Jon Knauf

On the river with Mountain High

With a new activity and website up and running for the 2016 summer season, Mountain High Adventures is set to splash into their 21st season.

With a new activity and website up and running for the 2016 summer season, Mountain High Adventures is set to splash into their 21st season. Since 1995, the company has added five activities that get paddlers out to a number of waterways in the area including the Elk and Bull Rivers as well as Koocanusa and Surveyors Lake. They offer whitewater rafting, kayaking, scenic floats, stand up paddle board tours and SUPsquatch tours.

According to the owner of Mountain High Adventures, Jon Knauf, the tours are not just for whitewater warriors. The company has an adventure suitable for a wide range of people.

“We have an activity for anyone; our whitewater rafting trips are geared for people eights years and older, whitewater kayaking and stand up paddle boarding is geared for 13 years and older and our scenic floats and SUPsquatch tours are for everyone,” he said.

Knauf and his employees share a love and admiration for watersports and getting people on the water.

“I have a passion for water and adventure. I started out as a surfer, kayaker and snowboarder when I was younger,” he said. “Moving to Fernie 18 years ago and getting involved with Mountain High Adventures allowed me to incorporate those passions into a lifestyle and business venture.”

A typical adventure with Mountain High starts at 9 a.m. and varyies in length depending on activity and if a half day or full day was booked. According to Knauf, participants choosing to raft the Raging Elk Canyon will have a full day and ample amounts of scenery and whitewater ahead of them.

“We meet at our office at the Stanford Inn then take a 20 minute bus ride to Elko where you get your first look at the spectacular Raging Elk Canyon. We gear up and have our safety instructions for the upcoming 16  km of wilderness and whitewater rafting. We stop for a delicious riverside lunch at the mouth of the Wigwam River with some cliff jumping and then head back into the rafts for more action. The trip returns to the Stanford for a photo slide show of the days adventure.”

According to Knauf, Mountain High Adventures is the only company to offer SUPsquatch tours in Canada. The recently introduced Stand Up Paddle sasquatch – or SUPsquatch – gives tours the opportunity to paddle the same large inflatable as a team, giving the company a unique opportunity for river and lake tours.

“The SUPsquatch is a 17 foot long inflatable paddle board which holds up to nine paddlers. We currently have the only Supsquatch in Canada and are the only ones in the world doing guide river tours.”

Knauf says that while many people’s nerves are high at the start of most trips, by the end of the journey everyone leaves grinning and gratified.

“People come to live the adventure whether it’s running big whitewater or a scenic family float. They arrive stoked or nervous but they always leave having had an amazing time,” he said.

To reserve a seat or standing spot, it is best to book online in advance through their new website, RaftFernie.com.