Preparing for “Safetyday” – Whitewater classification

Besides the practical part of the safetyday all participants were also asked to provide some information or presentation regarding safety and rescue subjects, like how to throw ropes, communication signals, white water conditions and other useful stuff.

I volunteered to look into the whitewater classification and specifically looking for photos and films of whitewater as discussed in this post of December. It was a nice assignment, but not as easy I had imagined. I have since looked at countless nice films by the pros and really cool photos of big waterfalls and huge waves, but didn’t find too much normal water the average boater like me comes across on his trips.

Last weekend I have made a small presentation with some photos that represent a certain whitewater class so we can discuss what the class will be and see the answer after that. I will put it up after the safetyday, because otherwise the classification part will be ruined as everyone already knows the answers ;-).

Besides the photos in the presentation I also found the following clips that describe how to classify water.

Unfortunately they don’t show other rivers or classifications then the one they are on, so you get a description but not a visual presentation of what that might look like. From the above 3, I think the first is the most useful description. Besides that, how it looks on a video is something else entirely when you are feeling the water pressure, the environment like cold water and air and you have to paddle yourself. My trip to the Upper Rur has taught me that very well.

More discussion points and revelations after the safetyday tomorrow, maybe I will learn some good guidelines for classifying white water and what that might mean if you are actually on such a river.

I will end this post with one of the films I came across while searching for this assignment : A really nice clip that shows how beautiful kayaking can be, especially in fall with all the different forest colors.

Seasons: Fall. Kayaking the White Salmon River with Kate Wagner from The Banks Mag on Vimeo.

Now, what kind of whitewater class would you assign to the White Salmon as shown in the video?

Update: Looking for a nice image for this post I found the wetplanetwhitewater site, that had this cool picture on it.marquee-class-system

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