Our Story

ABOUT CHINOOK RAFTING

  • Chinook Rafting is the family rafting company!
  • Kids raft for free on their birthday.
  • We have MILD and WILD rivers for every level of adventure seeker, even those that aren’t sure!
  • No hidden extra costs once you book or arrive, all of your personal and safety equipment and experienced guide are included in the price.
  • We are over 30 years old, we know our rivers and 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 you to experience a great day, a highlight of your trip to the Canadian Rockies, and in some cases, a day of a lifetime.
  • We know you will come back for another visit after rafting with us – just check out our TripAdvisor reviews!
About Our Guides

MEET OUR TEAM

  • 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.
Chris the Raft Guide, Operations Manager and Senior Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Operations Manager)

Chris Burnham - UK/Canada

Originally from the UK, Chris is at home on rivers worldwide having kayaked and rafted for over 20 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.

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.”

Richard the Raft Guide Senior Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Head Guide)

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, New Zealand, Honduras and other gems. With a total of 15 years 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, building bamboo paddles or day dreaming about ice cream, pizza or cookies, in no particular order. His all-time favourite quote: “Njom njom njom njom” – Cookie Monster.

James the Raft Guide Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
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.

Duncan the Raft Guide at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Duncan Brown - Canada

Hello fine people! When I’m not paddling rivers in a raft or by canoe, you might catch a glimpse of me – long flowing cape streaming in the wind – zooming around on my lime green unicycle. If you blink and miss me whilst unicycling, I may stop for a while to enjoy an ice cream. My official classification should be part monkey because I make a hobby out of climbing trees. When the rivers freeze over, I do some laps on the ski slopes any chance I get. Did you know: Alberta is not just mountains? It’s also flat in some places, and that’s where I call home.

Vikram the Raft Guide Trip Leader at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

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 8 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 6 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 this summer.

Annika
Raft Guide

Annika Bunkis - Canada

A recent graduate of Algonquin College’s Outdoor Adventure Business program, Annika is beyond excited to be joining the Chinook Rafting team in 2019. She’s previously guided rafts on the Ottawa River and just got back from a spring whitewater rafting expedition in Idaho, USA. When Annika is not on the river you can find her on her yoga mat, rock climbing or training Brazilian jujitsu.

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Raft Guide

Shannon the Riverbase Manager at Chinook Rafting in the Canadian Rockies
Head Riverbase Manager

Shannon Cook - Canada

Originally from Ontario, Shannon made the initial move out west in 2010. She has always had a passion for the outdoors, adventure sports and travel. In 2005, Shannon tried white water kayaking for the first time. After that, she was hooked. Since then, she has been able to experience rafting and white water kayaking in Canada, Ecuador and New Zealand. Shannon is thrilled to be back for her 4th season as part of Chinook Rafting 2019 team.

AnnaG
Riverbase Manager

Anna Gauthier - Canada

Hi! My name is Anna and I grew up in a small Québec town with many cows and no mountains!  After working for many years in Quebec City office jobs, I decided I wanted to see what the world has to offer. That is when the outdoors became part of my life. While I was traveling, I started hiking, kayaking and camping. Since then, I have adopted a totally different lifestyle, combining simplicity, seasonal jobs in beautiful places, and traveling during off-seasons. By sharing my stories with people, they can see that traveling and outdoor adventures are more accessible than they think. I have experience working at rafting bases on the Jacques-Cartier and Kicking Horse rivers, and I am now very excited to be a part of the Chinook team this summer! Fun facts:  I have been to more countries than my age (take a guess…) and I am scared of water (if I can raft, so can you!)

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