River Grades - River Classes
- Class I - Easy
- fast water with ripples or waves
- all dangers are obvious, negligible risk to swimmers, easy self-rescue
- Class II - Novice
- straightforward rapids with regular waves
- easy to medium drop-offs(chutes, ledges, falls)
- eddies and shear zones are easily negotiated
- best passage evident without scouting
- Class III - Intermediate
- rapids with moderate, irregular waves, breakers, rollers and back eddies
- scouting in advance is advised for inexperienced parties
- Class IV - Advanced
- high, irregular waves, breakers, powerful back eddies, whirlpools and sharp bends
- powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise handling in difficult water, for experienced paddlers only
- “Must make moves”, rapids that require skill
- moderate to high risk to swimmers, group rescue is often required
- advance scouting is required
- Class V - Expert
- extremely long and/or violent rapids, often containing large, unavoidable obstacles, holes, steep banks, and turbulent water
- very fast currents with powerful whirlpools and boiling back eddies
- rescue is often difficult for experts
- advance scouting may be difficult
- Class VI - Extreme
- upper limit of present-day skills and equipment and only for teams of experts, taking all safety precautions
- Unexplored or uncharted rapids where navigation may be very difficult to impossible.
- Luck often considered an important part of a successful negotiation.
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The biggest stickler/contentious issue about certain rivers is going to be the river grading scale. At the moment it is the lowest grade sections to the highest grade sections.
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