At Alpine Rafting, our mission is to engage our customers in authentic, unforgettable adventures. We endeavour to bring you an unparalleled experience on the Kicking Horse River. In fact, we guarantee it. We believe that our high standards, driven by passion and over three decades of experience, in turn provide the most complete, professional and authentic river experience. Come & discover your next adventure with us.
THE EARLY DAYS
How did we get to where we are? It hasn’t always been an easy go for us, but it’s been a fun ride. The 80’s was an interesting time, we served wine at lunch, clients didn’t wear helmets, and the rafts were not self bailing, In the 90’s the internet came along, and Alpine Rafting was the first rafting company in the area to have a website, imagine that! We spent our first summers living in a school bus that we lovingly converted into a house. The crew was small but brought a lot of talent to the table.
Just over a decade ago, Jimmy decided to overhaul our fleet of grey rafts to a handful of candy red rafts. Yes, they really do look yummy! The bold red and white are an awesome contrast to the blues and greens of the river landscape and as such, their presence is commanding and unmistakable. As we expanded our fleet of red rafts every year, something never changed. It never got “old” for us. When another shiny raft arrives, it still feels like when the first one showed up. We are just as excited as the day we started. From our humble bus beginnings to rafting leaders in the west, we know what it takes to have fun. And why is that? Because that is what we’re after ourselves.
Jimmy & Val met 15 years ago when Val came to Golden, BC to train as a guide on the Kicking Horse River. In 2009, after almost a decade of adventures together, we got married while travelling in Central America. After an epic day on the river, we wed…just the two of us and hundreds of fireflies lighting up the night sky. When we returned home to Golden we married (legally, this time) on the Timberframe Pedestrian bridge, with the Kicking Horse River flowing beneath us.
Jimmy has run the Kicking Horse River more than anybody out there. 23 years and counting. He can be found at all hours of the night, welding and customizing raft frames, sewing raft floors, making everything ‘just so’. He is talented in his craft and has an eye for perfection… well, let’s just say that perfection takes time! We affectionately refer to this around the river-base as “Jimmy time”.
And myself? I don’t get to have as much of a textbook adventure as Jimmy does, that’s for sure. I’m sales. I’m marketing. I’m scooping your ice cream. I’m running at you with a pen and a waiver because we absolutely must leave on time this morning!! What I like to call the opposite of “Jimmy time”. Between our two kids and the business, my life is full. I have found my passion living and breathing our brand. My adventures come from the tales that return from the river every day. From our clients, guides, operations and office teams – it is a privilege to work with such an eclectic and spirited team day in and day out.
Over the years, with the growth of the company came the fear that our ‘mom and pop’ style would have to give way to a more corporate culture. But it still works great. Fun has prevailed. We’re still the same old Jimmy and Val and we still have those days where it feels like the first time.
– VAL PLEYM
Just Wine partners with the finest bars, restaurants, wineries and retailers from around the world!