Kananaskis River and Horseshoe Canyon Rafting Trips

2021 COVID-19 PRACTICES

Hello Rafters!

We are stoked to open and can’t wait to take you rafting!

The team here at Chinook Rafting would like you to know that safety is our priority.  We want to assure you that we are taking the pandemic very seriously and have implemented a number of new protocols in order to comply with every government regulation regarding COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, we are ready to adapt with it and change our practices accordingly.

Here’s a brief summary of our 2021 COVID-19 protocols:

  • All equipment (including rafts, paddles, buses, and wetsuits etc) will be scrupulously sanitized between uses.
  • Our base is now a “Face-mask Mandatory” zone (please ensure everyone in your group brings a face-mask). At our base we will provide hand sanitizer for everyone, and facilitate social distancing.
  • We will provide, and require use of, a Perspex face-shield for every guest on our transport and on the rafts.
  • We will never fill our rafts to full normal capacity.
  • Our friendly, capable staff will be trained and supported in maintaining a safe environment throughout the season.

If you are interested in more detail, please keep reading below.

Important Updates:

Guide wearing a mask

Here’s How Things Have Changed In Different Stages Of Your Trip

We truly believe that heading outdoors to go rafting is one of the best things to be doing right now, and hope that our transparent protocols give you peace of mind too. If you don’t find the answers to your questions here on our website, please get in touch with our friendly team. They will be more than happy to talk through any concerns you have. At Chinook Rafting, the only thing we care about more than getting out on the river is making sure we are doing so safely for everyone!

Here’s some more comprehensive details about how we have adapted different stages of your trip:

During Booking:

  • We can accommodate groups of 2 or more.
  • For river safety reasons we must have at least 4 passengers per raft.  This means smaller groups (2,3,4,5 passengers) will likely be sharing a raft with another group. We’ll be providing face-shields for you to wear in the raft.  We will ensure that space is maintained between groups within the raft, and that the raft is not filled to full normal capacity.
  • For larger households (people who do not need to stay socially distant from each other), the maximum number of guests allowed in one raft is 8, on the Kananaskis River trip, including children.  On the Horseshoe Canyon the maximum for larger households is 7 passengers.  We are very happy to split groups between two or more rafts if you have a household of more than 7/8.

Before Your Trip:

  • After booking, you will receive an email asking you to complete a waiver online. This speeds up our check-in process and allows us to minimize touching of shared surfaces etc. Please ensure each member of your group completes their own waiver form.
  • The day before your trip, we will send you an email reminding you of the questions we will ask you for your Declaration of Health. These are:
    • Have you, or anyone in your party, been outside of the country at any point in the past 14 days?
    • Are you, or anyone in your party, displaying any symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Have you, or anyone in your party, been in close, unprotected, company with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days?

When You Arrive At Our Base:

  • We will greet you, and ask you to make a Declaration of Health.  This means we will ask:
    • Have you, or anyone in your party, been outside of the country at any point in the past 14 days?
    • Are you, or anyone in your party, displaying any symptoms of COVID-19?
    • Have you, or anyone in your party, been in close, unprotected, company with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days?

If you, or anyone in your party, answers yes to any of the above questions, we will not be able to take you rafting.

  • Once everyone has made a declaration of health, we’ll get you kitted out with all the gear you need to stay safe and warm on the river. ALL OF OUR GEAR IS SCRUPULOUSLY DISINFECTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER EVERY TRIP.
  • You’ll get changed next to or in your car, as we do not have a changing room this year. We do find that most guests prefer changing next to their cars in other seasons too.

Getting To The River:

We will transfer from the base to the river using our fleet of school buses. All participants will be required to wear a face-mask (please bring your own) AND face-shield (provided by us) on the bus.

The transfer takes about 15 minutes, and you will not be required to share a seat with anyone who is not in your immediate party.

On The River:

  • Every participant is required to wear a face-shield (provided by us) while on the raft.
  • If you book as a smaller group (2,3,4 or 5 participants) then please expect there to be approximately 4-6 total passengers (and a guide) in your raft.
  • You may be sharing the raft with another group, but we will make sure there is always an empty seat between you and another group. We will never fill the raft to capacity, unless you are a large household on one booking.
  • We do ask you not to wear a fabric face-mask on the river, as they can become a hazard for breathing in a watery environment!

After The Trip:

  • We will transfer back to the base using our school buses again (5-minutes for the Kananaskis River, 15-minutes for the Horseshoe Canyon). Then, staff will help you to drop off your gear. You’ll see our dedicated guides begin the disinfecting process right away!
  • We’ll have photos of your trip on display. They’ll be available at low resolution for free on the internet, or you can buy them on a USB.
  • We’ll go our separate ways once you’re ready. We’re always sad to say goodbye, but we trust that you will have had a great time and maybe we’ll see you again soon!

Other Things That Have Changed:

  • We are asking you to please stay at home if you feel any COVID-19 related symptoms. This is a government regulation, for everyone’s safety. For an overview of the symptoms of concern, click here.
  • While we’re taking every reasonable precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19, If you are in a high-risk group for COVID-19, we recommend that you do not come rafting with us this summer.

We have worked hard to implement these changes. We closely monitored recommendations for precautionary measures from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, Alberta Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. These recommendations are summarized for commercial rafting by PROAOA (Professional River Outfitters Association of Alberta) in the “Best Practises for Alberta Commercial River Operations”, and we follow these best practices at Chinook Rafting.

Frequently Asked Questions

CAN I COME RAFTING WITH MY FRIENDS?

Rafting is a great activity to do with friends! However, you do need to keep in mind that there is not enough space in a raft to be socially distant from those in your group while in the raft.  That’s why we’re asking you to book with your household, for now.

We will make sure there is always an empty seat between you and another group, and that the raft is not filled to full normal capacity.

Our minimum booking size this year is 2 people, and the maximum number of guests in one raft is 8 on the the Kananaskis River and 7 on the Horseshoe Canyon, including children. If you have further questions about how to structure your group, please contact us and our staff would be glad to assist.

WILL I BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCING?

Physical distancing has been promoted by the Government of Canada as the most effective action we can all take against the spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, we have adjusted our rafting operation to enable physical distancing as much as possible.

  • At the base – you’ll see signs and other measures around the base showing you how to move safely through the area without having to be close proximity to other groups.
  • During safety and gear talks – our guides and staff will communicate clearly to ensure that everyone can hear, without needing to be close to other groups.
  • On the river – you may be sharing the raft with another group, but we will make sure there is always an empty seat between you and the group, as well as around the guide, and everyone will be required to wear the provided face shield.

Notes on physical distancing: You will be expected to be close, sometimes touching, with the people in your booking party, since you’ll be sitting near each other in the boat.

If you refuse to observe our social distancing measures, we will be obligated to ask you to leave the trip. Physical distancing is now a government-enforced regulation, so we do need to take it seriously on our raft trips.

WHAT OTHER MEASURES ARE YOU TAKING AGAINST COVID-19?

At Chinook Rafting, we are taking the issue of COVID-19 very seriously. We have implemented many new protocols this year to keep us in line with the most up to date government guidelines.  These include:

  • Stringent equipment hygiene – we’ll be disinfecting every single piece of gear you see and use after every single usage. Paddles, rafts, lifejackets, shuttle vehicles, wetsuits, booties, rainjackets, you name it.
  • Changes in our shuttle procedure – in 2021, everyone in your group will need to wear a non-surgical face-covering and a provided face shield during the transport to the river. You will not be required to share a seat with anyone who is not in your immediate party, and all our buses are scrupulously disinfected after every trip.
  • Mask requirements – We have a strict policy for using masks when travelling in our vehicles. This means that all guests are REQUIRED to wear a mask and a face shield when in our shuttle. Our staff will be wearing masks when handing our gear, or driving a vehicle, and they’ll have their mask available and ready to put on at all times.
  • Hand sanitizing stations – we’ll have hand sanitizer available at every turn. It will be available at the base, the put-in, the take out, and even on the river.  We encourage everyone to use it and help us keep everyone safe. You are more than welcome to bring your own hand sanitizer.
  • Physical distancing – see previous question.

WILL RAFTING STILL BE FUN, WITH ALL THESE NEW REGULATIONS?

One clear answer here:  YES! Our enthusiastic, professional guides are ready to whisk you through the rapids and entertain you with stories of this pristine environment.

We can’t think of any better way to blow away the blues of quarantine than with this outdoor adventure.  Plus, we have literally spent months working out the fine details of how to adjust to the pandemic while rafting, so you can just sit back and enjoy our fun-fuelled experience with peace of mind.