Packrafting 102: Beginner/Intermediate Course – No Frills
our beautiful colorado Rivers are still running, so we'll continue to run beginner & intermediate packrafting courses! We're even looking into running a packraft-specific swiftwater rescue course. Stay tuned!
Turn the blue lines on maps into trails and acquire the whitewater paddling skills you need to run more difficult rivers! We seek to offer opportunities that, “get you on the edge of your own reality to feel things you’ve never experienced,” as FCG co-founder Steve “Doom” Fassbinder says. And we work hard to enhance your existing padling skills so you can do bigger and more exciting packraft adventures, while at the same time pushing you just a bit further so you can, “find out what you’re really made of.”
A 50% deposit is required to secure your space. The remaining balance will need to be received through 30 days prior to your course. The remaining balance is due immediately if you are registering inside of the 30 day window.
Cancellation Policy: Please review our cancellation policy, which you will find on our Terms, Conditions & Cancellation Policy Page.
This course includes instruction, an open packraft, PFD, paddle, helmet, permits.
Lodging, shuttling or all food.
You likely will not need a drysuit for this trip unless you run cold. But we do recommend you acquire at least a wet suit in case the weather is bad. I.e. we often get monsoon rains this time of year. Rent drysuits or wet suits locally at 4CornersRiversports.com (they only have four), or get a 15% discount if you order them online at BackcountryPackraft.com (we will give you the discount code once you pay your deposit).
Steve Fassbinder: Also known as Doom, Steve 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.
Thad Ferrell: Thad is a Level 3 American Canoe Association Packraft Instructor. An early adopter of packrafting and life-long cyclist and bikepacker, Thad has accomplished some ground-breaking, multi-week climb-bike-packraft adventures in the desert Southwest. He is also an expert fly fishing guide.
We base our beginner/intermediate packrafting skills instructional courses on confidence and skill progression. The course reviews the basics, but delves into more intermediate paddling skills and river reading techniques. We will push you a little harder as the days progress, tailoring the experience to your own personal abilities.
- ✓Swimming and general water confidence
- ✓Self-rescue (aka “wet re-entry”) & buddy assistance
- ✓Basic and intermediate paddle strokes
- ✓Peeling into and out of eddies
- ✓River commands
- ✓Working with your team on the river (scouting, spacing, group decision making, leading a group)
- ✓Equipment (use and care)
- ✓Recognizing river hazards
- ✓Throw ropes, beginning rescue skills
Length of Play Park: 1.25 miles
Length of Daily Adventures: 5 to 8 miles
Difficulty: Class II III at 500-2000 CFS
Class III to IV 2,000 CFS and up.
High Water Flows: May-July
Flow: below 500cfs is low; 1,000-2,000cfs ideal for this course. Water Flow please see water levels
This course is a beginner/intermediate course, which means some experience in a single-person craft is required (kayak, canoe, duckie). I.e. you must have some river experience, understand how to catch eddies, read the river, and do basic paddle strokes. If you are a total newbie, consider taking one of our beginner courses. If we don’t have any on the schedule, please call and request a course. We’re happy to schedule one for you and one or more people.
On this course, you will have the opportunity to challenge yourself on up to Class III if you learn the skills you need to do so and your guide gives you the thumb’s up.