White water rafting?

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    Dec 09, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
    What's your favorite river for white water rafting? Its almost time to submit permits for the new year and I'm looking for a good adventure! So let me know your favorite and why!
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    Dec 12, 2010 7:55 PM GMT
    Why not taking up whitewater kayaking? There are more deaths due to whitewater rafting than kayaking. This may be surprising but here is why. Inexperienced raters pile into a raft and float down a very dangerous river like the Upper Gauley relying 100% on the skills of the raft guide. Sometimes the inexperienced boaters cause accidents to happen.

    In kayaking you will usually take (or should take) a swift water rescue class before trying anything bigger than class II/III. You should learn to roll the kayak and once you have a bomb proof roll you will be far safer in your boat than floating down the river. With kayaking you still rely on a guide to take you down a river the first time that is at the edge of your skill level but you could get out and scout it or boat scout it if you don't have a guide. It is a fantastic workout and an absolutely awesome sport.

    Knowing what I know about the dangers in rivers (undercuts, sieves, foot entrapments, strainers, just to name a few) I would be hard pressed to take a raft down a class V river without knowing if I could trust the other rafters.

    Forgive me if I sounding like Debbie downer. Whitewater is a blast, rafting or kayaking. I am trying to sell whitewater kayaking more than ditching rafting. That being said people overestimate the risk of kayaking while underestimating the risk of rafting. So if you do go rafting listen very carefully to the self rescue briefing they give you and take it seriously. Go with a team that follows the instruction of the guide carefully and when going through a dangerous rapid do your best to stay in the raft.
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    Dec 12, 2010 8:22 PM GMT
    friendormate saidWhy not taking up whitewater kayaking? There are more deaths due to whitewater rafting than kayaking. ... Whitewater is a blast, rafting or kayaking. .... That being said people overestimate the risk of kayaking while underestimating the risk of rafting.


    Every year there's at least one whitewater fatality in the Taos Box, a cat IV section of the Rio Grande in NM. There's also the cat III Pilar Racecourse a few miles downstream of the Taos Box which I've rafted several times.
    On one occasion with very high water our raft was able to get through a section of rapids where some kayakers behind us were in serious trouble. Maybe they didn't take the training course?
    Anyway I recommend the Rio Grande in northern NM for the rapids and the stunning high desert scenery.
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    Dec 12, 2010 8:28 PM GMT
    Allagash River in northern Maine. A week trip that's wild. Moose, bears and deer all over. You can either do with a guide or solo. I've done both. Solo was the best with a few buds.icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
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    Dec 12, 2010 11:37 PM GMT
    TexDef07 said
    friendormate saidWhy not taking up whitewater kayaking? There are more deaths due to whitewater rafting than kayaking. ... Whitewater is a blast, rafting or kayaking. .... That being said people overestimate the risk of kayaking while underestimating the risk of rafting.


    Every year there's at least one whitewater fatality in the Taos Box, a cat IV section of the Rio Grande in NM. There's also the cat III Pilar Racecourse a few miles downstream of the Taos Box which I've rafted several times.
    On one occasion with very high water our raft was able to get through a section of rapids where some kayakers behind us were in serious trouble. Maybe they didn't take the training course?
    Anyway I recommend the Rio Grande in northern NM for the rapids and the stunning high desert scenery.


    It is true that rafts can plow through sections that would cause problems for kayakers. They can punch what we call holes (hydraulics) that would hold a yaker and likely lead to him swimming (or punching out) followed by a yard sale (all his gear being sent down stream). On easier rivers it always looks worse for kayakers because many do not have rolls and are learning while the rafters float merrily along with no problem. Class III rivers tend to attract the less experienced yakers. If the water rises as you say the inexperienced kayakers will see a class III river turn into a class IV and as you witness put them in serious trouble. That is why the course is important.

    This is all true, but what you are missing is the false sense of confidence that a big raft gives you. It would be a death sentence to send an inexperienced kayaker down the upper Gauley but inexperienced raters do it all the time. Every year there are 2 to 5 deaths from rafting the Upper Gauley. Last year an experienced kayaker died and it shocked everyone. I arrived on the scene of the kayaker's death only a few minutes after the accident.

    Would you believe that swimming is the most dangerous recreational activity? That is because people with few skills swim in Ocean and river currents and are swept to their deaths.

    Anyway, have you checked out
    http://www.americanwhitewater.org/

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    Dec 12, 2010 11:55 PM GMT
    dont know the west coast, but on the east coast, the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers in Maine are a blast. both dam controlled so you can run them in the summer. The most fun I ever had though was in West Virginia on the Upper Gauley river. Again dam controlled. Very intense
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    Dec 13, 2010 1:03 AM GMT
    friendormate said It is true that rafts can plow through sections that would cause problems for kayakers. They can punch what we call holes (hydraulics) that would hold a yaker and likely lead to him swimming (or punching out) followed by a yard sale (all his gear being sent down stream).

    This is exactly what happened. Once with high water our raft successfully got through a vortex known as the "Toilet Bowl." The raft behind us tipped over and lost their paddles which we retrieved for them. The kayakers saw that and portaged around it.
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    Dec 13, 2010 6:42 AM GMT
    richie200108 saidThe most fun I ever had though was in West Virginia on the Upper Gauley river. Again dam controlled. Very intense

    Did that with a bunch of gay friends about 7 years ago.
    It was a blast!
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    Dec 15, 2010 7:47 AM GMT
    friendormate saidWhy not taking up whitewater kayaking? There are more deaths due to whitewater rafting than kayaking. This may be surprising but here is why. Inexperienced raters pile into a raft and float down a very dangerous river like the Upper Gauley relying 100% on the skills of the raft guide. Sometimes the inexperienced boaters cause accidents to happen


    Hey Guys! thanks for the replies all of these river sound great! i completely agree that more deaths are caused in white water rafting, but I assure that I am a certified guide and I along my rafting buddies have SRT training and many other certs so we are more than qualified to handle very technical rivers. We always scout rapids and try to have a person who has experience with the rapic on ever trip!
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    Dec 16, 2010 3:55 AM GMT
    chemmac said
    friendormate saidWhy not taking up whitewater kayaking? There are more deaths due to whitewater rafting than kayaking. This may be surprising but here is why. Inexperienced raters pile into a raft and float down a very dangerous river like the Upper Gauley relying 100% on the skills of the raft guide. Sometimes the inexperienced boaters cause accidents to happen


    Hey Guys! thanks for the replies all of these river sound great! i completely agree that more deaths are caused in white water rafting, but I assure that I am a certified guide and I along my rafting buddies have SRT training and many other certs so we are more than qualified to handle very technical rivers. We always scout rapids and try to have a person who has experience with the rapic on ever trip!


    I apologize. I didn't realize you were a guide. I have horror stories of inexperienced people taking rafts and worse, dukies down class IV rivers with no guides and no training. I've been involved in a few such rescues.
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    Jan 05, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    Depends where you live. In British Columbia, the Frazer River is popular, you run into bears and there are First Nations fishing points. It's a nice getaway from urban mundanity.
  • nsco

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    Mar 24, 2011 3:55 AM GMT
    I went down the hudson river gorge whitewater rafting with the outdoors club at my school, there was also a place on the lehigh river we went I think. I've only been to those two places but it was fun both times.
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    Mar 26, 2011 9:04 PM GMT
    chemmac saidWhat's your favorite river for white water rafting? Its almost time to submit permits for the new year and I'm looking for a good adventure! So let me know your favorite and why!


    I love the Wolf River in northern WI in Langlade County. Wild Wolf Inn is a great place to rent rafts and kayaks. Bear Paw Inn is also another good place to be outfitted, but hopefully there isn't a tornado. They were completly destroyed by a tornado several years ago, but they are back in operation.

    Nothing is bigger than a class II or III and there are quiet parts of the river to take a relaxing swim--very safe for beginners..
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    May 22, 2011 6:56 PM GMT
    Summer is here, the snow on the mountains is melting and the rivers are raging! Yay for rafting season being here!!!