Professional Instructor Course - River

Professional Instructor Course - River


  • 2015 dates TBD
  • Application deadline December 1st
The PIC–River is designed to train people with extensive professional experience in outdoor education to work for NOLS. This expedition will travel in oar rigs, kayaks, and paddle rafts in the spring, when the rivers are high and the whitewater challenging in Idaho.

By "extensive" experience we mean the equivalent of at least 50 field weeks (7 field days = 1 field week.) For example, seven seasons (a season being roughly 3 months) of commercial raft or kayak guiding would meet our basic standard. You must have extensive raft and kayak instruction or guiding experience. You must be a solid Class IV kayaker and rafter, and Class V kayaking and rafting experience is desired. You must have multi-day wilderness river experience, and extensive experience is highly desired. Previous Swiftwater/Whitewater Rescue training and experience is required. We will also provide a 3-day River Rescue certification as part of the course.

On the first section, you'll kayak and raft the deeply incised, volcanic canyons of the Lower Owyhee River. This river is a rocky, technically demanding desert river. You'll be surrounded by steep rock walls as you float downstream through its labyrinthine canyons.The following section will be two full days of river rescue review and certification

Finally, you'll navigate 82 miles of the Main Salmon with kayaks, oar rafts, and paddle boats. The Main Salmon carves its way through a region of exceptional biologic diversity.Throughout the course, you’ll be responsible for teaching basic and advanced classes on a wide range of subjects from basic wilderness living skills such as cooking, tent pitching, stove use, and Leave No Trace practices to expedition behavior, communication/evaluation skills, first aid, weather, leadership, natural history, and advanced travel techniques. You also have the opportunity to teach various elements of kayaking and rafting (eddy turns, peel-outs, ferries, etc.) and raft rigging. Management of students in whitewater and river rescue is also a significant part of the curriculum.


Location NOLS Teton Valley
Tuition $750 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $0
Minimum Age 25
Duration 20 Days
Type Instructor
Start/End Lander, Wyoming
Fly in/out Riverton, Wyoming or Salt Lake City, Utah
College Credit
  • 4 Credit Hours
  • 2 Hours Leadership
  • 2 Hours Outdoor Educator
Learn about College Credit