The whitewater weekend trainings will qualify new river paddlers to join WTC trips on class 2 and easier class 3 river sections. Beyond this a typical learning trajectory might be:
Paddle with the club on the Lehigh or similar rivers in your first summer. You will receive a great deal of guidance and informal instruction on these trips. As experience and confidence develops you can join club trips on other rivers such as the Tohickon and Lower Youghiogheny (“Yough”). After a few seasons you might advance to class 4 rivers such as the Cheat Canyon or Lower Gauley. People progress at different rates. Many people settle with a river level they enjoy and are comfortable with. As you come to know a river and safety procedures you can lead others on trips.
We emphasize further skills and safety training and refer people if we don’t offer a specific needed course. Examples of courses we offer or refer include:
Here are some examples of WTC Intermediate Advanced Training. Costs vary and details about dates and sign-up can be found in the WTC website calendar, Forums/Whitewater section, and Facebook.
Coached River Trip for Novice Program Graduates – Lehigh River Whitehaven to Rockport
Post-Novice Training – Skill Builder @ Dunbar – Lehigh River
Post-Novice/Intermediate Paddler Skills Workshop – Lehigh River Glen Onoko
Boofing Clinic – Muddy Creek
River reading – A class II or III river to study features.
Kayak Rolling We teach the Kayak Roll at winter pool sessions, summer barbecues and along the way on other trips. This skill is essential for advancement if you want to paddle class 3 rivers regularly. It’s also great fun!
It is not necessary to know how to roll your kayak to take the WTC kayaking courses. We teach all students how to wet exit their kayak and require students to demonstrate this skill at the safety session. However, to advance into and beyond Class III whitewater, it is essential to learn to roll. It is also a distinct advantage in most touring trips, and an essential skill in longer touring trips in more severe conditions or with long open-water crossings. WTC provides training to learn the skill of kayak rolling at a minimal cost for pool time (the rolling instruction is included in the pool cost). Please see the Pool Page for current pool information. Even if a prospective student does not learn the roll during the pool sessions, they will become comfortable in and under the water in their boat and will learn effective rescue techniques. These skills will accelerate the learning curve during kayak training courses.
ACA Swift Water Rescue An ACA certified swiftwater instructor teaches this one or 2 day course. WTC doesn’t teach this but we help students find a course in our paddling region. This strongly builds on the safety skills you learn in the first training and your first year is a good time to take it. Experienced paddlers often repeat this course.
First Aid and CPR Required of instructors. We have access to these courses.
ACA Instructor Training Our instructors are certified by the ACA. Several levels of certification exist, corresponding to the different levels of skill to be taught. You don’t have to be an expert to teach, and instructing always advances one’s own skills. We enjoy referring candidates to an Instructor Trainer.