Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys

Whitewater Rafting

White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers

Zooraft.com  (509)493-2641

A Zoller Family Operation Since 1973!

Zoller's Guide School

Sign up now for the Zoller's Whitewater Raft Guide School. This 4 day course is for river enthusiasts who wish to take their whitewater experience to the next level and/or guide private or commercial whitewater trips.


4-Day Class May 22nd - 25th 2020
Cost per person: $550

Want a private river school? Just book 10 students and we will customize your class for any springtime dates.

Guide School class of 2015

Highlights of the Whitewater Rafting Guide Training School:

You guide the raft!

Why just be a paddling participant when you could captain a whitewater raft through class III+ whitewater and learn technical moves that will gracefully take a whitewater raft through the rapids? Becoming a whitewater guide is far more than the maneuvering of a raft, it involves lots of fun gear for both on and off the river.

Get trained in whitewater rescue skills.

Learning to safely guide a raft down a river is only half the challenge in the great outdoors. What if an unforeseen circumstance should put you and your crew in harm's way, or you come upon a fellow boater in distress? Your rescue training plus practicing these skills will put you in a position to help others without putting yourself in unreasonable danger.

Gear is King!

Great river gear is the only way to start a great river expedition. See and touch the latest in rafts, paddles, rescue equipment, and clothing. Start prepared. end safe.

Overview of the school

This is NOT your average river school!

What you typically find in a whitewater rafting school is the promised recruitment of seasonal guides for an outfitter. Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys goes the opposite direction and customizes their river schools for those who have a passion for do-it-yourself (DIY) rafting. Whether it is a day trip on the White Salmon River, or an expedition trip down the Rogue, Zoller's wants to train you to be a competent and confident leader on the river.

Whitewater rafting is an amazing way to share experiences with friends and there is no better adventure than to be a do-it-yourself raft guide. In each group outing there must be at least one person who is qualified and competent to make the outing a success. Zoller's Whitewater Rafting Training School will provide you with lessons that train you to safely guide a whitewater raft, assess risks, address them, plan well for fun and safety and understand what equipment to use for your specialized outing.

Our training sessions are held on and in the river over a four day period where students and instructors will camp out together, share meals, stories (mostly river guide lies) and become a river community of their own. Each student is responsible for their own camping gear, river wear, camping gear, breakfast and dinner (lunch provided each day). Mosts students camp out on the river while some choose to stay at local lodging facilities.

Day one training starts at the Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys headquarters on the White Salmon River where we will assemble, and then head for the Klickitat River just a few minutes to the east. Day four ends on the Klickitat River where our base camp for training takes place.

Each student is responsible for their personal river clothing.

  • Dry Suits or Wet Suits
  • Neoprene river shoes
  • USGS approved PFD
  • Helmet
  • Tent - Pad - Sleeping bag - and other personal effects for camping in a river environment.
  • Camp cooking gear with breakfast/dinner supplies or dine at local establishments. Lunch provided each day.

Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys provides: All rafts, rafting gear, rescue gear, qualified trainers, lunch each day, transportation to/from base camp to daily training sites.


Day One: Meet @ Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys Headquarters

  • 9:00 - Meet and Greet
  • Orientation to four day course
  • Checking and re-checking of personal equipment
  • 9:30 - Whitewater equipment overview and rigging.
  • 10:30 On-River Session - White Salmon River
  • This session is broken into three components.
    • 1) How to utilize a paddle crew to meet your needs.
    • 2) Learn specific guide paddle strokes. How and when to use them.
    • 3) Understanding hydraulics and how to utilize them to your favor.
  • Sack lunches will be served mid-ways through this session.
  • 4:00 - Get into dry clothing, load rafts on trailers and take the 45 minute drive to base camp on the Klickitat River.
  • 4:45 - Students set up their tents and get settled in. (some students may opt for motel lodging)
  • Campfire time! Sit, relax, socialize and tell lies about epic adventures.

Day Two

  • 9:00 - Gear Up! On River Session - Klickitat River (Hatchery to Stenson Flat)
  • This session is broken into two components.
    • Practicing guiding skills: Ferry lines and Eddy Lines
    • Understanding specific hazards i.e. strainers, wrap rocks, keeper holes
  • This session will have us rafting past base camp where we will stop for lunch and then continue downstream.
  • 3:00 - In River Session - Klickitat River Base Camp
  • This session is broken into three components
    • Swimming easy whitewater
    • Shallow to moderate on foot water river crossings (solo and group)
    • Throw Bag rescue
  • Campfire time, but many will probably head for bed after an amazing day.

Day Three

  • 9:00 - Gear Up! On-River Session - Klickitat River (Base Camp to Ice Plant)
  • This session is broken into three components
    • Continued guiding skills
      • 1)Utilizing Ferry Lines and Eddy Lines
      • 2) Reading whitewater and hazards
    • In water practice of flipping rafts
    • Utilizing ropes and mechanical advantage
  • Lunch mid-ways on river.
  • 2:00 - Potato Rock Session (Rescues in swift water)
    • Swift water swimming
    • Throw - Row - Go procedures
    • Live Bait rescue

Day Four

  • 9:00 - On River Session. Upper Klickitat - Parrots Crossing to Base Camp - Going big!
  • Skills testing trip. Each student will be asked to demonstrate effectively the following elements.
    • Proper crew use and ability to navigate.
    • Pointing out hazards and verbalizing a plan prior to encounter
    • Throw bag rescue
    • Swift water swim
  • Lunch on River
  • 3:30 - Break Camp and say good bye

Completion of the course does not guarantee that your competence will be of such to guide commercial whitewater trips. Each guide will have to demonstrate their learned skills to their potential employer.


Please contact Mark Zoller to discuss details of this school at length. 509-493-2641 rafting@zooraft.com

Zooraft Be The Team
Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys

White water Rafting 


Portland Oregon 

across the

Columbia River Gorge 


Washington State

1248 Hwy 141

White Salmon, WA 

98672 (509) 493-2641
Copyright © 2018

Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys 

, inc.
Zoller's operates with the 1st ever White Salmon Wild & Scenic River special use permit issued by the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area / USDA and is an equal opportunity employer. .