Intermediate Packrafting On the Dolores River
become an intermediate Whitewater Packrafter
Max 4 people.
For this intermediate packrafitng course, you’ll meet the morning of day 1 at a TBA put in on the Dolores River. You’ll spend three days learning new skills and honing existing skills on up to Class III+ rapids (you may walk around any rapid you are uncomfortable doing, as a rarely-used and sometimes impassable dirt road runs parallel to the river for the length of the river).
This is NOT a swiftwater rescue course, but some basic rescue techniques will be covered. Packrafting experience required. Generally people will have their own packrafting gear, plus rescue gear for this course. As well, you will need a drysuit for this trip. You may rent one at 4CornersRiversports.com.
You may book this course at the bottom of this page. However, please note that we will send a follow-up Pre-Trip Registration Questionnaire to gauge your ability level, medical and food needs, plus to assess the equipment you have. Or download the questionnaire first, fill it out and email it to us. If you don’t fit into this course, we will refund your money immediately and/or try to place you in another course.
A 50% deposit is due upon signing up for the course. And we require the remaining balance 30 days prior to the start of the course.
Please review our cancellation policy, which you will find on our Terms, Conditions & Cancellation Policy Page.
This course includes all backcountry meals starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 3, plus wag bags, sanitation kit, and backcountry permits fees. You’ll meet your guide at the TBA put in.
This class is for people who already have packrafting experience, so most will have their own gear. However, if you have a lot of experience paddling a river kayak, single-person canoe or duckie and you don’t have a packraft, you may be able to join this course. You will need a whitewater boat and drysuit, both of which you can rent one from BackcountryPackraft.com. Ask us for the 15% off discount code after you pay your deposit to hold your spot.
what's not included
We do not provide shuttle rides. You’ll need to get to the put in yourself. Except that we’ll shuttle the guide’s car to the take out, and he’ll give you a ride back to the put in.
We also don’t provide drysuits, whitewater boats, rescue PFDs, knives, whistles or throw bags. However, you can rent drysuits or other gear from BackcountryPackraft.com. Ask us for the 15% off discount code after you pay your deposit to hold your spot. You can also rent some gear 4Corners Riversports in Durango.
Steve Fassbinder: Steve, AKA “Doom,” is one of the country’s first Level 3 American Canoe Association Packraft Instructors, as well as a Level 3 Kayak Instructor. He is also certified in Advanced Swiftwater Safety and Wilderness First Responder. An early adopter of packrafting, he has guided for three years and done remote packrafting expeditions around the world for over a dozen years.
Course Details: What You will learn
We base our intermediate packrafting skills instructional courses on confidence and skill progression. We start slow and push you a little harder as we go, tailoring the experience to your own personal abilities.
For Intermediate courses, you’ll both learn new skills and practice and/or perfect existing skills with drills.
- ✓Equipment (use and care)
- ✓Field repair-tips & tricks
- ✓Swimming and general water confidence
- ✓Aggressive & defensive swimming position
- ✓Self-rescue & buddy assistance
- ✓Dealing with currents
- ✓Decision making
- ✓Hazards & river dynamics
- ✓Basic & advanced paddle strokes
- ✓Using eddies
- ✓River Commands
- ✓Spacing on the River
- ✓Other TBD skills from our advanced curriculum based on the skill level of the participants.
We also invite you to bring your questions and/or specific requests to our intermediate courses, either before in an email to us or during the course.
You must have packraft experience and your own whitewater gear (i.e. a boat with a deck or self bailer), including rescue gear, to take this course. It’s an intermediate course in terms of both the terrain you’ll be paddling (up to Class III+) and the long days of training and drills you’ll have. Be prepared to learn a lot and have even more fun!