ABOUT US

  • Chinook Rafting is THE family rafting company!
  • Kids raft for free on their birthday.
  • We have rivers ranging from MILD to WILD.  Something for every level of adventure seeker!
  • No hidden extra costs after you book: all of your personal and safety equipment, an experienced guide, and even photos for your social media are included in the price.
  • We have 35+ years of experience, so we know our rivers and we know how to have fun.
  • We offer exceptional levels of guest interaction and service, and provide adventure, entertainment, interpretation, team building and education.
  • We use top quality modern equipment and have industry-leading risk management strategies and safety standards in place.
  • We want whitewater rafting to be the highlight of your trip to the Canadian Rockies, and will do everything we can to make sure you have a great day.
  • We know you will come back for another visit after rafting with us – just check out our TripAdvisor reviews!

MEET OUR TEAM - ABOUT OUR GUIDES

  • Guides are essential to the enjoyment of your trip, so we choose our team carefully. Many have been guiding internationally for over 10 years now.
  • We are highly trained professionals committed to showing you a great time on the water.
  • Every guide possesses the Professional Rivers Outfitters Association of Alberta (PROAOA) rafting license, along with First Aid, CPR & River Rescue qualifications as minimum standards.
  • We will share our knowledge, local stories, enthusiasm, skills and passion for rafting with you and leave the most lasting memories for you to tell your friends and family.
Richard the Raft Guide Senior Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Operations Manager)

Richard van der Ploeg - Netherlands

During his time studying mechanical engineering, Richard took every opportunity to sneak off and play in the water. Summers were spent guiding in beautiful Slovenia with rafting on the Soca river and also heaps of canyoning and caving. Expeditions, work and randomness brought him to Canada, La Reunion, Italy, Sri Lanka, Azores, Tropical Belgium, New Zealand, Honduras and other gems. With over 15 years of experience in outdoor tourism, he’s now a full-time guide. When he’s not around the flowing waters outside, it is highly likely you can find him making laps in the swimming pool, discussing which Taylor Swift song is best (Wildest Dreams!), welding some steel together or daydreaming about ice cream, pizza or cookies, in no particular order. 

Lead Guide Gabriel for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Lead Guide)

Gabriel Arias - Ecuador

Being born and raised in Ecuador, Gabriel’s passion for the great outdoors and adventure started early in life. Having worked as a guide for youth camps and a national tour guide in Ecuador, he has led multi-sport expeditions to the Galápagos Islands, the Andes mountains and the Amazon. As a trip leader, rafting guide and avid kayaker, he has explored class III and IV rivers in Ecuador, Argentina, Canada and the United States. He now calls Canada home and has proudly been working for Chinook Rafting since 2017.

Raft Guide and Senior Trip Leader Adam for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

Adam Howie - Canada

Adam has been Outdoor Adventure guiding in Canada and around the world now for over 15 years.  Having a passionate affinity for water since a young age, as well as a desire to travel and see the world, it was an easy landing into his career as a international raft guide. His passion for the outdoors is second only to his passion for the river which he loves to share with the people around him.

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Tadhg
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Tadhg Dignan - Ireland

My name is Tadhg. It’s like “tiger” without the “er”. I’m a 25-year-old whitewater raft and kayak guide who’s stoked for my second year at Chinook Rafting. This year marks my 7th year working as an adventure guide in many different disciplines such as Rafting, Kayaking, Canoeing, Coasteering and Supping. If it’s got water, I’ll do it. Off the river, my life passions include watching kayaking videos on repeat, pineapple on pizza and most importantly, McVities Chocolate Digestive biscuits.

Rafting Guide Adrian with Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Senior Raft Guide)

Adrian Vendrig - Canada

Hi everyone! I’m stoked to be returning to the Chinook Rafting Team! Originally from Ontario, I graduated from Algonquin College’s Outdoor Adventure Program in 2015. I have guided on the mighty Ottawa River, Petawawa River, and Madawaska River back home as well as the Rouge, Gatineau, and Jacques Cartier rivers in Quebec. I am a Wilderness First Responder and International Trauma & Life Support Provider. In my spare time, you’ll find me in a kayak on the river or cooking at home. During the winter I work on the Ski Patrol & Snow Safety Team at Nakiska Ski Area.

Raft Guide Guerson for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Senior Raft Guide)

Gerson Delgado - Peru

Hi, I’m Gerson from Peru. I live in a small valley in the Andes of Cusco or Inca empire. My studies are related to my culture and history, which is why I decided to study as an official tourist guide. I never imagined that my office would be on the river, haha. I have been a rafting guide for more than 10 years, and I have known and travelled through different rivers in this time. My work as a rafting guide opened my mind to doors and opportunities to improve work, travelling, living and sharing experiences with other people is what I love. During this time, I learned many skills as I worked as a safety kayaker, cargo boat guide in expeditions and stand-up paddle guide. In my free time, when I am off the river, I dedicate myself to carpentry and horses. I have a small ranch family where we offer horseback riding, and we give riding lessons to children and adults. I’m excited to work with Chinook. See you on the river!

Vikram the Senior Raft Guide at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide - (Senior Raft Guide)

Vikram Hirani - India

I am Vikram Hirani from India. I live in the lap of the Indian Himalayas in the holy town of Rishikesh.  I have been raft guiding and safety kayaking on many different rivers off and on for the last 10 years. I feel very lucky to live in the Himalayas and I was trained on the Himalayan Rivers also. My favourite river is my home river called Ganga. When I am not rafting I go hiking, kayaking & cycling. I am practicing yoga for the last 8 years and I can now teach students up to an intermediate level. I am very excited to be the part of the Chinook Rafting team again this summer.

Raft Guide Olowo for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Raft Guide (Senior Raft Guide)

Olowo Moses - Uganda

I’m Olowo Moses. I am Ugandan from Jinja, which is in East Africa. I´m aged 37, and I’ve been rafting for 18 years on three rivers in Uganda, Kenya, and India. I love doing community work, farming and listening to country music like ” The Best of John Cash”. My favourite foods are sandwiches, burgers, stews and local African meals, like posho, beans, and bananas.

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - David
Raft Guide (Senior Raft Guide)

David Romero Velo - Costa Rica

Hello there!
I’m David from Costa Rica, my nickname is Jesus, and I have done local studies related to tourism. I’m always looking for outdoor activities in my off time and work time. I’m so excited to meet you all and share this amazing adventure on the river, and I am grateful to life for these experiences.

Since 2017 I have worked full-time as a river guide, as in Costa Rica, we have plenty of fun and big rivers all year round rafting. This year will be my second season in the beautiful area of Banff with Chinook, and I’m excited, as last year was awesome, and we had many happy people in our team and on our rivers.

Pura Vida! See you in the rapids!

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Georgia
Raft Guide

Georgia McLeod - New Zealand

Kia ora! I’m Georgia, and I’m from New Zealand. I’m thrilled to join the Chinook Rafting crew. I have rafted on many beautiful rivers in Aotearoa, including the Kawarau, Shotover, and Buller rivers. I am excited to experience and share more amazing whitewater adventures with everyone in Canada! I love water in all forms; fresh, salty, and frozen! If I’m not out playing in the whitewater, you can find me sea kayaking, surfing, or skiing. I´m also a fan of hiking and rock climbing … anything outside really!

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Jo
Raft Guide

Joanne Birley - Scotland

Hi! I’m Jo, coming to Chinook Rafting from Scotland to join the raft team! This will be my first year as a raft guide for Chinook, and I couldn’t be more excited. I come from an adventure sports background, and I’ve been a white water kayaker for years, so I am very at home on the river and love spending time outdoors. Alongside kayaking, I’m also a keen mountain biker and skier! I can’t wait to explore some of the Canadian wilderness and spend the season living in such a beautiful part of the world.

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Liam
Raft Guide

Liam Schager - UK

Originally from England, I studied in Aberdeen and moved to Scotland. Now I´m Scottish at heart and my love of the outdoors accelerated by moving to Scotland. I am a keen kayaker, mountain biker, and skier, which has allowed me to travel around the world, pursuing what different regions have to offer. I love to cook, feed people and most importantly, feed myself. I have the most fun when outside with a bunch of like-minded people.

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Chris W
Raft Guide

Chris Welch - Scotland

Hey, I’m Chris, a 25-year-old raft guide from Scotland, and I will be new to the Chinook team this summer. I am generally happiest when I’m outdoors, and I am a ski instructor in winter. I love cheesy tunes, and my favourite breakfast food is class 4. I’m excited to raft the Kananaskis and Bow River with you this summer!

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Tom
Raft Guide

Tom Hay - Scotland

My name is Tom Hay. I was born in New Zealand, bread in Scotland, and now reside in Canada. I have been working as a river guide for the past two years in the Highlands of Scotland, and it is a pleasure sharing my enthusiasm for the outdoors with others. I have six years of white water kayaking experience, so I have spent plenty of time on the water. In my free time, I also climb, mountain bike and eat pizza (a true athlete’s meal)

Chris
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

Chris Burnham - UK/Canada

Originally from the UK, Chris is at home on rivers worldwide having kayaked and rafted for over 25 years in places like the UK, France, Italy, Norway, Argentina, USA, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Nepal, India & Zambia. He is a rafting examiner for the BC and AB River Outfitters Association, a certified kayaking instructor, a Swiftwater & Ice Rescue Technical Instructor for Rescue 3 International, and is an Emergency Medical and Advanced Wilderness First Responder. In his spare time, he is also a Volunteer Firefighter with the Banff Fire Department.

Chris also has a strong background in rope rescue and has worked for the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association. Chris brings a wealth of experience, skill and charisma to our team. Asked how his rafting career began, “I suppose it all started when I was 10 years old. My local Scout Group had just bought six new kayaks, so I started testing them out on a nearby river. After a year of weekly kayaking lessons, my dad bought me my first kayak, and before I knew it I was becoming hooked. My desire to combine both my passion for kayaking with my love for travelling eventually led me to train as a Whitewater Raft Guide.”

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Rachel
Raft Guide

Rachel Shallard - New Zealand

Kia Ora! I’m Rachel, and while I’ve lived in Canada for the past year and a half, I’m originally from Middle Earth – otherwise known as New Zealand. As a born and bred Kiwi, I’ve had many opportunities to explore our great backyard and have picked up a number of awesome activities such as mountain biking, canyoning, caving, backpacking, and whitewater kayaking. My love of the outdoors has allowed me to work in and travel several continents, with more to come (I hope)! My claim to fame is my ability to pronounce the longest place name in the world – 85 letters in length and the name of a mountain in NZ. Feel free to test me on that one!

Banff Chinook Rafting - Gabbi
Off-River Assistant

Gabbi Farkas - Canada

Hi everyone! My name is Gabbi, and this is my first season with Chinook Rafting. I am a recent grad moving to the Bow Valley from Ontario this summer, and I am looking forward to experiencing all that the mountains have to offer! When I’m not at the river, you can find me in the backcountry, climbing at the gym or taking photos of and learning about wildlife. I’m excited to meet you all! 🙂

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Fiona
Raft Guide

Fiona Telfer - Scotland

Hello, I’m Fiona from Scotland. I am delighted to join the team at Chinook as a raft guide. I am a ski and snowboard instructor in the winter, so I’m really keen on being outside and spending time with people who are stoked to be in such a beautiful environment! I love Mexican food. All dogs are very good boys (or girls). One of my pupils is larger than the other. And I have a very dry sense of humour. See you there! 😊

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Josh G
Raft Guide

Josh Goswell - UK

I grew up in the UK and France and had a great love of the outdoors and travel from an early age. After finishing my master’s in chemistry, I decided I should probably take some time off before continuing my studies and go on my first season.
Eight years and a lot of seasons later (through France, Greece, New Zealand, Japan, the UK and Canada), I figured the 9-5 lifestyle probably wasn’t for me. When I’m not working, you’ll find me cooking, skiing, building more drones or wandering around with a camera.

Driver Bastiaan with Chinook Rafting in Banff
Driver & Trip Assistant

Bastiaan de Bruijne - Canada

Born in the Netherlands I came to Canada for a new adventure. I worked the last 20 winters as a Snowmobile guide and the summers as a Hiking guide and later as a tour guide across Canada & Alaska. This is my second season with Chinook Rafting. On my days off you can find me hiking or biking the local trails.

Driver Hiro for Chinook Rafting in Banff
Driver & Trip Assistant

Hiro Miura - Japan/Canada

Hi, I am Hiro, a long time Bow Valley Resident. I have been involved with a lot of TV filming and guiding within Canada and around the world. You won’t see me on the river, but you will see me behind the handle. I will be your captain while you are on the bus.

Banff Chinook Rafting River Guide - Jo
Raft Guide

Momo Kamada - Japan

Hi! I’m Momo from Japan. I’ve been working as a river guide for three seasons in Japan. One was in Tokyo, and two other seasons in Niseko Hokkaido. This place has a very popular ski resort too, lots of powder snow we called japaw! And I like to snowboard, travel and go shopping! I’m excited to see the beautiful summertime in Canada!

Banff Chinook Rafting - Elina
Off-River Assistant

Elina Garklava - Latvia

Elina is from the flatlands of the northern country of Latvia. She is looking for adventures in the mountains across the world. Her mission is to picnic at the top of every mountain she can get her feet on. Now she’s ready to switch kayaking in the local rivers with larger rapids. This is her first season at Chinook Rafting.

Banff Chinook Rafting - Juli
Off-River Assistant

Juli Cook - Canada

Hi all!
My name is Juli. I’m from Huntsville, Ontario and have been experiencing mountain life for the past year in Banff. I’m in love with skiing, hiking and camping, anything to be outside. I’ve gotten the chance to do some amazing canoe trips down the Nahanni River and through Algonquin Park, and I am excited to get out on the rafts! I’m looking forward to an awesome season at Chinook.

James McKinlay
Raft Guide (Senior Trip Leader)

James McKinlay - Australia

From Australia, I started working in the outdoors in 2013 as a bushwalking, rock climbing, & rafting guide! Leading 10 day expeditions all around Australia, I discovered that my passion for the wild rivers surpassed my other hobbies and I have since raft guided on the Snowy, Murrumbidgee and Barron Rivers. If I’m not out paddling I’ll be out surfing, climbing, or doing pretty much anything to stay outside.