It's Time for Whitewater Class

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Wet as You Wanna Be

It's Time for Whitewater Class
By Stephanie Gregory

Whitewater rafting can be one of the best ways for families to spend quality time together--the kids can't wander farther than the confines of the raft's rubber rim and there's plenty of time to joke and laugh between the spray. But be sure to pick your family's appropriate whitewater from Class I to Class V or laughter may quickly turn to tears--or terror.

I Calm, moving water with occasional riffles 5 Giggles Upper Colorado Wilderness
Aware Rafting, 800-462-7238; 719-395-2112
II Little bursts of bouncing rapids in
clear, wide channels between long stretches of calm
5-7 Squeals of delight Lower Klamath
(class II
and III)
Whitewater Voyages, 800-488-7238
III Irregular waves through narrower channels where maneuvering around rocks is required 7-12 Five out of ten on the scream scale; tonsils may be visible at times Green River, Utah Action Whitewater Adventures, 800-453-1482; 801-375-4111
IV Rapids are intense, loud, and long, with complex, rocky obstacles in the way 12 and older Level eight on the scream scale; mouth begins to hurt from extended periods of screaming Hell's Canyon Gorge, Snake River O.A.R.S., 800-346-6277
V Rapids are long, loud, narrow, and violent, following one after the other without interruption 16 and older Level ten on the scream scale; screams turn to terrifying animal noises Upper Gauley, West Virginia Class VI, 800-252-7784

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