“I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebble.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever”
– The Brook
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
You Shall be wondering that why am I mentioning about The poem which tells the tales of “A River”. and this is because; it is the topic about which I shall be telling you about in this article. and if you are guessing then let me tell you that… Yes, I am talking about the most adventurous sport – White water rafting.
Rafting is very high adrenaline sport of navigatting in a river in an inflatable raft, which involves several levels of difficulties skimming through the waves and this is generally done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. This sport deals with risk and need good teamwork.
White water is formed in rapid, when the gradient of the river increases to such a level so that it creates turbulence and air enters into the water body, that is it forms a bubbly or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white. The term is also loosely used to refer to less turbulent, but still agitated, flows.
Classification of white water (Source Wikipedia.org):
The most widely used grading system is the International Scale of River Difficulty, where whitewater (either an individual rapid, or the entire river) is classed in six categories from class I (the easiest and safest) to class VI (the most difficult and most dangerous). The grade reflects both the technical difficulty and the danger associated with a rapid.
Class 1: Very small rough areas, requires no maneuvering. (Skill Level: None)
Class 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, small drops, might require maneuvering. (Skill Level: Basic Paddling Skill)
Class 3: Whitewater, medium waves, maybe a 3–5 ft drop, but not much considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. (Skill Level: Experienced paddling skills)
Class 4: Whitewater, large waves, long rapids, rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. (Skill Level: Advanced Whitewater Experience)
Class 5: Whitewater, large waves, continuous rapids, large rocks and hazards, maybe a large drop, precise maneuvering. Often characterized by “must make” moves, i.e. failure to execute a specific maneuver at a specific point may result in serious injury or death. Class 5 is sometimes expanded to Class 5+ that describes the most extreme, runnable rapids (Skill Level: Expert)
Class 6: While there is some debate over the term “Class 6”, in practice it refers to rapids that are not passable and any attempt to do so would result in serious injury, near drowning or death (e.g. Murchison Falls). If a rapid is run that was once thought to be impassible, it is typically reclassified as Class 5.
There shall be different features of whitewaters which you will observe during rafting and you need to be aware of it and the trainer will let you know the methods of overcomming such kind of obstructions like: Strainers or sifts, Sweepers, Holes, Waves, Pillows, Eddies, Undercut rocks and Sieves.
Rafting is a challenging but tremendously fun activity – just remember to keep the instructor’s safety tips in mind! White-water (rapids) does invoke fear but river-running done properly – under professional guidance (the first things whitewater boaters learn is never to stand up in more than ankle deep water where there is a current.) , with the right training, using the appropriate equipment, taking all safety precautions, and by following a set of safety norms – can be an extremely safe, enjoyable and exciting soft-adventure sport.
This sport is fast gaining popularity in India as Himalayas make up an exciting destination for hard core rafters with Myriad rivers gushing out from it through the heart of the country.and importantly there is plenty of opportunities for the first timers to learn and master the skills of River rafting. from teenager to 70 year olds; every one can enjoy this sports.
Currently there are over 50 commercial outfitters in India organizing trips ranging from two-hour runs to multiple-day expeditions majority of which would be found in Rishikesh. Here are some of the list :
- Himalyan Cove
- Trekt India – Day Tours
- Red Chilli Adventure
- Himalyan Travels
- Expeditions India
- De-N-Ascent Expeditions
- Ravers Expeditions
- Wild Splash – Day Tours
At last I would just say that :
“There’s nothing. . .absolutely nothing. . .half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats.”
-Kenneth Cole, The Wind in the Willows