Challenging Teamwork in the Chilliwack Canyon!
Who doesn’t love smashing through waves, feeling the raft buckle and jump with the power of the river, and working together as if your life depends on it? Rafting the Canyon with your friends and family tests your balance, endurance and courage.
There are 6 Classes of whitewater found on rivers. Class 1 is like your bathtub and requires no maneuvering. Class 2 means that there is some rough water, a few rocks, bumps and small drops that might require some maneuvering. Class 3 whitewater has medium sized waves, maybe a 3–5 ft drop, but not much considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering. Class 4 whitewater has large waves, long rapids, rocks, maybe a considerable drop and sharp maneuvers are necessary.
A Class 4 section of whitewater is a very different type of environment then where you usually spend time with your friends and family. It is entirely different than an amusement park where the roller coaster delivers thrill after thrill in a controlled setting. Anything can happen on the river. The water is cold, the canyon walls are high on both sides, and the rapids are loud, white and foaming. It is up to who is paddling in that moment to make the critical maneuvers and nail the correct lines. You get to see different sides of the people you go rafting with. Who paddles the best, who gets the most stoked and who’s the most out of their element.
Falling in and swimming a Class 4 rapid is an unique experience. Even the strongest of swimmers need a couple seconds to overcome the different sensation of being carried downstream by a swift current. The most fun place to be is in the raft, so most people swim right back to a raft and get pulled in. Sometimes the safety kayaker tows the swimmer to a raft or to shore. Helmets, personal flotation devices, wetsuits and shoes are all necessary equipment for being safe and comfortable on the river.
The best part about extreme rapid running is the focus that comes with it. Nothing else matters except what is happening right now on the river and everything else fades out. It is awesome to feel that present and connected with your surroundings. Times slows down with each wave, then speeds up and over 2 hours has passed, the trip is almost finished!
At the end of the day, no matter what happens, you go home with the satisfaction of facing up to your nervousness. There is a fullness that comes with being actively involved in a beautiful, fast paced environment like a river and playing with the current’s natural waves and eddies. Though the water is rocketing downstream fast and relentless, there is also harmony and peacefulness joining the flow.
The river is just an amazing place to be.