Monday, July 6, 2009

Colorado River Rafing featuring rafting in India

The Zanskar River :: India

by Anupam Chandola
part I of III
Anupam Chandola (Arnie) is a native of India and has guided around the world including the Zanskar. Arnie really wants to go again so he wrote this up to entice you to join us in the summer for "a true journey of exploration and discovery". He can setup fully guided or semi-private trips where you kayak or row your own raft as I know that would appeal to many of our readers. Just contact us with questions.
Rafting in the Indian Himalayas

River running is virtually as old as civilization itself, but rafting and kayaking as recreational activities are relatively new, especially in the Indian Himalayas. A river journey in an exotic foreign country is one of the most enjoyable and effective ways to experience the rural areas, observing different ways of live, cultures and natural environments, and coming into contact with village people the conventional traveler rarely gets to meet. These pleasures are complimented by an even greater thrill: rafting through powerful, fast flowing rapids. The skills of our professional guides and the stability, sturdiness and buoyancy of modern self bailing rafts, enable us to safely challenge these exciting rivers. Nowhere are these voyages of exploration and adventure better experienced than in the Himalayas, where some of the finest white-water rivers in the world surge through spectacular land of dramatic contrast supporting an amazing variety of flora and fauna, interlaced with a myriad of centuries-old culture. History you will find with India River Rafting in the Himalayas. Colorado River Rafting has more rapids...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Colorado River Rafting and what to wear...



You will be the most comfortable in things that dry quickly. If the weather is warm, and that is most typical, dress to get wet. Swimsuits, shorts and T-shirts are fine. Appropriate footwear is a must. Old pair of tennis shoes or the Teva-type sport sandals (the guides choice of footwear) is best. Wool socks or no socks. If it is expected to be a cool day, rule number one is COTTON IS WRONG! A wool sweater or fleece jacket is good to have along on any raft trip. There are brands of wetsuits and one of the best for coldwater 45 degrees is this wetsuit approved by scuba pros and this wetsuit for waters ranging 60 to 75 degrees, spray jackets, and river boots preferred by Colorado River Rafting professionals. Again, expect to get wet!

If you wear glasses or plan to wear sunglasses, a retaining strap such as a chums or croakies is the key to still owning your glasses at the end of the day. Only waterproof cameras are recommended. A water bottle is nice to have along. Most outfitters rent the river wear and some provide certain things for free like raftmasters.com on your Colorado River Rafting trip. Sunscreen and/or a hat are also good to have. Don't forget your spirit of adventure.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Colorado Whitewater Rafting Terminology for beginners

Boat & Equipment Terminology

Paddle: A paddle held in the hands, not attached to the boat, used to paddle. Can be single-bladed (for rafting and canoeing) or double-bladed (for kayaking, solo cats, inflatable kayaks)

Paddle Boat:
A raft with a crew of paddlers and a guide.

Oar: A long blade, attached to the boat by an oarlock on thole pin, and used to row.

Oar Rig: A boat rigged with oars, so one person sitting in the center of the boat can row.

Stern Rig, Paddle Assist: An oar/paddle boat, in which the guide has oars and frame in the stern, and thecrew, sitting forward, has paddles. Ofen used on high water.

Bow: The front of the boat.
Stern: The rear of the boat.

Duckie, Inflatable Kayak, Funyak, Splashyak: A one or two person inflatable boat, usually paddled with double bladed paddles.

Cataraft: An inflatable boat with two pontoons.

Solo Cat: A one-person cataraft paddled with a double-bladed paddle.

Hoopi: Tubular webbing used for multiple purposes in rigging and preparing boats. Some into Colorado Whitewater Rafting do not know this term.

Carabiner:
A clip, used to secure items into the boat, and to construct safety and rescue systems.

Wet Suit:
A neoprene rubber suit which allows a small amount of water in, to help retain body heat.

Dry Suit:
A suit designed to keep all water out, under which any amount of layered clothing can be worn.

Dry Bag,
Day Bag:
A bag for keeping gear in on the river, to help keep things dry (but probably not 100%)

Life Jacket: A personal floatation device, coast guard approved, and worn like a vest.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BRECKENRIDGE RAFTING and what rafts utilized by outfitters

INFORMATION ABOUT THE MANUFACTURERS OF RAFTS under 12 feet long and what rafts are used by Breckenridge Rafting outfitters:
AIRE

RAFT:Puma Length:11'6" Width:66" Diameter:18" WEIGHT:88 lbs MATERIAL:PVC/U CAPACITY:950 lbs PRICE:$2500
AIRE makes the Puma, a longtime favorite for raft creeking. Lately they have been making bigger versions of the Puma called the Super Puma and the Super Duper Puma but I feel like they should make a smaller version and call it the Baby Puma or something. Recently I portaged a Puma for three miles and that wasn't too fun. If you are listening AIRE please build me a Baby Puma, 9 feet long and weighing less than 40 lbs.

Hyside

Mini-Me 9' 62" 18" 45 lbs Hyp 4 $1764
140SBU 11'8" 70" 18" 87 lbs Hyp 6 $2779
109RBS 9' 62" 18" 71 lbs Hyp 4 $1420
139RBS 11'6" 66" 18" 84 lbs Hyp 6 $1975
Hyside is the proud maker of the Mini Me 9 foot raft. What fun! These things are popular R2 boats and make it possible to do some serious raft creeking. Made of Hypalon.

Incept

G25S 8'5" 53" 15" 55 lbs Poly/U 2 $NA
G29S 9'6" 57" 15.75" 66 lbs Poly/U 3 $NA
W33S 10'10" 63" 15.75" 78 lbs Poly/U 4 $2190
These New Zealand boats are imported directly to Idaho through a giant whirlpool from the Buller River straight to the Payette. They offer not one but three small rafts in delightfully light weights for those days where half your time is spent walking.

Maravia

Seal 11'6" 72" 17" 77 lbs Poly/U 4 $2201
Elan 12' 69" 18" 95 lbs Poly/U 6 $3998
Maravia makes two small rafts but don't try to find them on the Maravia website - better off visiting the River Connection instead. I was part of a two man crew that paddled a little Maravia down the Green Truss section of the White Salmon and the boat held up very well.

NRS

E-120 12' 66" 17" 108lbs Hyp NA $3400
Otter120 12' 66" 17" 88 lbs Hyp NA $2475
NRS has two 12 foot self-bailing models both made of hypalon. The E series is made for commercial abuse but is pretty heavy. The Otter is a good value and should be a great boat for the private boater.

SOTAR

SP10E (Tan) 10' 18" ? lbs Poly/U ? $2400
SP12E 12' ? 18" ? lbs Poly/U ? $2779
ST11E 11' 62" 19" 78 lbs Poly/U ? $3381
ST12E 12' 70" 19" 85 lbs Poly/U ? $3381
SL11E 11' 64" 20" 75 lbs Poly/U ? $3740
ST12E 12' 68" 20" 82 lbs Poly/U ? $3974
Sotar has three basic raft models. The ST is their standard design, the SP is the standard design but in Tan color only and the ST has a diminishing tube design. The prices are pretty high for boats this small, save perhaps the SP model. Sotars have been used on some pretty balsy stuff including the first raft descent of the Green River Narrows.

Star

LX12-SB THUNDER 12' 72" 18" 116 lbs PVC 3-6 $2449
VX12-SB 12' 72" 18" 90 lbs PVC 6 $1485
B12-SB LIGHTNING BUG 12' 57" 24" 103 lbs PVC 3-5 $1919
U9-SB ULTRA LITE 9' 50" 18" 75 lbs PVC 4 $1675
Star is the maker of the Bug and Ultra Bug as well as standard rafts. The bugs are supposed to behave more like catarafts since they have a lot of clearance. Check it out to see what I mean.

Vanguard

PSB-1104 11'4" 66" 16" 101 lbs PVC 4 $2395
PSB-1200 12' 73" 18" 114 lbs PVC 6 $2595
Vanguard makes two small rafts with a nice price. Unfortunately they are very heavy and would be difficult to carry for just two people.

This information is cited from www.whitewateraddiction.com and many or all Breckenridge Rafting outfitters use these manufacturers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rafts you will not see often during Colorado Whitewater Rafting



You may come across two other types of rafts during a Colorado Whitewater Rafting expedition that are not used often called J-Rigs, Sweep boats, and Dories. 'J-rigs' are giant rafts that are very specialized passenger and gear haulers. J-rigs are constructed of huge pontoons and are often motorized. They're used by many of the commercial rafting companies in the Grand Canyon. Sweep boats are named for the two huge oars used to steer them. They're basically very large self bailers, but the oars extend out both ends of the craft, and steer the boat like rudders rather than extending out the sides to row as a normal self bailer does.

Sweep boats (or "sweeps") are commonly used by commercial outfitters on the Middle Fork of the Salmon (you'll rarely see them on other rivers). Their advantage is that they carry huge loads of camping gear and food for Colorado Whitewater Rafting expeditions that last longer than a few days.

Due to the huge displacement and surface area exposed to the current, they are the fastest non-motorized craft on the river. Their disadvantage is that they have no brakes! Trust that if you see one, the guide holding those big oars is both very courageous and very skilled!

Dories
While certainly not a raft, you may encounter wooden or fiberglass boats called Dories on the river. These craft seem to be more popular on certain rivers. While they may be more fragile, they are certainly maneuverable.

They seemingly can stop on a dime in significant current, giving their ‘driver’ time to adjust course, mid-rapid. And they are a pretty sporty ride! But on rocky rivers or later in the season at lower water levels a Dorie can be a liability.

Breckenridge Rafting Kayaks


Kayaks
Other forms of Breckenridge Rafting craft are worth mentioning. The obvious one is kayaks. These also come in two flavors; hard shelled kayaks made of various rigid plastics, and 'inflatable' kayaks, also known as "IK's" that are made of the same materials as rafts. Both types of kayaks are a lot of fun and have their vocal advocates. I'll just point out a little bit of trivia.
That is, while both groups share the river, hard shelled kayakers and rafters generally don't intermingle much. They are two different sports that share the same playing field. But some hard shell kayakers shun their inflatable brethren in IKs. So, ironically, inflatable kayakers tend to hang out with the rafters. I guess it's the materials that are alike that bring a kayaker and rafters together in some cases.

Colorado Whitewater Rafting and what is an R2?



What's an ‘R2’?
You might hear the term "R2" mentioned in the context of Colorado whitewater rafting. This refers to a paddle raft being paddled by just two people. They usually sit shoulder to shoulder in the middle of the raft, each paddling a side. Of course, they can sit anywhere they want. The term R2 implies a sportier version of paddle rafting since it is more challenging to maneuver the boat when there are just two people aboard.
R2's came from the idea of kayaks and canoes for the simple reason of wanting something new and ingenuity on the rivers. Of course the R2's come after the larger rafts design for those people who take Colorado Whitewater Rafting to higher levels and extremes compared to a large group on a self bailer for a trip.

Raft speeds for Colorado River Rafting

Differences in Raft Speed
Most of the paddle strokes that a paddle raft crew takes to steer the raft propel the raft forward. Therefore paddle rafts move down the river faster than other rafts. Self bailers are next fastest. Fully loaded self bailers carry a lot of momentum and offer a lot of surface area to the river. So friction with the water causes them to be dragged along easily by the current. Since it's a lot more work to fight against these factors, the steering strokes that the person at oars takes are usually forward strokes.

The raftman just tries to adjust the direction or vector of the rafts natural movement down the river during Colorado River Rafting. It may be surprising to know that catarafts are usually the slowest at traveling down the river as they offer less surface area for friction and are so light that it is easy for the oarsman to pull back, arresting the momentum. For these reasons, rookie oarsmen in catarafts are usually at the back of any group of rafts.

Paddle Rafts for Colorado Whitewater Rafting

Paddle Rafts
Self bailers can be set up with a rigid metal (or on rare occasions, wood) frame that rests across the top of the raft, to which oar locks are mounted and oars attached. The other configuration is to leave the frame and oars at home and just use paddles. So the term 'paddle raft' refers to this other set up. It's just a term for a self bailer that is set up with inflated seats known as 'thwarts' for passengers to sit on. This image shows set up for both with mounted oars in the back, and in the front people using paddles.

Passengers are obligated to row, or more accurately, paddle the boat down the river. While this means work for the passengers, it makes for a very entertaining, social (and usually wet) ride! Most commercial river guides services for Colorado Whitewater Rafting run paddle boats to give the paying clients the full immersion experience.

The normal configuration for a paddle boat is to have a 'captain' sitting at the rear of the boat shouting orders to the crew and using her paddle to steer or make fine adjustments to speed and direction. The 'crew' is the rest of the passengers, with half of them paddling on one side and the other half paddling on the other making a Colorado Whitewater Rafting experience memorable.

Breckenridge Rafting and using a Cataraft

Someone asked us this question in their search for rafts. "I am looking for advice on the purchase of a cataraft or maybe a raft, but not sure if its ideal or not?? Does anyone have any input on cats or rafts?" Answer: Cats are for maneuverability-small loads and is ideal for whitewater rafting and fishing. A raft is for large loads and more people so it is up to your trip details that determine a cat or a raft.

Cats are far more maneuverable than self bailers but carry less weight. They're the sports cars of a Breckenridge Rafting trip. And like sports cars, they carry fewer passengers, but provide a lot of fun for the driver. If you're new to rafting, you would be well advised to consider buying a cataraft as your first raft. Their maneuverability will help you recover when you misjudge a rapid, and of course they are just plain fun.

When you plan a Breckenridge Rafting trip, a cataraft is the ideal raft for a day trip. And cats are also ideal for high water or extreme multi-day trips when each participant will row their own raft.


There is a unique description to know when sizes of cats are discussed. Sizes of catarafts are described as pairs of dimensions separated by "X", like "12X20", "16X24". The first number is the length in feet, and the second number is the diameter of the pontoons in inches. So a cat that is 12X20 is 12 feet long with pontoons or "tubes" as they are referred to that are 20 inches in diameter.

Colorado River Rafting on a Self Bailer Raft

Some of the best rafts in the world are constructed of Ferrari's patented Preconstraint PVC fabric and urethane AIREcells, they set the standard for durability, performance and innovation. Aire is one of the companies who carry's one of the best.

Types of rafts are:
* Self Bailers
* Catarafts
* Paddle Rafts
* Differences in Boat Speed
* What's an ‘R2’?
* Kayaks
* J-Rigs and Sweep Boats
* Dories

Let's start with the Self Bailer and we will explain the rest in other articles. So how can a whitewater raft bail water out of itself? Well, an ingeniously simple design makes it happen. You see, the floor of a self bailing raft is a wide flat inflated chamber, sort of like a big air-mattress. The edges of the floor are stitched or laced to the rest of the raft.

When inflated, the floor is about 4 or 5 inches thick, so the top surface of the floor floats above the surface of the water. When water splashes into the boat, it flows across the floor, down over the edge, and out through the lacing. This design works amazingly well. A self bailer filled to the brim with water will proceed to empty itself in just a few seconds on a Colorado River Rafting trip.

If you've ever bailed water out of a raft, you know how sweet it is to have a self bailer. In fact, if you float with someone who has an older non-self-bailing raft (known as a 'bucket boat' for the obvious trait - it retains water), you get to stop and wait for them to bail at the bottom of each major rapid. So, nowadays, when someone says 'raft', they are usually talking about a self bailer. If they say they've got a 'bucket boat', well, too bad for them.

Self bailers are the work horses on a raft trip in Colorado River Rafting because they can carry a lot of gear and passengers. Popular sizes are from 13 - 18 feet long, with 14 feet probably a minimum for carrying the gear and two adults on a multi-day raft trip. 15-16 feet is ideal, and 18 footers are nice to have on larger rivers. From a performance standpoint, rowing a self bailer is more like driving a bus. So the longer the raft, the slower it is to maneuver. And the performance of any raft is diminished if it's overloaded, pressing it deeper into the water.

Where is your river for a Breckenridge Rafting trip?

If you’re looking for nothing less than the best Colorado whitewater rafting experience, your search is over. Breckenridge Rafting offers the highest quality outdoor adventure packages in the Rocky Mountain region. We take pride in providing our guests with the best service in the industry and with the best equipment available. Our years of experience and our unmatched professionalism will clearly set us apart when you allow Breckenridge Rafting by Raftmasters to guide your next Colorado white water rafting excursion.

The most dedicated, most skilled, and most enthusiastic outdoor professionals anywhere eagerly await your arrival so that we may escort you on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime. Let our Colorado whitewater rafting guides show you an unforgettable adventure.

Breckenridge Rafting by Raftmasters offers trips on 5 rivers in central Colorado. We offer Colorado whitewater rafting trips ranging from mild, scenic floats to fun, family-style whitewater to some of the most advanced Class IV & V rafting challenges in the U.S.

Colorado River Rafting and a comparison between Natural Flow Rivers and Dam controlled rivers

Featured article from USA today reporter Laura Bly
Edited by Whitewater Times
Good snow pack from this winter does not mean good river levels for Colorado River Rafting. Let me explain. We basically have two types of river-dependent factors to consider in the situation. Dam controlled rivers and natural flow rivers.

Earlier posts have talked about rivers across the nation changing over to dam controlled levels, in which certain river flows are guaranteed throughout the summer months. In general, good snow-pack and snow run-off are a good thing for dam controlled rivers. It means more water in the reservoir, and will continue to leave plenty of water flow throughout the coming years.

Natural flow rivers are a different story for Colorado River Rafting and other things we do on our rivers. Lets take a look at the Western U.S. as an example. The image here shows the current snow-pack levels across the various regions in the West. These numbers are a "percentage of normal", meaning that anything close to 100 is a very good thing, and anythin over 100 means higher-than-normal levels. Many locations that feed large rivers have over 100% snowpack for the season (still). But the weather still plays an important factor as to whether the snow will produce high, constant water levels or not.

Even with a good winter, if the weather heats up too fast, you run into flooding and fast run-off. So essentially, you would have a nice spring rafting season, followed by normal (or even below normal) water levels for the rest of the season. So it really still depends on mother nature and the transitional temperature from winter to spring to summer. Also, during the transition from spring to summer and during summer the decisions made to release water from reservoir reserves made from snow pack compared to how much rain we receive during the summer effecting the natural flow rivers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Raft speeds for Colorado River Rafting

Differences in Raft Speed
Most of the paddle strokes that a paddle raft crew takes to steer the raft propel the raft forward. Therefore paddle rafts move down the river faster than other rafts. Self bailers are next fastest. Fully loaded self bailers carry a lot of momentum and offer a lot of surface area to the river. So friction with the water causes them to be dragged along easily by the current. Since it's a lot more work to fight against these factors, the steering strokes that the person at oars takes are usually forward strokes.

The raftman just tries to adjust the direction or vector of the rafts natural movement down the river during Colorado River Rafting. It may be surprising to know that catarafts are usually the slowest at traveling down the river as they offer less surface area for friction and are so light that it is easy for the oarsman to pull back, arresting the momentum. For these reasons, rookie oarsmen in catarafts are usually at the back of any group of rafts.

Paddle Rafts for Colorado Whitewater Rafting

Paddle Rafts
Self bailers can be set up with a rigid metal (or on rare occasions, wood) frame that rests across the top of the raft, to which oar locks are mounted and oars attached. The other configuration is to leave the frame and oars at home and just use paddles. So the term 'paddle raft' refers to this other set up. It's just a term for a self bailer that is set up with inflated seats known as 'thwarts' for passengers to sit on. This image shows set up for both with mounted oars in the back, and in the front people using paddles.

Passengers are obligated to row, or more accurately, paddle the boat down the river. While this means work for the passengers, it makes for a very entertaining, social (and usually wet) ride! Most commercial river guides services for Colorado Whitewater Rafting run paddle boats to give the paying clients the full immersion experience.

The normal configuration for a paddle boat is to have a 'captain' sitting at the rear of the boat shouting orders to the crew and using her paddle to steer or make fine adjustments to speed and direction. The 'crew' is the rest of the passengers, with half of them paddling on one side and the other half paddling on the other making a Colorado Whitewater Rafting experience memorable.

Breckenridge Rafting and using a Cataraft

Cats are far more maneuverable than self bailers but carry less weight. They're the sports cars of a Breckenridge Rafting trip. And like sports cars, they carry fewer passengers, but provide a lot of fun for the driver. If you're new to rafting, you would be well advised to consider buying a cataraft as your first raft. Their maneuverability will help you recover when you misjudge a rapid, and of course they are just plain fun.

When you plan a Breckenridge Rafting trip, a cataraft is the ideal raft for a day trip. And cats are also ideal for high water or extreme multi-day trips when each participant will row their own raft.


There is a unique description to know when sizes of cats are discussed. Sizes of catarafts are described as pairs of dimensions separated by "X", like "12X20", "16X24". The first number is the length in feet, and the second number is the diameter of the pontoons in inches. So a cat that is 12X20 is 12 feet long with pontoons or "tubes" as they are referred to that are 20 inches in diameter.

Colorado River Rafting on a Self Bailer Raft

Some of the best rafts in the world are constructed of Ferrari's patented Preconstraint PVC fabric and urethane AIREcells, they set the standard for durability, performance and innovation. Aire is one of the companies who carry's one of the best.

Types of rafts are:
* Self Bailers
* Catarafts
* Paddle Rafts
* Differences in Boat Speed
* What's an ‘R2’?
* Kayaks
* J-Rigs and Sweep Boats
* Dories

Let's start with the Self Bailer and we will explain the rest in other articles. So how can a whitewater raft bail water out of itself? Well, an ingeniously simple design makes it happen. You see, the floor of a self bailing raft is a wide flat inflated chamber, sort of like a big air-mattress. The edges of the floor are stitched or laced to the rest of the raft.

When inflated, the floor is about 4 or 5 inches thick, so the top surface of the floor floats above the surface of the water. When water splashes into the boat, it flows across the floor, down over the edge, and out through the lacing. This design works amazingly well. A self bailer filled to the brim with water will proceed to empty itself in just a few seconds on a Colorado River Rafting trip.

If you've ever bailed water out of a raft, you know how sweet it is to have a self bailer. In fact, if you float with someone who has an older non-self-bailing raft (known as a 'bucket boat' for the obvious trait - it retains water), you get to stop and wait for them to bail at the bottom of each major rapid. So, nowadays, when someone says 'raft', they are usually talking about a self bailer. If they say they've got a 'bucket boat', well, too bad for them.

Self bailers are the work horses on a raft trip in Colorado River Rafting because they can carry a lot of gear and passengers. Popular sizes are from 13 - 18 feet long, with 14 feet probably a minimum for carrying the gear and two adults on a multi-day raft trip. 15-16 feet is ideal, and 18 footers are nice to have on larger rivers. From a performance standpoint, rowing a self bailer is more like driving a bus. So the longer the raft, the slower it is to maneuver. And the performance of any raft is diminished if it's overloaded, pressing it deeper into the water.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where is your river for a Breckenridge Rafting trip

If you’re looking for nothing less than the best Colorado whitewater rafting experience, your search is over. Breckenridge Rafting offers the highest quality outdoor adventure packages in the Rocky Mountain region. We take pride in providing our guests with the best service in the industry and with the best equipment available. Our years of experience and our unmatched professionalism will clearly set us apart when you allow Breckenridge Rafting by Raftmasters to guide your next Colorado white water rafting excursion.

The most dedicated, most skilled, and most enthusiastic outdoor professionals anywhere eagerly await your arrival so that we may escort you on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime. Let our Colorado whitewater rafting guides show you an unforgettable adventure.

Breckenridge Rafting by Raftmasters offers trips on 5 rivers in central Colorado. We offer Colorado whitewater rafting trips ranging from mild, scenic floats to fun, family-style whitewater to some of the most advanced Class IV & V rafting challenges in the U.S.

Colorado River Rafting and a comparison between Natural Flow Rivers and Dam controlled rivers

Featured article from USA today reporter Laura Bly
Edited by Whitewater Times
Good snow pack from this winter does not mean good river levels for Colorado River Rafting. Let me explain. We basically have two types of river-dependent factors to consider in the situation. Dam controlled rivers and natural flow rivers.

Earlier posts have talked about rivers across the nation changing over to dam controlled levels, in which certain river flows are guaranteed throughout the summer months. In general, good snow-pack and snow run-off are a good thing for dam controlled rivers. It means more water in the reservoir, and will continue to leave plenty of water flow throughout the coming years.

Natural flow rivers are a different story for Colorado River Rafting and other things we do on our rivers. Lets take a look at the Western U.S. as an example. The image here shows the current snow-pack levels across the various regions in the West. These numbers are a "percentage of normal", meaning that anything close to 100 is a very good thing, and anythin over 100 means higher-than-normal levels. Many locations that feed large rivers have over 100% snowpack for the season (still). But the weather still plays an important factor as to whether the snow will produce high, constant water levels or not.

Even with a good winter, if the weather heats up too fast, you run into flooding and fast run-off. So essentially, you would have a nice spring rafting season, followed by normal (or even below normal) water levels for the rest of the season. So it really still depends on mother nature and the transitional temperature from winter to spring to summer. Also, during the transition from spring to summer and during summer the decisions made to release water from reservoir reserves made from snow pack compared to how much rain we receive during the summer effecting the natural flow rivers.

Colorado River Rafting water levels

Check out river levels for Colorado at this hot link for stats that really dial you in to what is going on with the river levels for around 280 points at major rivers for Colorado River Rafting and any water hobbies you do on the rivers. You get the full stats from graphs to info on feet of water for every major river.
Real-time data typically are recorded at 15-60 minute intervals, stored onsite, and then transmitted to USGS offices every 1 to 4 hours, depending on the data relay technique used. Recording and transmission times may be more frequent during critical events. Data from real-time sites are relayed to USGS offices via satellite, telephone, and/or radio and are available for viewing within minutes of arrival.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

River Rafting Paddling Terms

Here are many paddling terms to consider when whitewater rafing the rivers!

Atomic Launch - launching from a ledge above a river by sliding down the bank and droping into the water.

Boat-Eater - A "monster hole" in a rapid, big enough to swallow a boat. Also known as a bus-stopper.

Boil - swirly or unpredictable currents pushing (boiling) to the surface. Usually caused by rocks pushing the water to the surface.

Bony - run or rapid requiring lots of maneuvering because of the abundance of obstacles, mostly rocks.

Boof - driving your boat for a mini-launch over a shallow ledge or rock.

Brace - paddling technique using downward and sweeping strokes to stabilize a tipping canoe or kayak.

Broach - occurs when a canoe or kayak becomes caught in the current against an obstruction and turned sideways. Can result in severe damage as the current's force warps the boat around the obstruction.

C.F.S. - Cubic Feet per Second. Measurement of velocity of water flow at a given point in a river. Will vary according to water level and gradient of riverbed.

Carnage - general term for a mishap, as in a boat flipping or someone falling out.

Chicken Line - Straps on the sides of a raft for clients to hold on to if they get scared. Use caution as it can entrap arms and legs in a flip.

Class I-VI - international scale of river difficulty classification system for negotiating the difficulty of fast-moving water. Class I is the easiest and Class VI the most difficult.Confluence- the junction of two rivers or forks of a river.

Control Hand- "fixed" hand, left or right, depending on the offset of the blades on a kayak paddle. Left hand paddles are more difficult to obtain.

Curler - a large wave, usually at the bottom of a drop, with a crest that spills upon its upstream slope. May be a surfing wave.

Drop - a short, well-defined rapid or section of a rapid. Named for the abrupt drop in elevation between the top and bottom of the rapid.

Eddy - area of usually calm water behind or downstream of an obstruction in the main current, where water flows counter to that of the main current.

Eddy Out - term used to describe leaving the main current and entering an eddy.

Eddy Line - a current differential between the upstream current of the eddy and the downstream current of the main flow of the river.

Ender - a play maneuver enacted by nosing the boat's bow down and deep and the stern up, which results in the boat popping vertically upward. Good fun!!

Ferry - a maneuver used to cross a current with little or no down stream travel. Utilizes the current's force to move the boat sideways.

Float Bag - the most common form of floatation in canoes and kayaks.

Gauge Height - for measuring water levels at one or more locations. Reference point used with CFS (or in lieu of).Grab Loop - grab-handle threaded through bow/stern stems of a kayak or canoe. Useful as carry-handles and for catching swimmers.

Gradient - refers to the steepness of a riverbed over a specified distance, usually per mile. Along with CFS and water level information, this helps paddlers draw a conclusion of a river's difficulty. See CFS and Class I-VI.

Hair - dangerous and difficult water.Hair boating - paddling in dangerous and difficult whitewater.

Haystacks - big standing waves in a wave "train" following a drop.

Headwall - steep cliff where the main channel of the river drives against it at a 90-degree angle.

Highside - when you broach on a rock with a raft everyone moves to the highside to push it back down so it won't wrap around the rock.

Hole - a hole is created when the river current drops over a rock or ledge and circulates instead of continues its downstream flow. A significant feature because it either offers play opportunities or danger of trapping, depending on the power of the hole.

Horizon line - usually indicative of a falls or steep drop. There is a line, but the route, if there is one, is not apparent. Time to exit and scout.

Hydraulic - water formation following a sudden drop in the riverbed or drop over an obstruction that creates a powerful circulating force at the base of a drop. The circulating pressure of a powerful hydraulic can hold boats and paddlers for indeterminate lengths of time.

Hypothermia - the cold water hazard for paddlers. Prolonged exposure can lead to incapacitation and eventually death as body core temperature drops below 80 degrees.

Lilly-dipper - a weak paddler.

Maytag - stuck in a hole and thrashed about as if in a washing machine. Usually not fun!

Mystery move - usually a squirt boat move that is a lengthy disappearance under water then reappearance to the surface downstream in an entirely different location. Fun, especially when intentional!

New Yorker - a client who whines and complains.Peel out - term used to describe leaving an eddy and entering the main current; bow catches the main current and quickly swings the boat downstream. A downstream lean is needed to counter act the current.

PFD - Personal Floating Device. The proper name for a Life Jacket per Coast Guard definition. It is required by law for every passenger of all water craft and your most important life-saving tool.

Pillow - water that builds up around a rock in the main current. Pillows are stuffed with rock.Pin - being stuck between the current and the river bed or an obstruction such as a rock or log and unable to dislodge. Not fun; possibly deadly!

Pirouette - while popping vertical in a kayak during an "ender", the paddler reaches a paddle blade to the water then effects a vertical boat-and-paddler spin with it.

Portage - term for carrying boats and gear around a difficult rapid or from lake to lake.Put-in - starting place of a river trip; where you put your boat on the river to begin a run or trip.Ramp - point in a rapid where water constricts/pools before dropping downstream through a channel.

River left - the left-hand side of the river when looking downstream. When downstream looking upstream it is on your right.

River right - the right-hand side of the river when looking downstream. When downstream looking upstream it is on your left.Roll - a move requiring a paddle stroke and body snap to right oneself from a tip over while staying in the boat. Common techniques are the Sweep and the Eskimo rolls.

Roostertail - spray of water that explodes off a submerged rock or obstacle.

Shuttle - the most dangerous part of the trip. Driving between the put-in and take-out. One-vehicle shuttles require logistical foresight using options such as biking, walking, hitchhiking, etc., to return to the put-in.

Side surf - a play move in a hole in which a paddler uses counter balancing forces of downstream current and upstream hydraulic.

Spray skirt - or spray deck. A neoprene or nylon accessory that fits around the waist of the paddler and the cockpit lip of a canoe or kayak for a watertight closure.

Squirt boat - extremely low-volume (small, flat) kayak that uses the underwater river currents for playing.

Standing waves - big waves that often indicate the main channel.

Strainer - current clogged with tree branches or debris that allows the water to flow through but could pin you or your boat. Very Dangerous!

Take-out - ending point of a paddling trip; where the boats are finally taken from the water.
Technical - describes the character of a rapid that requires skillful maneuvering because of frequent obstructions. Also describes specific, difficult-to-master paddling techniques.

Throw bag - rescue device incorporating a 60 ft. floating rope coiled inside a nylon bag, to be thrown while holding one rope end.

Tongue - a smooth downstream V indicating the route through a rapid.

Undercut - an overhanging rock or ledge with water flowing underneath it. A serious hazard!

Waterfall - major drop in a riverbed, usually over six feet in height.

Wave train - A series of standing waves or runout of a rapid. Also called "haystacks".

Wrap - to wrap your boat around a rock or obstacle. Countered by leaning into the rock or highsiding a raft.

More Whitewater rafting Termonology River Rafting Terms Home

Whitewater Rafting Safety Tips and Information

Planning a Raft Trip? Rafting Safety Tips to Help You Choose:

Whitewater rafting continues to grow in popularity. Like so many outdoor activities, people tend to forget that whitewater rafting necessarily entails an element of risk due to the elements of nature. In fact, some might point out that because of the inherent thrill seeking element of whitewater rafting, the sport includes a greater-than-average risk factor.

Whitewater rafting outfitters all over the world have their own unique risks in the trips that they provide. These can range from the easily treatable (someone catches sick on a trip) to the incredibly and exotically dangerous (a rogue hippo attacking rafters on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe). There are several dangers that are involved in all whitewater expeditions, however, no matter how short or how long, or where you are in the world. Here are some tips when it comes to making sure that your expedition is as successful and safe as possible.

Prepare Beforehand: If you have never been on whitewater rafting trip before, don't try to shoot the moon on your first trip out. Having a rafter who is unfamiliar with the water is a guide's worst nightmare, so make sure that if you are going on an advanced run that you are secure in your swimming ability. You should also be honest with yourself and the outfitter you are going with when it comes to your physical ability; not all people can expect to be able to run Class V rapids all day, due to lower physical health.

Listen to Your Guide! Guides that work for whitewater rafting outfitters are experienced and educated outdoors enthusiasts who know exactly what they are doing and what to expect on the rivers they run. Despite this fact, many people still presume that they know better than their guide what to do out on the river. Don't make this mistake. Consider that most guides have specialty training that the average person, even the average outdoors enthusiast, will not have the chance to obtain. Guides who run the Colorado River for River Runners in the Colorado, for example, are required to take Swiftwater Rescue training when they take rafters down Class IV or higher sections of rapids.

Betty, of W.E.T. River Trips in California, mentions that guides are also able to help rafters avoid stress injury by offering paddling techniques. "Men and women guides often have different styles of paddling", so be sure to use the one that is appropriate to your strengths!

Select Age-Appropriate Trips: Most whitewater rafting trips are available to people of all ages, but both parents of young children and senior citizens should choose the type of rapids they tackle according to realistic criteria. Eileen Datka of River Runners, an outfitter based in Colorado, points out that their trips are limited to people four years old or forty pounds. Kids in this group are restricted to the Class III rapids, and most parents will probably agree that this is more than sufficient for a thrill.

Duke Bradford, of Arkansas Valley Adventures (also in Colorado) notes that his company offers several trips for children as young as two, as long as they are accompanied by their parents. Several outfitters agree with this perspective and offer float trips along easy Class I and II rapids that even young families can enjoy.

Outfitters also note that even older kids might not be suited to all runs. For example, both River Runners and W.E.T. River Trips in California state that during high water, the minimum age on Class IV rapids should be 16 years. Betty of W.E.T. takes the age limit one step further, encouraging those under the age of 18 to defer from going on trips that involve a lot of Class V water.

Safety comes first in any outdoor recreational activity, and whitewater adventures are certainly no exception. To make sure that you have the most enjoyable excursion possible, follow the steps above and contact the outfitter you are going to use before hand to see if they have any additional advice.
(Source: www.raftinfo.com)

Welcome to Cañon City, Colorado - The Royal Gorge

Welcome to Cañon City, Colorado and the Royal Gorge - The Royal Gorge region is located just 2-hours south of Denver and 45-minutes southwest of Colorado Springs in Cañon City, Colorado. The Royal Gorge is host to a number of world class activities and attractions. We're fortunate to be home to the scenic and historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad, considered one of the most spectacular scenic railroads in the world. The railroad prides itself on providing both a spectacular scenic rail journey through the Royal Gorge and offers exceptional service. The railroad carries over 100,000 guests each year in 6 different classes of service. We've put together walking tours of historic downtown as well as historic homes that you may download and bring with you for your visit to Canon City.

Located just outside Canon City is the Royal Gorge Bridge - the world's tallest suspension bridge. If you wish to fly into the Royal Gorge, fly in a jet powered helicopter with Royal Gorge Helitours. The Arkansas River offers the most popular royal gorge rafting trips in Colorado, and the award winning Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is one of Colorado's most popular wineries. Below is a short video showing some of the spectacular scenery found in the Royal Gorge from the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. We've listed below the most popular activities in the Royal Gorge region. While you're here, discover our historic downtown with many shops, restaurants and galleries. Remember that if you're riding the train and planning on staying overnight, click here to view hotel partners that offer Royal Gorge Route guests the lowest rate available.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Rogue Meeting of top outfitters: Whitewater Raftingecologically

By Lynn Seldon
Edited by Whitewater Times

It’s 7am and I’m already sitting in a meeting talking about my Mother, as in Mother Nature with top outfitters from all over the U.S.
I thought I was just going to enjoy a four-day paddle on Oregon’s Rogue River and chat with some rogue paddling company owners about their various Whitewater Rafting and offerings.
We weren’t supposed to meet until nine, but we’d gotten a bit behind on the agenda the night before and they didn‘t want to miss a mid-morning put-in on the Rogue. I’m attending this annual meeting as an “embedded reporter” to learn more about Adventure Gateway, a consortium of high-quality paddling companies. They get together once a year to paddle some of America’s top rivers and to discuss business practices--both good and bad. They’ve promised me full access to them during their formal (and many informal) meetings--including much discussion about the environment and eco-tourism.

Before I’m finished my first cup of coffee, they‘re covering serious ground about the environment--including river lunches for dozens of rafters that leave no trace, attaining “Wild & Scenic“ river status (the Rogue has it), and building environmentally sensitive lodging options on budget. These men and women take river running and the health of their rivers (and businesses) very seriously.

Several Adventure Gateway companies have developed ecologically sensitive lodging options (Class VI River Runners in West Virginia is the most recent), while others have worked for years to keep rivers clean and free from excessive development. For instance, Echo River Trips owners Dick Lindford and Joe Daly were heavily involved (as was paddler- and river-focused Patagonia) in achieving Wild & Scenic status for the Tuolumne (Joe served as president of the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust for 11 years), while Wildwater founder Jim Greiner successfully pursued similar status for the Chattooga (he started his company the same year the feature film, Deliverance, was released).

I’m fascinated about their open nature in discussions of specific financial matters and ideas (both dollars and sense)--all in the hope of finding “nuggets” they can use in their own companies and rivers. For instance, before we break to hit the Rogue, Dee Holladay, founder of Holiday Expeditions, provides an overview of their “Journey with Our River Sage” program. For this popular offering, lucky paddlers get to spend quality time on a river with Dee, a 45-year whitewater veteran. With hundreds of years of whitewater experience in the room, this is a nugget several other company owners (and river sages) will be copying.

Some of these long-time owners obviously hoped to find a nugget or three from Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, in that several coincidentally brought along Let My People Go Surfing for some late-night homework by lantern light.

Many outfitters will be following this group of idea makers for the future planning and trip offerings for environmental considerations within their business plan in river rafting expeditions.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Whitewater Rafting - Thrills, Chills, and Affordable

By Jarrard Keenson

Doesn't matter if you are by yourself or if you have a large group of 200, finding an excursion that is enjoyable and affordable for everyone can be a daunting task. It can be difficult to plan a great trip in light of bankrupt airlines, high fuel prices, and increases in the day-to-day cost of living. Many citizens in the United States don't have quite the amazing opportunities that Californians do when it comes to getting out and doing something that is new, exciting, and affordable. This may be the reason why 36,500,000 citizens make California their residence.

Within only a day's drive from any of the beautiful borders of California is the graceful South Fork of the American River, a breathtaking 21-mile stretch of class III whitewater. Gold was discovered here, and it is the home of the great migration westward. Groups ranging in size from one to two hundred can come together for up to three days of fun, great food, and quiet nights around the bonfire.

Your choice of trip can be an all inclusive 3-day 2-night sleepover or a 1 day trip that gives you the freedom to hop on the river and raft for a few hours. During the three day trip, you can experience two different lengths of beautiful river and all your meals and travel are included.

Your daytime camping guide will often prepare and serve you a wonderful dinner if you are participating in an overnight trip. Evening chats around the campfire and sleeping in a tent under the clear starlit skies of the Sierra Nevada Foothills is what you can expect. When you wake your breakfast will be waiting on you, again prepared for you by our hospitable staff and, as with all our delicious meals, vegetarians and meat lovers alike will find an expansive choice at our impressive morning buffet.

Your trip leader will give you directions for your exciting day of whitewater rafting. As you float down the river, expect to see historical artifacts, animals, and plants you won't see anywhere else. You might even see some rare wildlife such as the river otter. You'll need to participate in some light rowing activity, paddling together with other crew members in order to navigate the river under the supervision of your guide. But being a body builder is not required.

The lovely American River South Fork has some of the most well known rapids in the world, including the Meat Grinder, Trouble Maker, and Satan's Cesspool and Hospital Bar. You can hang on during the big rapids and enjoy their power while having fun! If you choose a three-day adventure, you will spend the third day visiting the Middle Ford of the American, where there are larger Class IV rapids that require paddling.

You will want to prove to others that you survived the class IV rapids while whitewater rafting, so make certain that you go to the photo shop when you arrive back at base camp. You won't want your time to end, so you can spend your last minutes of this fantastic getaway with all your new-found friends, exchanging e-mails and promising to reunite next year. That's why this is the site of one of the most affordable, accessible, and exciting vacations you will ever experience.

As a father and scout leader, Jarrard Keenson is constantly trying to find fun, outdoor, family-friendly activities. The best summer activities he found is American river whitewater rafting, an over-night excursion that includes a whitewater rafting trip down the American river south fork. The American river whitewater rafting prices are reasonable and adventurous.

Meeting Friends through Whitewater Rafting

Are you interested in meeting people who have the same interests as you? There are a lot of times it is difficult to find someone who has the same hobby as you. If you are a whitewater rafting enthusiast, but your family hates the out of doors or refuses to do something they consider dangerous you can still go white water rafting.

White water rafting Royal Gorge is a great way to meet people who share the same interests as you, especially river rafting. You can find a whole new group of friends to enjoy your hobby with. They may even decide to share in getting a raft so you can take trips with out a guide. I recommend before taking trips by yourself at least having a guide on the river the first time so you know more about the river.

Also when you are meeting new people through Colorado river rafting you may just find they are wanting to take trips internationally, not just whitewater rafting Colorado River. You can then find people to go on more adventures on different rivers around the world.

Meeting new people while Colorado whitewater rafting is an adventure by itself. You may find you meet friends for life or you might find a few new acquaintances to get you out of the house and on some pretty awesome adventures.

When you have a hobby in common it is very easy to strike up a conversation and learn more about your raft mates. Consider taking a day trip or a longer rafting trip to meet new friends. Day trips will often include lunch whether you bring it or the company supplies it. This is a great way to seek out conversations while talking about the part of the river you have just come through. You can gain knowledge about others experience as well as divulging your own.

As a hobby you have the potential to meet others when you go white water rafting Colorado River style. It is important that you keep to your level of expertise or below your level depending upon the rest of the group once you strike out on your own when river rafting. You should never take a trip that is above your difficulty level with out a guide present. An adventure as awesome as Colorado white water rafting deserves respect while you are having the best time.

US takes 6th in World Raft Championships

The US Team trained throughout the winter by paddling a raft full of rocks in a pool, and tying it off to a giant bungee cord...
While they had all the best intentions of bettering their sixth-place showing from the last world championships two years ago, and 3rd-place overall finish from Ecuador in 2005, the US Men’s Rafting Team could only match their showing in South Korea by stroking to a sixth-place overall finish on the 31-km Class III-IV Vrbas River and Tara River at this year’s World Rafting Championships in Bosnia, a real Whitewater Rafting challenge.

The US team, led by Chris “Mongo” Reeder, reached the mark with a fifth-place finish in the Time Trial event; second-place showing behind Great Britain in the Head to Head Sprint; sixth-place finish in the Downriver portion; and disappointing 13th-place finish in the final Slalom event.

“It’s tough because we hoped we’d do better,” says Reeder, whose team trained throughout the winter by paddling a raft full of rocks in a pool, and even tying it off to a giant bungee cord. “We felt ourselves getting stronger each week while training, but the Bosnia course is a Class III-IV section with a lot of flatwater pools, and we’ve always had an advantage on tougher runs because of our background running steeper rivers. Plus, our team this year had all of the power we had before with 60 pounds less weight.”

Alas, the combination wasn’t enough. Instead, it was powerhouse Brazil surging to first place for the second Championships in a row, with a win in the Time Trial, fifth-place finish in the Head-to-Head Sprint, second-place finish in Downriver and sixth-place showing in Slalom. Japan took the runner-up seat, riding a first-place finish in Slalom and 3rd-place finish in the Time Trials to the podium, followed by Great Britain in third, thanks to a gold-medal performance in the Head-to-head event. Russian and the Czech Republic took 5th and 6th, respectively, with the US trailing in 6th. It's a respectable place, but not good enough for Whitewater Rafting, but we want to be first.

The US women’s team, also out of the Vail, Colo., area, finished two spots back in 8th place overall, with a 7th-place showing in the Time Trial and Sprint event, and two 9th-place finishes in Downriver and Slalom. For the women, it was Canada taking first with a win in the Slalom and 3rd-place showings in the Time Trial and Sprint; followed by Japan in 2nd, riding its 1st-place finish in Downriver to the podium, and the Czech Republic in third.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Colorado River Rafting and EddyFlower’s Vertical Challenge

Article from Paddling Life Magazine
edited by Whitewater Times

Participants in First Descents getting wet on the Colorado for Colorado River Rafting and around the world.
"We're stoked...it's a great way to raise funds for our mission, while encouraging people to get out and paddle." --First Descents founder Brad Ludden

Now you can get your adrenal glands flowing while getting cash flowing for a good cause.

EddyFlower has teamed up with First Descents for the Third Annual EddyFlower Vertical Challenge, which runs from May 15 through June 15 on rivers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Created as a fundraiser to aid the fight against cancer by garnering donations for First Descents, a Colorado-based charity organization that focuses on young adults with cancer, the event inspires paddlers to paddle as many river runs as they can over the 32-day period for pledged donations. In addition to raising money for First Descents, the paddlers compete for prizes ranging from a seven-day trip to Panama with Boquete Outdoor Advenures for the person who raises the most donations, to a brand new Fluid Solo Kayak to the person who paddles the most vertical feet.

"We're stoked," says First Descents founder Brad Ludden. "It's a great way to raise funds for our mission, while encouraging people to get out and paddle."

The Annual EddyFlower Vertical Challenge is open to all paddlers (kayakers, rafters, canoers and riverboarders) from all states. Teams of up to five people can register online at www.eddyflower.com to compete in one of six divisions (Open, Class V, Class IV, Class III, Weekend Warrior and Women’s) that best match your team’s skill level. Contestants can track the progress of their team and others on the website, where qualifying river runs and other contest rules are available. All funds raised go to First Descents, a non-profit organization that provides whitewater kayaking and other outdoor adventure experiences to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing for young adults with cancer.

Seventeen sponsors are supporting the event with $17,000 in products and contributions for prizes. In the 2008 Vertical Challenge 48 teams totaling 200 competitors ran more than 1,420,000 total feet while raising more than $28,117 for First Descents.

Founded in the summer of 2001 by professional kayaker Brad Ludden, First Descents has grown from one camp in Vail, CO representing Colorado River Rafting to nine planned camps this summer in six different states. Ludden continues to be the driving force and inspiration behind the charity, donating much of his time to helping run day-to-day operations as well as instructing at camps each summer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mongos tips for Colorado River Rafting and anywhere ....

Article from Paddling Life Magazine
edited by Whitewater Times

Mongo’s Tips on Getting Started

“I’ve seen a thousand different approaches to getting beginners down a river, be it Colorado River Rafting or anywhere. Some fail to train their crews properly and then blame the guests when things go wrong. Others feel every guest is looking for a near-death experience. Then you have the screamers, who yell at their guests to motivate them—they live by the creed, ‘The beatings will continue until the paddling improves!’

“Be calm and train your crew until you’re comfortable with them. Crews will generally reflect your own mental state. Panic equals panic. When I’m hiring new guides I’ll generally look for the ones who are having the most fun. If a guide is having a good time, so are the guests.

“Getting paid to make sure people have a good time on the river is one of the best jobs ever. Some of my best crews have been first-timers who haven’t developed any bad habits yet. I love watching someone’s initial fear turn into excitement.

“Select a trip according to your fitness level rather than your prior experience: It’s frustrating to get a men’s lacrosse team signing up for a scenic float trip because they don’t have any experience when they’d have much more fun on something more aggressive.

“One thing I’ve learned is that while a little bit of fear is a good motivator, a horrified guest is “baggage” and will quit paddling at the most inopportune times. Whenever I see the screamers in action I can’t help but think “and these people paid for this? So for any trip you plan whether it's a Colorado River Rafting trip or anywhere in the world follow some good advice here...

Colorado River Rafting and "Mongo"

This article is from Paddling Life Magazine
edited by Whitewater Times...

“I don't remember where the nickname Mongo comes from. A friend started calling me that when we were guiding together in Boulder..."
Most people associate Mongo with that farting mongoloid on Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. But as head raft guide for Vail, Colo.’s Timberline Tours, and captain of the U.S. Raft Team since 2001, Chris “Mongo” Reeder, 40, is better known for creating blazing paddles. He’s hoping his teams paddles will be blazin’ this week (May 17-23) as his team competes at the World Rafting Championships on the Vrbas River in Bosnia…

Growing up rafting in Maine and guiding rivers throughout the U.S. for more than 22 years, Mongo works on the Vail Ski Patrol during the winter, and runs a side business, Mongo Products, creating rescue and technical equipment for the adventure sports community (mongoproducts.com). But his heart returns to raft competition every spring, this year looking to better his team’s 6th-place showing in the Sprint event and 15th-place showing in Slalom at the 2007 World Championships in South Korea; and third-place overall finish at the 2005 World Championships in Ecuador -- the best finish by a U.S. Men’s team ever – which included a Gold Medal finish in Sprint.

PL caught up him before the trip overseas for some of his thoughts...

In His own Words

“We have two new members on the team since the last worlds in Korea. One is Seth Kurt-Mason, our alternate in Korea who has been paddling with the team for three or four years. The other is Joe Sialiano, who earned his spot on the team by competing with two others for the spot last summer; he was the best paddler from our competition at Nationals last spring). Our alternate is Andrew Bishop.

“We started our training in December and our trainer Topper Hagerman from Howard Head Sports Medicine has come up with a truly sadistic program.

“One thing we did different this year was getting on water twice a week through the winter. With the Worlds held early this year it was crucial to get time in the boat. Gym time and cardio is important, but nothing gets you prepared to paddle like paddling.

“For years our trainer has been dreaming up new ways to add resistance to our boat when on the river, like piling it full of weights or rocks. This year he had us paddling the raft in the pool at the local rec center with the back tied off to the diving board with a big bungee cord. The view never really changed but the resistance is incredible and we felt ourselves getting stronger each week.

“The Bosnia course is a Class III-IV section with a lot of flatwater pools. We’ve always had an advantage on tougher runs because of our background running steep Colorado River Rafting stints, but I think we’ve made some changes that will help us excel on rivers with a few more pools. Our team this year has all of the power we had before with 60 pounds less weight. That could be deadly.

“The biggest threats are the reigning World Champs Brazil, the Russians, the Czechs, the Germans, Canada and the Japanese. We’ll just have to see…but we’re feeling pretty good.

“I don't even remember where the nickname Mongo comes from. My old friend, Harlan, started calling me that when we were guiding together in Boulder and I was drunk most of those years.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What to bring on your Whitewater Rafting trip

(Source: RaftInfo.com)

Whitewater rafting is a hugely popular sport, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has felt the addiction that the rapids holds that there are more people discovering the thrill of whitewater every year. There are many companies that provide excursions down rivers across the world, and the United States and Canada are no exception.

The number of river rafting outfitters out there means that rafters have a lot of option when it comes to what they would like to do for their trip. A casual float down Class III rapids or a wild contest with Class Vs are available in almost every state and province. Every outfitter offers at least a five hour trip, with many offering anywhere up to week-long excursions to really explore the rivers across this continent. No matter how long a trip you are planning for, there are some essential items that you need to bring along in order to have the best experience possible.

Protection from the sun
Whether you are embarking on a trip that can be measured in hours or in days, the most important equipment to bring along are items that can protect you from the sun’s rays. Remember, you will be out on open water, and even though you may not feel the heat, there is little protection out there from the sun.

"Most of your efforts go into protecting yourself from the sun," states Michael, a guide with Holiday Expeditions, which runs rafting trips in Idaho on the Colorado, Green, Yampa, and San Juan Rivers and the Snake and Salmon Rivers . To that extent, he always tells rafters to make sure to bring along good sunscreen, a water bottle, and sunglasses.

Virtually every company we talked to agreed that the battle with the sun was the most crucial in deciding what to bring along. Jeff Proctor, of Jeff Proctor Class VI River Runners (which runs river trips down the New and Gauley Rivers of West Virginia, concurs with the basic list set out by Michael, and also adds that other weather considerations are crucial.

"For the shoulder season (when the weather begins to turn), bring a wet suit or paddling jacket."

Longer Trips
Both outfitters provide trips that will last for longer than one day, and for these trips some additional thought is needed when preparing your gear.

Proctor points out that foot gear is important. "Folks should come dressed for the river, with a shoe or sandal that can get wet and stay on your feet. You should still feel comfortable walking around on a sandy beach."

Sandy beaches are part of what makes packing for a two-day trip down the Holiday runs a lot easier; "With warm sandy beaches to camp on, you don't need much gear. A light weight tent, a basic sleeping bag and pad is all that you need," states Michael.

As for other equipment, well, both outfitters want to make sure that you always remember the trip, so in the words of Michael “Don’t forget your camera!”

What if you forget?
If you forget something on your checklist, or fail to make a checklist at all, there is no need to panic. Most rafting outfitters have stores at their expedition start-outs where they sell or rent out any equipment that rafters may need.

There is nothing quite like getting out and taking on nature in one of its most powerful forms, so make sure that before you hit the river you prepare for the trip. It’s guaranteed that your first time will not be your last!

MORE Rafting Info: Colorado River Rafting Outfitters | Whitewater Rafting Termonology | Home

Explore Colorado's most beautiful areas in a Raft!

Whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon offers a unique view of one of the most popular natural wonders of the world. We invite you to "Take the Scenic Route" for a virtual rafting tour of the Royal Gorge and get a feel for the Arkansas River raft trip of a lifetime through one of Colorado's most beautiful areas.

Colorado river rafting offers fun and excitment for all ages.  Not only do river rafting outfitters offer multiple rafting trips for all ages, they also offer the trips in conjuction with other events like wine tasting, train rides and overnight camping.  If you have not gone river rafting in Colorado make sure you give it a try.  My guess is you will be upset when you are done.  

It is important to remember the Colorado Rafting Outfitters fill their schedule in advance.  Make sure you call at least a few weeks ahead of time to ensure your group has the chance to share a raft.  It is also important to know what to bring whitewater rafting.  Water crashes over the raft numerous times regardless what difficulty rapids you are rafting on.  Do not bring cameras or any other electronics that could get ruined if wet. 

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Colorado River Rafting

We are the thrill providers. If you enjoy the rush of fear from a horror movie! If you enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or running... that rush of exhilaration, whitewater rafting is another way to get it. If you enjoy mountain climbing it has a rush of adrenaline. If you enjoy skiing your getting adrenaline rushes. With Colorado River rafting you are getting those rushes every second as the water changes your movement and your mind adjusts to the roller coaster ride sliding you through the water's path.

Have you ever experienced whitewater rafting anywhere? If you have experienced Colorado River Rafting or whitewater rafting anywhere in the world we are looking for your stories to publish in blogs. We want the raw experience that can only be told by you from you and your group. How long you were in the water. Where you were. Who you were outfitting with. What was the memory of thrill after thrill.

I can remember my first time experiencing the ride that seems like yesterday as we were a raft of 4 thrown down the whitewater blasting against rocks, over rocks, past rocks... through waterfalls. At points it was like looking over the top of nothing like on a roller coaster looking out as you are on top of the climb before you can see the track and all you can see is open sky and you know you are about to drop. That feeling of adrenaline in your mind flowing into your head, throat, chest, and stomach reacting with your whole body of controlled bottled fear about to explode into an experience of exhilaration. You start going down the drop and you finally see a track of water and your gushing down shot fast as you free-fall with the water running into a flat plane of water dropping fifty feet ... what a rush and experience! Reply your experience to this article about your memories of exhilaration in Colorado River rafting or any whitewater trip around the world you have experienced. You may win a trip for your entry of your memorable ride!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Colorado Whitewater Rafting on the Royal Gorge

Make sure to include whitewater rafting Royal Gorge in your next trip to Colorado! Echo Canyon River Expeditions offers a number of Royal Gorge rafting trips all of which take you deep in the heart of this incredible gorge over 1200 feet deep and under the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. You'll take on the big rapids of Sunshine Falls, Wall Slammer and Sledgehammer and many more on your Royal Gorge whitewater rafting experience.
This channel is a compilation of video highlights from the multiple Colorado whitewater rafting trips offered by Echo Canyon River Expeditions.

Echo Canyon has trips departing daily throughout the summer for Royal Gorge rafting. Choose half day or full day rafting trips, or for the adventure seekers we offer a double dose of Royal Gorge whitewater rafting on our Double Dip trip. Or try our smaller and more maneuverable Adrenaline Rafts; rafts exclusive to your party that make the big hits even bigger!

Whichever rafting trip you choose, your thirst for adventure is sure to be quenched. Your guides will also tell you about the rich history of the Royal Gorge train wars and help you spot the abundant animal life that call this rugged terrain home.

Whitewater rafting the Royal Gorge offers some of the most continuous rapids in the state of Colorado. It's important to determine if Royal Gorge rafting is the best option for you as we offer many trips on the Arkansas River and on other rivers throughout Colorado. Our reservationists are all whitewater enthusiasts who will help guide you to the perfect rafting trip for your family or group.

Learn more about Royal Gorge Rafting, and the many whitewater rafting packages available. Raft Royal Gorge with Echo Canyon River Expeditions for lasting memories to complete your next trip to Colorado! (800) 755-ECHO

(Source: Whitewater rafting royal gorge)

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Raft the Royal Gorge w/ RaftEcho

If you are looking for the best whitewater rafting experience in Colorado, look no further. At RaftEcho we have been operating in the Royal Gorge section of the Arkansas River for several years. We run rafting trips in the Royal Gorge daily, all through our season from mid-April to September. Our reservation lines are staffed from 8 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time, year round, in an effort to provide you with superior customer service.

Our whitewater rafting trips in the Royal Gorge promise to leave you in awe of not just the best white water you will find in Colorado, but also some of the most spectacular scenery you can find anywhere. The Gorge itself is a ten mile stretch with a nearly continuous seven mile section of the most exciting intermediate to advanced white water rapids that will leave you exhilarated! The river passes through 1100 foot canyon walls and right under the world famous Royal Gorge Bridge. Check out our Combos page for opportunities to package this exciting rafting adventure with tickets to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, the most popular attraction in the region, or the Royal Gorge Route railway, noted as the “most arresting train trip in all of American railroading”!

Experience You Can Trust!
At RaftEcho we have some of the most, if not the most, experienced guides on the river. Our dedicated guide staff is the reason we continue to boast of an outstanding safety record. Your comfort level with us is of paramount importance in the office, on the road and on the water. Our commitment to you and to the safety of your friends and family has always been our primary focus. You will find our reputation in the industry is simply second to none.

You can contact RaftEcho as 1-800-755-ECHO [3246] or make a Rafting Reservation