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white water rafting

Lower Deschutes River
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White Water Rafting


White water rafting is unique in that it can be both exhilarating and peaceful at the same time.  You can bolt through white water  rapids while enjoying the beautiful scenery of forested canyons around you.  Whether you like to stick to the boat or body surf the rapids, the thrill is sure to please.  From the warm waters of the Deschutes River in Central Oregon to the frigid currents of Washington's White Salmon River, this site will assist you in finding the type of adventure that suits you.    Here you can see photos from our trips, read our inside scoop on what awaits you, or find the right guide for you. 


White Water Rafting Difficulty Ratings


You have almost certainly heard by now of white water trips referred to as "Class III" or "Class IV".  You may have asked yourself, "What does that mean?", or "Which level is right for me?".  Listed below are the difficulty ratings as set by the American Whitewater Association.

Class I: Easy. fast moving water with riffles and small waves. few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II: Novice. straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated "class ii+".

Class III: Intermediate. rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated "class iii-" or "class iii+" respectively.

Class IV: Advanced. intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. a fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. rapids may require ômust'' moves above dangerous hazards. scouting may be necessary the first time down. risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. a strong Eskimo roll is highly recommended. rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated "class iv-" or "class iv+" respectively.

Class V: Expert. extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. what eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. at the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. scouting is recommended but may be difficult. swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. a very reliable Eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential. because of the large range of difficulty that exists beyond class iv, class 5 is an open ended, multiple level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc... each of these levels is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last. example: increasing difficulty from class 5.0 to class 5.1 is a similar order of magnitude as increasing from class iv to class 5.0.

Class VI: Extreme and Exploratory. these runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. the consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. for teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. after a class vi rapids has been run many times, it's rating may be changed to an appropriate class 5.x rating.


From the links in the table below, you can find more information about rafting rivers that we haven't ridden yet.



 

 

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