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 ... 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 13th, 2009, 11:19 am 
Offline

Joined: April 11th, 2009, 9:43 am
Posts: 444
Location: Central Maine--Sheepscot Watershed
Thanks for the fishing report, and any blame for the thread hijack belongs to me. Glad to see you were not prevented from giving me an excellent fishing report. Unfortunately, that's 300 miles from home, and about 3 weeks ahead of our hatches, and I'm still in damn walking cast on crutches, and I won't be wading any big water until at least mid-summer.


I'd say that section of the Ausable at high water would be at least Class 3. I'm picturing big waves, eddies, and holes formed by all those large boulders. I know what is classified as Class 2 around here, and what you show is a step up from that.

I've never fished it, but a friend who grew up in upstate New York, and over here regularly fishes Class 4 and 5 water like the Ripogenous Gorge on the Penobscot and the Kennebec Gorge on the Kennebec refers to the Ausable as "Class 5 wading".

There is a great point above about water levels and how rapids change. The Kennebec Gorge is a great example. This is a tailwater below a dam, with minimum flows of 300 cfs, and generating flows of 5000-8000 cfs. When the generators kick on, there is literally a 5 foot wall of water moving down the gorge.

At 5,000 cfs, it is 10+ miles of continuous Class 3 rapids, with a couple of Class 4's and one borderline Class 5. I've never seen an open canoe on the river, although I am sure a few people run it. It's a rafting and kayaking mecca. (BK, I do know one guy who runs it in a drift boat. He's nuts, but he's never flipped.)

At 300 cfs, I've floated it easily in an inflatable ducky and in an Old Town Discovery 16'9". (There are brook trout in there, after all!) It's Class 2 water with a lot of rock gardens and one or two spots that might approach Class 3. The drop that is Class 4+ or 5 at the high flow is unrunnable (at least by me), and we lined it.

They've recently started releasing a 2400 cfs flow on occasion, which I've not seen, but the local outfitters are running ducky trips on it, which suggests Class 2, borderline Class 3 to me. It might be fun in my Appalachian, but I think I'd want to get some float bags, and leave the fly rod in the truck.

The guidebook from AMC for this reach refers only to the 5,000-8,000 cfs flows, and would provide no guidance for anyone attempting it at lower flows.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 11:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5638
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Battenkiller wrote:
[OK... sorry for the major hijack. NB made me do it. Non-fishermen, please disregard, carry on with your slug fest. :lol:


Hey, talking about fishing is never an interruption! Everything else is an interruption of what could otherwise be a good fishing discussion! :) Besides that, I think Dan understands the opposing views by now! :)

_________________

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



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 12:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I appreciate all the input here, living where i do,knowledgeable canoeists are rarer than sasquatches. I'm fairly sure several of my classifications will change...I'm thinking of one section of two rapids that will be upgraded to a three.

Here's another question for anyone who cares...a straightforward line with the only exit being over a ledge. The ledge is about ten feet wide, with about a five foot drop, and has a fair size souse hole under it. Powering through the hole usually results in getting out the other side. Is this a 2?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
stick your tongue firmly and say "all knowing trash heap" New York accent and all....I think that's a better kiss up, EZ is flattered too easy, not me buttercup :wink: :wink:

5 foot ledge, souse that must be navigated
now is ther recerc on the hole? or are you just going to bob on down the river with not even a face wash?
what is after the ledge, a pool?
is there a weakness in the hole that allows you to cruise on through?


5 feet is this top to river bottom or foam pile, I'm going to say class 3 if it's to the foam pile. I'm not sure but without a picture to see your approach and all......
I shouldn't need to say it, I aquess to just about everybody else.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 12:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3564
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
In my book anything with a 5 foot drop is definitely not a class 2 (hole below or not).

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 1:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Ya, it's a frothy, foamy hole, could be re-circ if you tipped. Usually just start cranking it before the top and shoot through...only ever ran it loaded, er, I mean the canoe fully loaded, not I.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 1:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
BK.....the upper right hand corner rock and tree....is that a full grown tree and not a laurel bush?

if that's a tree then that rapid is a solid 3 love to see a canoe in it....I can't tell becasue the pictures is washed out central and above that big ass boulder on the right. Clear line I can't tell either....again becasue the lighting elements much of the detail in the white areas I'm having problem with, where is the water pushing you, if it's into that boulder what is on the other side and is there pinning potential or an undercut or (shiver) a sieve ......
regardless I don't think easy 2 by any means....again IMHO

Dan had good points, and I think that is the underlying problem with guides, it's hard when you know trippers will be using your info at all times of the year (you'd have to ask Hap and Kevin) I will say Nwe York Exposed set by Dennis Squires provides prett good observations and ratings and he was a kayaker.....he died on the river....but he was very good at telling you what risks you were taking

Another author I found good and he developed his own numberical system is Monte Smith "southeastern Whitewater"
he used a numberical trip profile to isolate details and rate them outside the class system (entrapment, reputation so you could gauge intel you heard verbally, continuous, volume overall difficulty) and then he gave stream data including max rapid rating, size gradient lenght
dude has geek engineer written all over him from the looks of the effort he put into the book...... I really like his system

Squires covered both of the west branch sections in his Vol 1
gauge above 800 cfs, april-may, he calls it low-medium (Kayaker remeber) above high falls george 4-5
section with the put in of of south meadow brook rd
1.5 miles of class 2, class 2-3, and then a section of 3+
White water day guides have the luxury of including "times to run" tripping manuals are not that specific and a good writer will make note of time of year, or historic flow so you can get a gist

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 2:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 11th, 2009, 9:43 am
Posts: 444
Location: Central Maine--Sheepscot Watershed
I'm guessing that in the AMC guidebooks I am familiar with, that would get a description something like:

"XX yards of easy rapids lead to a 5-foot ledge drop (Class 3-4? hard to tell without seeing it, would depend on how vertical the ledge is and how sticky the hole). The ledge may be run by experienced paddlers at some water levels, or may be portaged on the . . ."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 4:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Back to Winnipeg
BK,
native brookie and paddlenorth (and probably other over the course of 10 pages!) have given some really good, practical descriptions of the difference between Class II and III.

In similar terms, I think of class II as something that I wouldn't hesitate to put any competent canoe with some river experience on. Any capable canoeist (e.g. not paddling on the same sides, full range of strokes in 4 directions, good balance, doesn't panic) might consider running an average class II.

I didn't get that feeling when I looked at the picture in your link (although we've proven photos aren't great for this), it would probably give pause to your average paddler in a tripping canoe as "being a bit much", but would probably be of interest to people with a keener interest in running whitewater, so that's a distinction I make for the step up to class III.

That, and 5' drops into holes!

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 13th, 2009, 5:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Atlanta
The difficulty of assigning a rapid to II or III can be significant, and I don't expect anyone to come up with a solution. But in the SE, with the exception of aberrations like Randy Carter calling Lesser Wesser a class 5, we really had everything quite well classified back in the 70s and early 80s.

But then the classification creep started. This happened because of improvements in paddling skill and equipment. And it occurred more on rivers that were very popular, because having others to lead you down and running rapids again and again may tend to convince you that Bodacious Rapid is really not class 3. It's just a class 2.

Very little has been achieved by giving in to classification creep. If a bunch of experienced intermediates arrive from Iowa and run the Nantahala for the first time, early on an April weekday when there's no one to follow, then Pattons Run will feel like an easy 3 and Lesser Wesser will feel like a dead-on straight 3. If you go to the Ocoee for the first time on a weekday and run early when there are no boats to follow, then Tablesaw may well feel like a low class 4, the '80 rating for it.

What point is there in reducing Pattons to a class 2, and even arguing, as some kayakers have, that Lesser Wesser is only a class 2? These proposed changes were not based on new-and-better language in the classification system, nor were they based on better application of the existing language. They were only based on "Aw, that's not so hard" and "look at all the rubber duckies going through just fine!"

In short, classification creep is mostly a matter of "familiarity breeds contempt." It has achieved NOTHING to benefit the great majority of paddlers, beginners, novices, and intermediates. Such a wide range of rapids and rivers have been shoved down into the class 1-2 range that the classification system is significantly less useful for the people that need it the most.

I was arguing on Boatertalk with people who insist that the Nantahala is a "beginner" stream. Well, I said, if it is a beginner stream, name half a dozen SE streams that are also beginner streams but are harder than the Nantahala. I think I got one suggestion, the Cartecay. One suggestion. That showed to one and all that the Nantahala, if it is a beginner river at all, must be right up at the top edge of the class.

So I went over on paddling.net and asked the ww boaters there, mostly open boaters and from the midwest, if the Nanty was the sort of river suitable for a bunch of beginners coming from Illinois to run it for the first time. Oh, no, said nearly everyone. It's really more an easy intermediate river.

Which is what it is, and always has been. Cartecay too.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 5:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5638
Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
ezwater wrote:
The difficulty of assigning a rapid to II or III can be significant, and I don't expect anyone to come up with a solution. .


Yes indeed! The idea of characterizing by one single solitary number something that would take hundreds of hair-asses equations in fluid mechanics to even begin to describe borders on the preposterous! Nevertheless it's a useful exercise once we realize the gross limitation and take all such classifications as just the beginning of the evaluation/decision process.

_________________

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



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 6:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
he's getting lippy now son.....he's bringing out fluid mechanics again :wink:
EZ is grumbling about boatertalk...... I'm waiting for him to call it the Kiddy pool....argueing with kayakers there is a favorite passtime of another open boat Jent

first day of a beginner class what do you do? no worries gals and guys this is CLASS 2 water as your descriptive instead of walking them down the river and do a shore talk....quick scouting focusing on boat stoping features or things that require you to paddle through them, current and eddies and swim through should be first....that way they don't rely on CLASS 2, they have a feel for it....class system should be on the last day....just before the history of boating....you know that part that talks about lakewater and that ballet stuff.... (we need an emicon that is sleeping)

EZ, I thought the beginner river down those parts was the Hiwasse?
ok, Patton's is a 3.....looked over William Nealy's descriptions

Beginner harder than the Natty?
How about Abram's creek? lower section or just above Pigeon forge on the Pigeon?
Tellico bottom? Top most section of the Little river in the smokies? do a couple clicks then take out before the first big bend before you hit the 3 stuff

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 13th, 2009, 10:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: November 23rd, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1981
Location: Coldstream, Ontario Canada
My thoughts on the Nat..... for the most part a beginner class I/II, But down by the slalom section it steps up to a class II/III with serious issues down by the last bridge in the slalom section as that class II water could have serious consequence as its just up above that class IV+ drop.

_________________

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



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 14th, 2009, 7:03 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 14th, 2004, 4:26 pm
Posts: 1896
Location: Toronto
Thank you for proving my point EZ.

You need to judge advice against the person giving it. Good or not, "Classification Creep" has happened and is real! Further, it has crept differently amoungst different types of paddlers. Ergo, the classification you will hear for THE SAME river is DIFFERENT based on the type of boat (or local paddling culture) the paddler is using.

Further, those people using the river will EXPECT ratings to reflect the new 'creepier' system.

Wilderness rivers have NOT undergone the creep, therefore are often rated harder than the equivalent in a park and play spot.

_________________
I like canoes


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: May 14th, 2009, 12:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Back to Winnipeg
All true Dan. Agreed. It happens and we need to take that into consideration when using info from an unknown source. I think everyone's agreed on that from the beginning: the system is generally useful, but not perfect, so use with caution.

But we should be trying to minimize "classification creep", not actively promoting it by creating new twists and calling a class II+ rapid "tripping class IV".

I think it was that application of the classification numbers that really launched much of this discussion - on the poll you'd selected that you typically run class IV rapids on a wilderness trip, but later clarified that it was probably a class II+ rapid, but you'd labelled it as class IV because of the limitations of your boat, remoteness, whatever.

Purposefully accounting for personal-decision-related-factors and upgrading or downgrading a classification makes classification creep much worse than it should be.

As much as possible, the classification of the rapid should be kept separate from the decision-making of individuals and their circumstances.

Pat.

_________________
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  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 182 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 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