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.

Olowo Raft Guide
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Olowo Moses - Uganda

Hi, I’m Olowo from Uganda. I’ve been working on Class 5 rivers for over 10 years now on the White Nile in Uganda, the Ganges river in India, and the technical Tana river in Kenya. My roles varied from raft guiding customers down the class 4/5 rivers, safety kayaking, rowing the safety raft, and even teaching whitewater kayaking to our customers. I have experience on everything from 1 day trips to multi day trips of 3-5 days in length. This will be my first time to Canada and I’m really excited to be joining the Chinook Rafting team & rafting some new glacial rivers. See you soon Canada!

Dom
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Dominic Scott - Australia

Originally from down under I’ve been successfully avoiding winter for a few years all made possible by rafting in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This will be my third season at Chinook and I’m excited to return to the glacial fresh rivers and access to delicious poutine. In my spare time I climb, kayak, beat the other guides in Mario kart and part own Canmore’s least successful home brewing operation. Looking forward to seeing you all on the river!

Anil Raft Guide
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Anil Singh - India

Hi guys, I am Anil from India. I feel blessed to have be born in the Indian Himalayas in the holy town of Rishikesh. Forests and rivers were a part of my childhood, so I learnt to paddle when I was young on my home river the Ganga. I have been raft guiding and safety kayaking now for over 8 years on the Ganga, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi,Tons, Zhanskar, Indus, & Kaveri rivers in India and the river Inn and Otez in Austria. I have recently finished working at a whitewater rafting park in the United Arab Emirates. I am also part of the Indian Canoe Slalom Team and hold silver & bronze medals in national competitions. When I am not rafting you can find me kayaking, surfing, wakebording or playing cricket. I’m very excited to join the Chinook Rafting team this summer. See you guys on the river.

Guerson
Raft Guide (Trip Leader)

Guerson Yeret Delgado - Peru

Hi guys, I’m Guerson, but everyone calls me Manolo. I am from the Andes of the mountains of Cusco, Peru. I live in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a small town called Calca. I have been a raft guide, safety kayaker, cataraft guide and cargo raft guide on different rivers for 10 years now. I have experience working on 1 day trips and expeditions from 2-4 days. I feel very lucky to live in the Andes of Peru and I love my job. When I am not rafting I go horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and do some small woodworking. I like to be connected with nature and animals and I am very excited to be part of the Chinook Rafting team this summer. We’ll see you guys on the river!

James Haining Raft Guide
Raft Guide

James Haining - Australia

Hey guys! I grew up in the warm rainforests in Far North Queensland, Australia so I’m excited to have an opportunity to explore the Rocky Mountains playground. I have been rafting for 6 years now. I have rafted the Tully, Russell and Barron rivers in Far North Queensland and also rivers in Italy and Croatia. On my days off you’ll either find me exploring and keeping active or sitting at home watching sport.

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.

Calvin Raft Guide
Raft Guide

Calvin Parr - New Zealand

Hello Everybody, My name’s Calvin and I am from little old New Zealand. I’ve just finished a season guiding at Vector Wero Whitewater Park in New Zealand with the world’s highest man-made waterfall! I have a certificate in Outdoor Education and I love the outdoors and everything to do with it, especially the river. I love a bit of banter and travelling too. I also think potatoes are great and very underrated. Looking forward to seeing you all on the river this summer.

Maven
Raft Guide & Riverbase Manager

Maven Boddy - Canada

Well I’ve been training to be part of a company as wonderful and esteemed as Chinook for years. I got infected with a love of paddling outside when I was a very small child which has only spiraled into a passion for all outdoor activities since. My dreadlocks may be deceiving, but I study economics at the University of Alberta meaning that I am either the coolest economics student or most nerdy whitewater rafting 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.

Anna G
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!)

Sarah
Raft Guide & Riverbase Manager

Sarah Royce - Canada

Hello my name is Sarah and I’m super excited to be joining the Chinook team this summer! I’ve grown up paddling in Ontario and I’ve done whitewater trips on the Madawaska, Spanish, French and Dumoine River. I’ve been working as a Lifeguard for ten years during the summers, most recently as a member of the Port Stanley Beach Patrol. I’ve been living in the Bow Valley for the past three years now and I am stoked to get out on the water again this summer. In the winters I work Trail Crew at the Sunshine Village Ski Resort. When I’m not at work I enjoy climbing, hiking, skiing, and biking.

Ryan
Raft Guide

Ryan Falk - Canada

Hey there! I’m Ryan coming from the prairies of Manitoba. Growing up I spent the majority of my spare time as most Canadians do, at the hockey rink! After graduating from high school I made my way out to Alberta to see what the Rockies were all about, and I have been kicking around ever since. Over the summers, whenever I’m not working at Chinook, I’ll be out for a rip up the mountains, trying to reel in a big trout, or cheering on the Jets! Hope to see you all out on the rapids!

Sam-B
Raft Guide

Sam Beaver - Australia

Hello lovely folks! My name’s Sam Beaver, I’m an Australian who’s name has led him to chase his calling on the rivers of Canada. I studied outdoor education in Australia and I have been working as an outdoor educator/guide for 3 years throughout Australia attempting to get school students to love the outdoors as much as I do. From the mountains, to climbing rocks, to the river, as long as I’m outside I’m happy. This will be my first year working at Chinook Rafting and I’m incredibly excited to join the fantastic team already in place and to see you all out on the river in the beautiful Rockies!

Jesse
Raft Guide

Jesse Christopherson - Canada

Hey, I’m Jesse, and I’m from Alberta’s very own Grande Prairie. Hiking and rafting in the Rockies has been a passion for a while, so what better place to make home than Canmore. If I’m not summiting a mountian or rafting a river I’ll be flying down a hill on my longboard or letting my creative side run wild painting. This is my first year with Chinook Rafting and I’m proud to be member of the team, I hope to make a memorable summer for you out on the river!

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