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West Virginia Wildwater Association
Guidelines for River Trips


Trips organized by the WVWA are cooperative adventures among participants. WVWA functions solely as an aid to bring paddlers together to go on mutually arranged outings. WVWA does not sponsor no organize “guided” or “instructional” trips, unless announced as such, (e.g., the Beginner/Novice Boaters Clinic). Trip Coordinators announce that they welcome the company of other paddlers on trips they intend to take.

Trip groups are collectively responsible for the conduct of the outing. Each participant is individually responsible for judging his or her qualifications and for his or her safety on the river. By participating on one of these outings, you release the WVWA, its members, trip coordinators and fellow paddlers from any injuries due to any act or omission that may affect your safety or well-being.

You understand and accept that whitewater boating exposes you to various hazards, for example, boulders and other obstacles, strainers, bridge pilings, undercut or entrapping formations, changing conditions, cold, high water and other hazards, often in remote locations. Injuries and deaths occasionally occur due to these hazards.

You are responsible for learning to recognize river hazards and learning and practicing the techniques for avoiding these hazards. You are also responsible for acquiring boating safety and rescue skills commensurate with the level of difficulty of the river you are paddling.

Don’t endanger your life and the lives of others by trying to boat on water beyond your ability. Remember – most good paddlers develop by gradually increasing the difficulty of rivers they run over a period of several years.

You are solely responsible for the following decisions:

Please be considerate. Contact the trip coordinator by the Thursday night before the trip. Remember to contact the trip coordinator if you have to cancel. Your trip coordinator will appreciate the courtesy.

Trip Coordinators

Trip coordinators expect that the paddlers who participate on a trip have the skills necessary to handle the difficulty rating of the selected river. Trip coordinators are volunteers and receive no pay. Their functions are to get the group to the selected river at the same time, to arrange a shuttle, and to respond to inquiries to the best of their knowledge. However, the trip coordinator may never have run the selected river, or if the have run the river it may have been under conditions different that what will be encountered on the current trip.

Your trip coordinator may not have had any organized or formal training in whitewater boating skills, boating safety skills, first aid, or CPR. If you prefer to go on a trip only with a trip coordinator who has organized or formal training in these areas, or who has a lot of experience, it is your responsibility to ask him or her about his or her training and experience. It is solely your decision whether the trip coordinator’s qualifications are satisfactory to you.

The coordinator is under no legal duty to perform any of the tasks for which he or she is qualified, and the coordinator in not liable for any negligence in performance. The trip coordinator is not responsible for, among other things, your training or safety, or for judging your qualifications. Bear in mind that the purpose of the trip is to provide an opportunity for paddlers with similar skills to meet and boat together. It is not a teaching or training exercise.

Contacting Trip Coordinators

Please be considerate. Call the trip coordinator by the Thursday night before the trip. Remember to call the trip coordinator if you have to cancel. Your trip coordinator will appreciate the courtesy.

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