Whitewater Rafting Classes
This is the International Rapid Rating Scale. Please use
this as a somewhat subjective scale to compare the relative difficulty of the
many river sections offered by our membership. Our membership provides trained
guides to make Class I-V rafting a relaxing OR exciting experience for anyone
on the wide variety of conditions of Colorado's rivers.
Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and
small waves. Few obstructions, all obstacles are obvious and easily missed with
Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide,
clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may
be required. Rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed.
Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate,
irregular waves that may be difficult. Complex maneuvers in fast current and
good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large
waves may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current
effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers.
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.
Class V: Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very
violent rapids. 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.
Class VI: These runs 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.
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