This course covers the ACA’s full L4 SWR Curriculum including the Z Drag, Rescue Vest, Cinches, and scenarios with a dummy. There is an emphasis on preparation and prevention as well as hazard recognition and avoidance throughout the course since an accident that is prevented is better than a successful rescue. This course meets or exceed the 1006 standard set forth by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA 1006 Chapter 12 Levels 1 & 2).
L4 SWR Course Requirements:
- A reasonable level of comfort paddling and swimming Class II-III rapids
- Whitewater boat with floatation bags as appropriate and adequate volume and hull speed to tow/carry a swimmer, paddle, and skirt (if appropriate) – canoes, SUP’s and rafts are welcome
- Helmet and PFD in good condition (does not need to be a rescue PFD)
- (1) piece of 1” tubular webbing 20 ft. long with the ends melted to prevent fraying
- (3) locking carabiners – (“Keylock nose” preferred-make sure these do not have any steel components)
- (2) pieces of 5 or 6 mm accessory cord 72” long with the ends melted to prevent fraying (It’s OK if these are already tied in to prussik loops.)
- Appropriate clothing to be in Class II-III rapids for several hours continuously. Because of long periods in the water, SWR classes are much colder days on the river than a typical paddling day. This class will be on both dry land and in the water so layers that you can add / remove easily are a good idea. Also, students might want to consider wearing long pants or leggings to protect from river rocks.
- Suitable footwear that will remain on and protect your feet when wading and swimming in the river (sandals or Crocs are not recommended).
- Food, water, sunscreen, and whatever else you need for two FULL days of learning in an outdoor setting.
- A towel and dry clothes for after class
- Completed waiver and health form which were sent to you as an attachment via email
- Throwbag if you have one. If you do not have one, we have several to loan
- Although not a course requirement, a first aid kit is recommended for anyone on the river.
This course will be based out of Glasgow, VA. If looking for a hotel, nearby towns are Natural Bridge, Buena Vista, and Lexington, VA. There are several campgrounds in the area that can be easily found with an internet search of either Glasgow, VA or Natural Bridge, VA. Some are a little pricey so you may want to reach out to others on this list to split a campsite. Here are a few options:
Free primitive camping in the National Forest near the DGIF boat ramp in Snowden, VA near these coordinates.
Cave Mountain Lake (probably the most reasonably priced campground in the area)
Stanimal’s 328 Hostel & Shuttle Service is a hotel in Glasgow that caters to thru hikers so may be reasonably priced as well.
Meet Time and Place:
We will get started Saturday morning at 9:00 am at the DGIF Locher Landing put in for the James River in Glasgow, VA. This location can be found HERE. From here, we’ll set shuttle and then head down river to paddle the Balcony Falls section of the James (Glasgow to Snowden) to access our venue.
You’ve executed the rescue but now have an injured patient to treat and possibly evacuate. Get the medical skills you need to help the injured HERE.