We’ve been riding whitewater for years and we still can’t get enough of it! The sense of wonder you get coming around the next bend in the river. The surge of adrenaline when glacial water splashes you for the first time.
The river is magic and it will recharge you in a way that’s hard to describe – come and see for yourself!
Our story has been anything but ordinary.
We met on the Kicking Horse two decades ago and began our travel adventures together. We spent our wedding day rafting (of course), then we married on the banks of the Rio Congrejal in Honduras. In our first year of marriage we built a tiny home out of an old school bus. We share a passion for adventure and the great outdoors and we love to work together to achieve something unique and exciting.
We built Alpine Rafting from the ground up, inspired by our shared love of Kicking Horse river rafting. We invested everything back into the company to make sure the rafts and gear were the absolute best. You’ll notice our family values trickle down into our trip offerings; from the fairest pricing and lots of family friendly adventures.
Our first office was a tiny 400 square foot cabin that Jimmy built and every year we have been in business we have grown steadily. As the fleet expands every year, the challenges and rewards of life on the river never get old. When we cook dinner for the team or throw a staff party on the river, we put just as much effort in (and get as much joy out of it!) as the early days.
We are just as excited about Alpine Rafting as the day we started!
With 25 years and counting on the Kicking Horse River, Jimmy knows these waters like the back of his hand! He grew up in Golden, BC and has had Kicking Horse River in his backyard for over 4 decades. Those early trips down the river as a boy shaped his future forever.
As kids, Jimmy & his brother got their hands on some old wet-suits and pool flutter-boards and would ‘run’ the easier sections of the river. At 15 years old while working at the local grocery store, Jimmy saved up for his first whitewater kayak. 30 years and many kayaks later (just ask Jimmy how many kayaks he has) Jimmy’s passion for rivers is alive & well.
These days, he can usually be found at the Alpine base, welding and customizing raft frames, sewing raft floors, and working on an endless series of renovations! He’s the one who makes everything ‘just so’. At the moment he’s building a timber pavilion for Alpine Rafting’s Riverside BBQ Lunch area. His signature is definitely the Alpine Rafting timber arches that he constructed around the property.
Many of our Kicking Horse river rafting tours start with the spark of a ‘Jimmy idea’, and have grown to become nationally acclaimed adventures, like our Wapta Falls Wild & Scenic Tour. Several of the tours he developed are what we like to call, Authentically Alpine Jimmy is creative, has an eye for detail and is meticulous. From the moment you step onto the Alpine Rafting property, until you say goodbye – you can be sure Jimmy has been the visionary & executor behind it all.
Val grew up in Ontario until the age of 17. After her first year of university, she headed west in her red Chevy pickup. Her plan was to train to be a raft guide on the Kicking Horse River.
In the late spring of ’98, her training was going okay. However, there was just one issue – she seemed to be spending more time in the river than in the raft!
Almost every day it seemed she would fall out into the swirling rapids and by the end of her training, Val had swam most of the river! Lucky for her, she was a lifeguard and a great swimmer. But probably even luckier still, she realized her strengths were not in the guiding world.
Instead, Val has found her passion living and breathing the Alpine brand. Having completed an Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation and BA Geography the art of sales, marketing and brand management all come very naturally to her.
While her adventures these days mostly come vicariously through the tales told by those who ride the river every day, she’s committed to making the Alpine experience the best it can possibly be. Her fave things to do are spending time on the Columbia River with her family as well as Stand Up Paddleboarding the easier sections of the Kicking Horse River