What is a Rapid?
February 23rd, 2016
Now that the sun is beginning to stay out longer and the heat is slowly rising to above freezing, it is the perfect time to start thinking about this upcoming rafting season. For those who are unfamiliar with whitewater rafting, is described as an outdoor activity which utilizes an inflatable raft or Cataraft to navigate a river, creek or other body of water. Rafting trips can vary in difficulty from a nice leisurely float down the river to navigating a tight creek with several waterfalls and no shoreline for safety. Whitewater rafting is broken up into six classifications traditionally (ten classifications for the Grand Canyon). At this point you may be wondering, what is a rapid? A rapid is a turbulence in the water that can vary from a ripple to a full on hydraulic that can capsize a full sized raft.
The river’s classification will help you determine what size rapids you can expect while on the water. Class I is the easiest class, with very few obstacles and is generally considered a float trip. Class II will have waves less then two feet and is easy to navigate. Class III is when the trips begin to become more intense and will require a guide or trained professional and more mature paddlers, as currents are much stronger then class II. Class IV is considered intermediate to advanced, as the waterway moves with ferocity. Large waves and drops become common and require “must” maneuvers. Once at a class V level, violent and dangerous rapids form in obstructed channels with tight turns and roaring falls. Class VI is unrunnable, meaning there is a high likelihood of death if attempted.
For more information on whitewater and trips offered in Colorado, please feel free to contact our office at (800) 370-0581. Have a great rest of your winter and remember to stay safe and be responsible while out on the water this summer!