experienced kayakers) within an expedition based, river running context. The on water curriculum focuses on water safety, technical rafting and kayaking skills, team leadership, and multi-day expedition planning. The course will fast track your development, confidence, and guiding skills on the water and provides the perfect fundamentals to further develop a river based guiding career. Students are individually assessed and graded for proficiency on the river according to the International Scale of River Difficulty (Class I-VI) to ensure they can safely pursue the next appropriate employment or learning opportunity, post programme.

IRGT Syllabus

Personal White Water Rafting Skills & Training
Role of the Safety Kayaker
Raft Construction, Equipment Maintenance & Repair
Safety Briefs, Pre-Planning, Risk Assessments and Emergency Procedures
Communication and Signals
Himalayan Hydrology and Navigation
Principles of River Rescue and River Safety
Scouting and Portaging Rivers
Raft Flips, Pins and Rescue Techniques
Casualty Rescue Techniques
Remote First Aid, Casualty Management
Incident Management
Expedition Planning and Considerations
Wilderness Camping and Cooking
Leadership and Team Management

Plus internationally recognised certification in:
Rescue 3 International’s White Water Rescue Technician
First Aid/CPR
International River Guide Training (IRGT)

IRGT Itinerary

The International River Guide Training (IRGT) river curriculum progresses through three core phases, starting with phase one and the initial training on the stunning, remote section of the Lower Kali Gandaki River. Here participants get first hand training of key basic guiding skills while learning about Himalayan hydrology and the technical aspects of professional river running including risk assessment, navigation, and rescue techniques. Evening fireside discussions include talks on geography, environment and Nepali river livelihood trends as we spend 5 days on this phase of our expedition. Following this initial comprehensive river training participants enjoy a day in the lakeside town of Pokhara completing their First Aid certification.

Phase two of the course focuses on practice and consolidation of guiding skills during a 4 day multi-day expedition along the upper Kali Gandaki River. This high volume trip takes us through one of the deepest gorges on the planet between three 8000m peaks and steps up the grade of difficulty and intensity of the training. During this consolidation, participants will complete their white water rescue certification and further develop their guiding, management and leadership skills.

After a well deserved rest day in Pokhara, the final part of the course is the assessment phase which takes place on the Lower Seti River. For this students will self direct the execution of a 2 day trip under the watchful eye of the course directors, before heading back to Pokhara for presentations and the final certificate presentation over a celebratory dinner.

Participant Pre-requisites

Due to the physical nature of the curriculum, your level of fitness will directly affect the quality of your experience. The International River Guide Training (IRGT) requires that participants be in reasonable physical shape to successfully meet the demands of the course. Individuals should be comfortable with lifting up to 50lbs/23kg and have proficient swimming skills. Technical white water rafting and/or kayaking skills are helpful but not required. A love for the outdoors and willingness to participate and lead in dynamic group scenarios is essential. In preparation for the programme, participants will be expected to review ATCT’s Whitewater Rescue Comprehensive Training Manual, Region Specific Workbook and Course Syllabus before arriving in Nepal.


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Course Overview