I was able to spend the last weekend being trained by the instructors of Montana River Guides. They spent three days teaching us the ins and outs of safely dealing with a very unpredictable challenge--Swift Water Rescue. While being on whitewater is nothing new or foreign to me, the demands of this class put things in a new perspective. Cody and Lila, our instructors, were able to draw on years of experience and research to give us a class that was top notch. And who wouldn't give a few days to go play on the river. Bumps and bruises aside, this was an awesome class.
Time was spent below the gates of Gem Lake where the instructors could customize the flow of the river, presenting new challenges to the students. The first challenge, of course, was beating the heat. We had a shelter set up, but being wrapped in a giant air and water tight garbage bag makes it tough to cool off. Among other tasks was a shallow water crossing in swift water. At the rate the water was flowing, it put about 200 lbs. of force on just our legs. Fortunately, we were able to stand Rob Hall out there in front and anchor off of him.