With 2018 in full swing, it’s time to take stock of what happened last year. After finishing up the winter season guiding in Finland I flew out to Morocco, to help teach on my first International Rafting Federation workshop since passing the instructor course. Based in the Atlas Mountains, we put the candidates through their paces in both guiding and rescue skills, finishing up with an overnight expedition on the Ahansal river.
After Morocco, I flew to Uganda a day later, to finally get the chance to paddle the Nile, before the completion of the upcoming Isimba dam project. I was lucky to meet up with Addie again out there, a friend from my rafting days in Canada.
In May it was time to start work, this time as a rafting and canyoning guide in Bovec, Slovenia – home to the beautiful Soca river. The highlights included a high water rafting run and kayaking the siphon canyon section.
Away from the river I tried to learn how to horse ride, as a way to spend time with my girlfriend, Annina. It wasn’t very successful, much to her amusement.
I managed to achieve my main goal for the year – becoming a Rescue 3 Whitewater Rescue Technician Instructor. Both training and assessment courses were held on the Dora Baltea river, in Aosta, Italy.
After the season in Slovenia ended, we headed to Austria, where Annina and I watched the Adidas Sickline competitors train and rafted the Imster Gorge with FeelFree Rafting in Otztal.
Once back home in the UK, I took a quick trip to Wales, to observe a WRT course with Llangollen Outdoors, on the river Dee.
At the end of the year I found myself having come full circle, back in Finnish Lapland, guiding for a snowmobiling company and helping with the training of the new guides.
As for what 2018 holds in store, it’s too early to say – but I’m curious to see what I’ll be writing this time next year…
Stay safe and enjoy your year.
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