Here at Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, safety is our number 1 priority! To increase your awareness about safety considerations, we expect all our guests to read over our Acknowledgement of Risk. Signature is required by all persons interested in joining any Glacier Guides and Montana Raft trip prior to trip departure. A parent or guardian is required to sign for those under the age of 18. The guest accepts that there are inherent risks in adventure travel. These risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to personal equipment, accidental injury or illness, or in extreme cases, permanent trauma or death.
WHAT GLACIER GUIDES PROVIDES
Each guided trip GGMR will provide a first aid kit, communication device (if necessary), bear spray (on hiking and biking trips), life jacket and splash gear (rafting), helmet (whitewater rafting and biking). If you’d like to see the packing list for each of our individual trips, you can visit those pages on our website.
*Glacier National Park has very limited to nonexistent cell service. We use radios and Garmins to fill in but even these do not always work. This is a remote and wilderness like setting. Evacuations can take many hours. Logan Health in Kalispell is approximately 53 minutes from West Glacier by car and there is a seasonal walk-in clinic in West Glacier.*
RESPONSIBILITY OF GUEST
- Read, sign & understand acknowledgement of risk prior to trip departure or renting equipment
- Watch videos provided on website
- Wear proper clothing & protective equipment suitable for trip & current conditions
- Listen to & follow guide instructions
- Listen to & follow rental instructions on renting equipment to keep you & equipment safe
- Practice “Leave No Trace” Principles on all GGMR trips
- Treat fellow guests & your guide with respect. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated
- Wear GGMR protective equipment at all times (PFD, helmets, etc). On guided raft and bike trips, guests are not permitted to wear personal protective gear
- Your children are your responsibility!
- Bring Epi-Pen or any other necessary medication
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft will make every effort to include those who may have difficulty navigating uneven or steep terrain, rocky shorelines or who are unable to enter/exit the raft on their own. Many of the above requirements can be met with extra assistance from guides, friends or family members.The goal of Glacier Guides and Montana Raft is to make our activities available for the widest range of people. Please call our office if you have questions or concerns regarding physical limitations or the requirements listed above.
-What are your guides’ qualifications?
Many of Glacier Guides and Montana Raft’s staff return each season. Our guides are required to be trained in safety courses such as Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR and Bear Management Training
-Will I be kept safe on the river during the trip?
Our guides go through guide training to prepare and help mitigate risks during your experience.. We categorize all of our trips at GGMR as adventure travel. There is always a level of risk that cannot entirely be avoided in order to keep the unique character of each trip. We want to make sure each guest is aware that adventure travel requires risk, but not so much as to dissuade guests from joining us on a rafting, hiking, fishing or biking trip. By joining us, you are representing that you understand everything described in our acknowledgement of risk forms that all guests are required to sign.
-What are the chances I will be a non-voluntary swimmer on a trip?
Chances of “going for a swim” depend on a lot of factors, many of which revolve around river conditions. The river we float is designated as Wild and Scenic, meaning it is undamned and therefore river levels are out of our control. In springtime, highwater can exist, which means river levels increase due to snowmelt in the mountains and/or heavy rainfall. Similarly, when our river levels are extremely low, obstacles in the water become more evident and if hit at the wrong angle, can tip the boat. At GGMR, all of our whitewater raft guides are trained in River Rescue. We assess water levels each morning before we launch for the day and, if necessary, will change the stretch of river we float if conditions warrant. Safety is the number one priority at GGMR, but there are situations in which we cannot control. Joining a whitewater rafting trip represents your choice to embrace those odds of taking a dip!
-How safe are hiking/backpacking trips?
Our guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR and National Park Service Bear Management Training. As with all other adventure travel, there are inherent risks that exist and it is the responsibility of each guest to know and understand those risks. Each guest is required to read, understand and sign GGMR’s acknowledgement of risk prior to each trip.
–What happens if a bike isn’t operating properly while I am out with a rental?
Glacier Guides spends an extensive amount of time maintaining and keeping our bikes in great shape to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable ride. Guests need to be familiar with bike before they leave the facility with a test ride and safety briefing. If there are any issues, we will address them at that time. On Going-to-the-Sun Road, there is no cell phone reception, only satellite reception (for example, Inreach or satellite phone). Glacier National Park patrols the road, but this is not on a schedule. Emergencies are best addressed by using an Inreach, sending someone for help or dealing with the emergency as your group. GGMR will rent out repair kits for $10 that include: 1 spare tube, a set of common allen wrenches, 2 tire wrenches, 1 CO2 inflation adapter, 1 CO2 cartridge, and 1 tire patch kit. These materials have proved sufficient for all minor backcountry mechanical issues. Major accidents or mechanical failures require specialty tools and will be assessed upon return to our rental location. If the kit is not used during the trip, GGMR will issue a refund.
-What if your bike carrier damages my car while it’s being put on or taken off?
Fitting bike racks to your car is your responsibility. However, all of our bike rental technicians are trained in fitting bike racks to many types of vehicles and are happy to help when asked. Keep in mind, while we are happy to help, we do not accept any responsibility for damage to your vehicle during this process. If you are not comfortable with doing it yourself or taking on this responsibility yourself, please check availability on our Bike Shuttle. When you reserve a spot on the Bike Shuttle, we help load and unload your bike.
-Do I need to worry about bears?
There are bears (black and grizzlies) in Glacier National Park. It is never a good idea to surprise or approach a bear. Hiking in groups significantly decreases your chances of having a negative bear encounter. There have not been any reported attacks on groups of four or more in Glacier National Park. (NPS 10/31/2021). Additionally, hiking and biking guides carry bear spray just in case and go through the National Park Service Bear Management training. Additionally, we have bear spray for rent in our office.
-What if I get hurt on one of your trips (raft, hike, fish, bike)
Our staff will do their best to help and assist in any injury that may occur. It is important to know, many of our trips happen in remote, wilderness, backcountry environments. There is limited to no cell phone reception. It is important that each guest carry insurance and check to see if it covers ambulance and air ambulance service. Emergency resources are limited in the recreational areas where we operate. It’s always a smart idea to back up your travels with travelers insurance.