What Class V whitewater is REALLY like . . .

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#1
Unlike some of the videos posted here recently and purporting to show serious whitewater, I got a real dose of pucker watching this, especially at 3:54 minutes into it. There's no way in the world some of the inflatable fishing craft touted by their manufacturers as 'Class V Capable' would survive this:


BTW, this is the stretch on the NF Snoqualmie that the proposed hydropower dam would jeopardize.

K
 

martyg

Active Member
#2
There's all kinds of Class V. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone regularly running a technical Class V creek in inflatables. The exception might be the Upper Yough. It drops 160' per mile and everything is undercut. Those are commercial trips with a full assortment of safety boaters who set safety up at the 5 - 7 major rapids.

In water like that shown you want to be in a hard boat, and you want to have a bomb proof roll to both sides.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#3
Thanks for the insights Marty. But to beg the question, why do you think inflatable manufacturers continue to tout their products as being capable of withstanding such extreme conditions?

K
 
#6
Maybe the craft would survive - maybe - but it's occupant not so much. Class 5 has always been reserved for bucks that know WTF they are doing in real boats like kayaks and rafts that are no BS and suited to the size of water. Class 5 kayakers, creekers, remind me of trad climbers in many many ways.
 

Dan Nelson

Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum
#13
There's all kinds of Class V. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone regularly running a technical Class V creek in inflatables. The exception might be the Upper Yough. It drops 160' per mile and everything is undercut. Those are commercial trips with a full assortment of safety boaters who set safety up at the 5 - 7 major rapids.

In water like that shown you want to be in a hard boat, and you want to have a bomb proof roll to both sides.

Sorry, but while I agree whole-heartedly with your first statement, I would argue that your second sentence is somewhat BS. There are a LOT of Class V rapids that are regularly run in rafts, including the previously mentioned upper Yough, parts of the Scott, the Arkansas, the Middle Owyhee (ratings vary depending on flows), the Upper Middle Fork Flathead, etc. Remember, rapid ratings frequently fluctuate with water flows and what may be a high-water Class III+ could be a low-water Class V (or vice versa). Frankly, your first statement of " there's (sic) all kinds of Class V" helps refute your second statement that it's hard to find anyone regularly running Class V in inflatables. Not all Class V rapids can be run in rafts (esp. those narrow-chute drops) but there are plenty of true Class Vs that CAN be run by qualified boatmen. I'll agree that there may not be a LOT Of boatmen qualified to run Class V in rafts, but the fact remains that there are Class V's regularly run in inflatables by the boatmen who are qualified to do so.
 

Latest posts