View topic - POLL: What class rapids do you run

It is currently August 5th, 2020, 3:11 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 182 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13  Next

Highest class typically run
1 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
2 30%  30%  [ 20 ]
3 42%  42%  [ 28 ]
4 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
5 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
I have no class 10%  10%  [ 7 ]
Total votes : 67
Author Message
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 3:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
class 2 novice?
I don't think in terms of skill level equating to river levels
Everything you need to practice and know about moving water requires:
1. class 2 rapid with some eddies and river wide waves to work with...opening and closing angles...etc
2. a no concequence hole you can surf and flip in, feel your edges and get the fear of going over out of your system. Practice...if I do this what will happen
after that it's time on the river and timing and anticipating rather than reacting


as for Dan :clap: :lol: saw your pair and raised you Dave :wink: don't feel too bad, I don't win many with him either

Hey GWA...what keeps climb ratings accurate? Except maybe it's more dangerous and people are keenly aware? I think it's a decent comparison

_________________
http://campfireblues.wetpaint.com/
home of the opinionated old farts!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 3:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5638
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
erich wrote:
BK, one of the issues I see here, is in describing "mini rapids" and "small rapids". I understand that there are variations within the different classifications, but trying to fine tune a classification to this degree, would seem to be very difficult.


I find it useful to sub-divide rapids(or, maybe more accurately, sections of river into 2 types: (1) risk to life and limb (2) embarrasment and property damage---i.e. where the risk is more likely to produce an "oh shit" moment. :-? :) Many small rivers in S. Ont are type (2) in late spring but possibly type(1) in very early spring. I bought my Tupperware boat---the Old Town Discovery 158---for bumping and grinding down such type (2) rapids as are typically found on the Grand, The Nottawasag, the Head/Black.

_________________

Old canoeists never die---they just smell that way.



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 4:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
erich wrote:
...trying to fine tune a classification to this degree, would seem to be very difficult.


I'm not really advocating such a system, it might prove to be more cumbersome than the one(s) we already have. I just feel that the needs of beginning paddlers aren't remotely addressed in the current systems, and that could lead to some unnecessary injuries or worse.


I just got back from a float down the lower East Branch of the Delaware River. As we were putting in, a very experienced guide that I know was at the launch and he strongly advised against going as far as we intended because we would have to run the Cadosia rapid in the dark. We were in a big McKensie River drift boat and I couldn't imagine the rapid being that much of a danger, knowing that it was, at best, a short Class II. But I trust this guy (he guides over 100 days a year and knows this river like the back of his hand), so I called to rearrange the shuttle to the takeout just above the Cadosia rapid.

The water was low, too low for a good float and we were warned we might have to drag in a few places (not always the easiest thing in a 300# drift boat). It was my buddy's boat, and he said he knew how to maneuver it well so he stayed on the sticks the whole time.

We hit every rock in the river.

What would have looked like easy Class I water in a canoe proved to be all he could handle in a drift boat. In the low but fast water, rocks were everywhere and maneuvering around them was well beyond my friend's abilities. He didn't know how to ferry, so we broached on many boulders and came to rest on one particular one at a very precarious angle that almost tipped the big boat. He wouldn't take my advice and go through the standing wave trains, but instead, went just off the side and came up on large adjacent rocks.

Well, we got to Cadosia just at dusk (like the guide predicted) and pulled out above the rapid. I could clearly see that the rapid was a small Class II, but the mine fields we had just negotiated underscored the wisdom of avoiding the upcoming rapid. It was tight and a bit chaotic looking, with waves in the 2-3' range and big boulders likely just under the surface. A big drift boat doesn't slither over submerged rocks like a canoe, the force of the water pushes the boat right up on top of them. I'm sure we stood a good chance of flipping the boat. A 300# boat crashing down on us could have proven fatal in that little rapid.

The interesting point to this story is that sometime during the float I asked my buddy, a very experienced flat water canoeist, how he would rate the river. He thought, no doubt, it was at least Class II or II+. But at no time, in my opinion, did we ever actually float through a bit of Class II water. His "rating" was based simply upon his experience that day.

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 6:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
Posts: 3077
Location: Milton
Don't guage a rapid waist deep or less as easy to self rescue.
I was at a drowning at Unadilla NY in the 70's grade II,
Waist deep.

Quote:
Class II Rapids: Novice
List of Class I thru III Rated Rapids

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
List of Class III Rated Rapids

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.


Rob I would say your tech river would be a III just based on the skill to manouver.
and the words "can swamp an open canoe" are pretty straight forward.
Forget the play boaters definitions.
And in my opinion any one running moving water should have the ability to catch an eddie, it is not a hard skill to learn.
But put a group with no or very little skills in a long II and a boat gets into trouble, you then have a group scattered across the river, or even on a grade I, go around a blind turn and a sweeper is filling the river, the ability to move a fully loaded boat out of the way, and fully loaded we all know what these bath tubs are like.
With the international ratings, those coming from other countries would understand.
And a warning of what water levels do to the river is also important.
Jeff

_________________
Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 7:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Atlanta
I've already bugged some AWA types about this, but what does the word "novice" mean and what does it have to do with the ability to handle class 2 rapids?

I just paddled a river today that I know, in my dreams, from running it often since '74. Everyone insists it is a "beginner" river, which I take to mean novices would be kinda comfortable, yet the passages are NOT open, are NOT obvious unless you have someone to follow. And even then, the rocks and outcrops are NOT easy for anyone to "clean", even if you have 1000 cfs instead of the paltry 800 I had today.

I say there is no way in hell or God's Green Earth that the harder rapids on that river can be called class 2, unless you junk the written description. There are so many junky class 3 rapids just waiting to show even us advanced paddlers that our skills are not equal to the task.

The laurel was nice, anyway.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 8:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Back to Winnipeg
Quote:
Also, how does one rate an obstacle course through fast flowing water that is not too pushy, fairly shallow, but extremely technical? Chances of self rescue are very high, as water is less than waist deep, but lines are very difficult, involving exact boat placement or a broach is guaranteed. I'd like to know how you guys would rate that? I'd put it at a 2 because of the technicality, but the skills involved in successfully navigating it would be quite high. Opinions?


That depends... were you in a kayak or drift boat? :lol:

I don't know, with no description of whether or or not there are big waves or holes, and from knowing it wasn't pushy, maybe II+, or some people might say "class II tech". An important part of class III water is dealing with fast-flowing current and powerful eddy lines. So, in addition to the tight quarters, it depends on the gradient and flow. With very little in the way of waves or current, it might barely be a very easy class II. Unless you're in a birchbark canoe, then it's class IV. (Ok, I'll stop.)

From what I remember of the Gull (thanks again Doug!) there wasn't too much in the way of technical moves or big waves, but it's a fairly narrow channel and it was quite steep (kinda the opposite of the above example). Depending on water levels I'd guess it's in the range of class II+ to III.

And that's my biggest problem with the classification system - almost everyting of interest to normal canoes is class II or III, but that can capture a huge range of rapids (and required skills). In an open tripping canoe, there's a fairly narrow window of what's exciting, cahellnging whitewater (II+), and what can sink you pretty quick (III).

PY.

_________________
Learning to paddle is like learning a language:
It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 10:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: November 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1981
Location: Coldstream, Ontario Canada
I'd class the Gull as..... Dam and chute class IV, class II+/III in between the chute and White horse falls. White Horse Falls IV. Below falls to above Otter Slide class II/II+, Otterslide class III. So the section above the falls excluding the dam & chute no big deal..... but a swimmer swimming the falls is a big deal! :-? ouch!
The same applies to the Otter slide..... :doh: :D

_________________

Al Greve http://www.canoewateradventuring.ca South Western Ontario's canoeing specialist



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 12th, 2009, 10:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 11th, 2009, 9:43 am
Posts: 444
Location: Central Maine--Sheepscot Watershed
Battenkiller--But how was the fishing?? I've only fished the East Branch once, but it was memorable. I remember standing in the tail of a long flat pool, having shad swim between my legs, stepping on a spawning lamprey, and watching rising rainbows just above me chasing emerging mayflies--all within a radius of about 15 feet.

Spring on a big river that is open to the ocean is pretty cool.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 6:32 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Thanks for the feedback on my rapid..it's on the Kapikotongwa. The reason I was perplexed is because, as Jedi Jeff clearly pointed out, the rapid does not match the class 2 written description..there are no wide channels, and nothing is easily missed. Yet I'm sure most white water junkies used to really big stuff would rate it pretty low. It seems to me that people used to running very large water successfully have developed their own subjective interpretation of the rating system as well, based on ability and experience. If i use the rating system as written to evaluate many of the rapids I run, they come out as solid threes. However, I have had whitewater junkies evaluate them, and they usually place them as twos. So when i rate now, I usually second guess my self, and knock then down from my original rating.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 7:27 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
native brookie wrote:
Battenkiller--But how was the fishing?? I've only fished the East Branch once, but it was memorable. I remember standing in the tail of a long flat pool, having shad swim between my legs, stepping on a spawning lamprey, and watching rising rainbows just above me chasing emerging mayflies--all within a radius of about 15 feet.

Spring on a big river that is open to the ocean is pretty cool.


The float was fantastic aside from the bone jarring collisions. The fishing?... Meh.

I really wanted to float the West Branch, but at 300 cfs it is impossible. With the snow melt occurring early, the reservoirs stopped overflowing weeks ago and those NYC cats don't let out a drop they aren't mandated to release. After spending millions on an infinite release valve, they are still releasing just two flow rates. Currently at 190 cfs, it won't be raised again until salt water backs up into Philadelphia some time in July, maybe sooner if the present drought continues.

In spite of all that, the West Branch is red hot, with blizzard apple caddis hatches and simultaneous Blue Quills, Hendricksons and March Browns and some nice spinner falls. Plus, with the low water, the entire river is wadeable. But no-o-o-oooo... said buddy wanted to float the East Branch because he wanted to use his boat that he never uses when it's appropriate.

I did tie into a really nice bow that I lost before we got the net anywhere near him. If you've fished the Delaware system, you probably know about the special strain of rainbows that have resided there since last century. Berserkers. Well my fish was only about 20" from what I could see of him, but he sure had a tiger in his tank. Made several runs that nearly put me into my backing. Sweet... until the sudden long distance release. :(

We didn't nymph at all, not really our style. There were sporadic rises throughout the day. Greg got a single take during the entire day, a huge swell to an emerger. He struck so fast and hard you could actually hear the hook hit bone just before his 5X popped. Which is so funny because you could see this bruiser come up deliberate as could be and inhale the fly. If I was guiding him I would have scolded him and explained that big fish need a bit of a delay, and only a steady pull to set the hook, but since I am only a fishing buddy, all I got to do was laugh so hard I nearly fell out of the boat.

Poor Greg, what a basket case! Five years younger than me and he's had a major stroke already. Time to retire, I say. He makes great bamboo rods (yes, I'm going in that direction like you hinted at in another thread, working on my planing forms for an hour or so when I can squeeze it in) and wants to do it full time. No time like the present. We'll all be dead from the Swine Flu inside a year's time anyway. :wink:

OK... sorry for the major hijack. NB made me do it. Non-fishermen, please disregard, carry on with your slug fest. :lol:

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 8:52 am 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
You got a picture there poopy pants of yer kopiko rapids (didn't think I missed that did you :lol: )
there's two kinds of big....ones volume, the other is big in terms of getting the hell around the rocks (creeking)
you can have class 4 water that pissin' in the river brings up the volume. If the channels are blocked and it requires fast skill and you have a decent gradient I can't see it being below a 2 teck. AGREE with Pat, class 3 requires some Eddy lines that have to be crossed actively (as in rejection and spinning out possible if not mindful of your entry angle and proper stroke)
Low volume can still give you powerful currents...it's just compressed between a couple rocks.
I'm bad for switching verbal termanology between using class 3+ and class 3 technical...... in my mind 3+ is derived more from volume and class 3 technical is obsticle, rock, concequence derrived....but that only is a description of what goes on in my head and not a reflection of any existing accepted methodology

Back to harrasing Rob:
Now I'm talking faster movment than geriactric fast son....... seeing as your self classifing as "depends undergarment" teritiory I'm going to have to consider revoking your Gordie Howe designation. :lol: :lol:
hey, I was having a normal conversation and then someone said it was a slug fest.....thought I'd enlighten the Northern NY gentleman on the difference...... you know, I kind of thoght all you New Yorkers had a sizzling edge....eloquent but not too far down you can cut it with the best..... Tony CC comes to mind.... then we get the Northerners....more like whitty Teddy Bears. :wink:

BK.....love reading stuff written by someone obviously passionate about the topic..... tangent forgiven :wink:

Funny, the one "death" that occured while I was on the river was class 2 as well.......don't take anything for granted i guess is the lesson?

_________________
http://campfireblues.wetpaint.com/
home of the opinionated old farts!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 9:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Gail R wrote:
You got a picture there poopy pants of yer kopiko rapids (didn't think I missed that did you :lol: )
there's two kinds of big....ones volume, the other is big in terms of getting the hell around the rocks (creeking)
you can have class 4 water that pissin' in the river brings up the volume. If the channels are blocked and it requires fast skill and you have a decent gradient I can't see it being below a 2 teck. AGREE with Pat, class 3 requires some Eddy lines that have to be crossed actively (as in rejection and spinning out possible if not mindful of your entry angle and proper stroke)
Low volume can still give you powerful currents...it's just compressed between a couple rocks.
I'm bad for switching verbal termanology between using class 3+ and class 3 technical...... in my mind 3+ is derived more from volume and class 3 technical is obsticle, rock, concequence derrived....but that only is a description of what goes on in my head and not a reflection of any existing accepted methodology


Gail, this brings me back to your earlier mention of how Andrew likes to descibe the maneuver seperate from the difficulty of the rapid. ie: you can do a class II maneuver on a Class III rapid, or maybe in the case to cleanly negotiating the boneyard Rob was talking about, doing Class III maneuvers on a Class II volume river.

PK


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 9:23 am 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
Yea, I thought so PK, but the possibility to have some fun with him just won over........ although if he was "tense" I give it to him for trying harder moves if an easier line was available :clap:

I don't look for harder lies in a loaded boat. I'll use eddies sure, but it annoys my husband to no end when I have my turn with the Caption and I don't work the river on a trip (Caption carries a couple small bags)

ok, you want "serious" :doh:

Rob, leave your ratings as is. If you have a water level make note of it.
When I rate something a 2, I look for a fairly easy line that requires very little must do manuvering, then I look to see if this is the most obvious, central line (if there's any chance of getting into a class 4 concequence on a wide river I'll make note of two lines and a red line warning about an obsticle)
If there is indeed, a number of mauverings that must be made I then look at the eddies in use and look for the difficulty and volume on the eddy line (as Pat indicated) if there is a chance of rejection, combined with non-optional significant changes in course and orientation...then I think class 3......I have trouble with volume 3......to me volume 3 requires a few rocks to dodge and a hole or wave that will take you over if you don't avoid it.

I think everyone develops filters for the various people they paddle with in order to take their observations and understand them in your own context...... the class system is just a general envelope in which we fit a rapid.......at water level we don't use numbers we talk moves......

EZ, I dislike the classification of paddlers.....prefer to engage and ask what you have paddled and compare expereicnes on rivers....it lets both parties learn about each other and be able to interpret each other.... the other is just a kick back to a uselss classification system that relays little information. What exacrtly is novice? isn't it better to understand what each other prefers t do and what is a portage trail for them and you?
Also, you can have a paddler who's good at getting themselves down a river but sucks the big one in confidence and/or ability to help others down. It has nothing to do with anyones paddling abilities. It's a balance putting a group together...mish mash of objectives, covering of ratio of skills and goals.....
This is an entire different topic......

oh, I forgot one thing you need to learn white water.....a small ledge....becasue even trippers from time to time mess up and have to navigate them under less than idea placement..... boof practice is for everyone

_________________
http://campfireblues.wetpaint.com/
home of the opinionated old farts!


Last edited by Gail R on May 13th, 2009, 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 9:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1018
Location: Duluth, MN USA
yarnellboat wrote:
And that's my biggest problem with the classification system - almost everyting of interest to normal canoes is class II or III, but that can capture a huge range of rapids (and required skills). In an open tripping canoe, there's a fairly narrow window of what's exciting, cahellnging whitewater (II+), and what can sink you pretty quick (III).
PY.


Fair enough, but someone's rapid rating shouldn't determine whether you run something - this decision is made after scouting.

Generally speaking I find the system quite useful. We tend to run all class II's - to me a class II rating means we can probably scout from the canoe - sometimes a quick peak from shore is prudent. If the rapid is a C. III we always scout from shore. Some we run, some we don't. If I were to answer the poll, I'd say C. 2 rapids are the highest rapids we typically run - but we'll run some C. 3's (generally high volume, non-tech and we have a spray cover). We've run a few C. IV's according to guidebooks - but they really weren't C. 4's - water levels were different or we found a sneak route.

A rapid ranking is far more useful than some local's description of the rapid or advice on how the rapid should be run (perhaps some of you can identify with this advice - particularly if the local doesn't canoe.)

As far as guidebooks are concerned, for canoers, portage notes are more important then rapid rankings - this is info a novice canoer requires. Are there portages, and are they easily accessible?

My tripper jab was perhaps unwarranted - but when I ran whitewater in college through a kayak club, I don't remember ever having lengthy discussions on rapid ranking. All rapids in the southeast on whitewater rivers are ranked - usually the ranking is noted for different discharges. Rankings were a bit of a non-issue. If they were borderline, they'll have something like a III+/IV.

Personally I like to distinguish between a C. II and C. II tech (the tech implying some maneuvering around boulders is required - but there are no big holes or large waves - or it's be a C. III.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 10:42 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: January 29th, 2007, 10:19 am
Posts: 2461
Location: Just outside the Blue Line
Gail R wrote:
BK.....love reading stuff written by someone obviously passionate about the topic..... tangent forgiven :wink:


Well, let me mix some of my passion with the discussion at hand.

You know I've spoken about how much I love to fish the West Branch of the Ausable River in NY. I've also mention that the river provides some serious creeking potential in high water. A few years ago a couple of experienced kayakers gave it a go and one of them died there. Here is the report of the accident from the AW database:

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident_detail_accidentid_1081_


The rescue effort was brought into question, but the river level was evaluated subjectively at the time, as well as the water temp. Rescuers said the water was extremely high and cold and took the time to don dry suits and rig up an elaborate rope setup. The report says the water was at medium height. I took the time to get the USGS streamflow data for that time and it was just off a 6000 cfs peak, definitely brought up by rain alone at that time of year. I have trouble getting around the river when the flow is at 1200 cfs, but a June rain would bring the water temp up to non-life threatening levels, at least in a rescue situation.

Quote:
The rescue team (firemen of Wilmington) were well-prepared and equipped for safety and evacuation in general, but seemed to be unfamilair with the river environment. When I looked at the news video where a responsible member of the rescue team gives his version, he said "the water was very high", whereas according to Partner and gauge history, it was medium, and river could be crossed very easily at most places, by wading and without the help of any device and no risk of foot entrapment. Firemen had apparently used a not-so-simple setup of lines to secure people crossing to reach the island on which Tardif was. Also, the firemen found the water cold, and took time to wear some wetsuits and/or drysuits. Obviously this was necessary in order to avoid having a large group of hypothermic people after 30 minutes. I think they could have asked one of them to cross immediately and reach the island, without a wetsuit/drysuit, with a PDF ideally, to take the situation under control for the first minutes, and then send this guy back to the warmth of a car/building as soon as the others would be ready. Also there is the fact that no matter how cold you are, you get quite warm, quite quickly performing CPR.


Here is a photo of the scene (picture it with a little more water):

http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=4997677

How would you rate it? An easy Class II with an obvious clear channel down the middle? A Class III because of the drop alone?

Obviously, this was picture taken at low water levels and is not really runnable, but imagine ten times as much water passing through that tight little spot. Clearly, a Class II-III section can (did) become life or death by merely adding more water. Does this not change its rating as well? And who evaluates it at that level? The guide book or the paddler negotiating it? I believe that is all that Dan was trying to point out.

_________________
“We can have great disparities of wealth or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both.” - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 182 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group