As the weather warms up, the owners and staff at Alpine Rafting are getting ready for another season on the Kicking Horse River.
The rafting company is owned by Jim and Val Pleyn. Jim started guiding on the Kicking Horse River in 1992 at the age of 18, and purchased Alpine Rafting 15 years ago. Val joined Alpine in 2002 and found her calling taking care of Alpine Rafting’s sales, marketing and branding.
The building the company is now located in used to be an information centre in Golden, and sits next to the BC Visitors Centre.
Val explained that rafting in Golden is amazing because the river has something for everyone.
“There is a misconception about rafting. It is not only for experienced people. The Kicking Horse is not a tame river but on the flip side, we raft in Yoho National Park. We are the only operator in town that rafts in Yoho National Park,” she said.
The float section in the park offers a gentle rafting trip that is perfect for most families according to Pleyn.
“The company gives people the option to go for a gentle or gnarly ride down the river,” she said. “The main thing we market is that we have B.C. and Alberta’s biggest white water thrills. The Kicking Horse has the biggest white water in western Canada. It is a world class river that is a 15 minute drive for us to get out to. It is very accessible to everyone and traces through a historical route,” she said.
The company also enjoys catering to local people in the Golden area who want to give rafting a try.
“We offer 50 per cent off for locals all summer long. We get a lot of locals out rafting, especially when they have friends coming from other places,” Val said. “I think the Kicking Horse River echoes Golden in a lot of ways. It has the rough and tumble side of it and also a gentle side.”
One of the different tours the company now offers is catrafting.
“Catrafting, simply put, is an inflatable raft with two pontoons. The pontoons are held together with an aluminum frame. The floor of a catraft is unique as it is made of mesh. This allows the waves to not only saturate the front and sides of the raft but also the floor. We have found it to be an ideal raft for the big waters of the Kicking Horse and a great compliment to our current fleet,” Val said.
The easiest way to book catrafting is to book online.
Catrafting runs from June 2 to August 18 and space is limited so it is recommended to book well in advance.
For more information check out the Alpine Rafting website at www.aplinerafting.com