First in country guide training program in Bhutan

The First river guide training program run in Bhutan is under way with 12 local students all working to gain there ‘International River Guide Certification’ (IRGT), Rescue 3 International ‘White water Rescue Technician’ certification and their CPR and basic first aid certification.


Our classroom on the banks of the Mo Chuu River

Joint IRGT course directors Gerry Moffatt and myself have joined together on the request of the operators in Bhutan and the Tourism Council of Bhutan to start what we hope to be the structure of the future river industry in Bhutan. With us to assist is another river expert Pat O Keefe, with the 3 of us forming one of the strongest training teams in the industry.

I’m also here as the preferred licensed training provider for Rescue 3 International in the Kingdom of Bhutan. This will be the first rescue 3 program in country with the plan to run a number over the next few years for guides and to then potentially run a range of rescue 3 courses for other organisations such as the military and reserve forces within the country.

The monsoon rains were kind on us today and we had the first full dry day for some time in Bhutan, with sun shining and clear, but cold water to train in.


Training opposite the stunning Punakha Dzong

Based out of the stunning valley of Punakha with outdoor classroom and amazing whitewater, the students have had some full days on and off the river learning their trade.


Guides practicing their rope work

Its exciting times in Bhutan to be at the starting point and with the development of a new adventure tourism industry.

On Friday I then head back to the capital as a guest speaker and consultant for a Seminar hosted by the Tourism Council to help form the governing systems for river operators, as well as considering the long term preservation of the rivers being used here.

 Another update at the end of the week as I hopefully certify the first guides in Bhutan and head to the seminar.


Check out our website for more details