Disaster on the Clearwater

Sometimes you beat the river, and sometimes the river beats you. Master rafter William McGinnis shares this real-life account of rafting past the limit on Canada's wild Clearwater River. More

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About William McGinnis

Born and raised in Richmond, California, Bill McGinnis started training as a river guide at age 16 with one of California's first river rafting outfitters.

After earning a Masters degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University, Bill founded Whitewater Voyages in 1975 with two rafts and a $500 gift from his grandmother.

One of the true pioneers of white water rafting, Bill has successfully built his company, Whitewater Voyages, to be the largest California rafting company guiding more people on more trips in California than any other California rafting company.

In numerous bid-prospectus competitions (for rafting permits) throughout its twenty-five-year history, Whitewater Voyages has been selected by the U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management above all its competitors – on the basis of guide training standards, history of safe trips, and the overall quality of its camps, schools and trips.

Bill McGinnis - Paddler of the CenturyAn internationally known mentor for guides, outfitters and whitewater enthusiasts of all sorts, Bill has written numerous books and articles about rafting, including the novel Kern River, Whitewater Rafting, The Class V Briefing, River Signals and The Guide's Guide Augmented, which are used in the Whitewater Voyages guide training program as well as by guides and outfitters throughout the world.

Bill's most recent book The Guide's Guide Augmented, which is designed to help guides and outfitters increase the fun, safety and overall quality of their trips, presents a comprehensive philosophy and detailed methods for creating what Bill calls Deep Fun: Life enhancing trips which entertain, inspire, educate, thrill, heal and delight!

While he has a number of first descents and pioneering raft runs in California and beyond to his credit, McGinnis says it is his influence on guiding that he is most proud of. "My goal is to help foster an inclusive, nurturing style of guiding that helps people move from fear to confidence to joy." he says. "The idea is to inspire openness, trust and true camaraderie."

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