What a Rush!

Beginning of the trip. I'm in the front with the dark glasses and H is right behind me.

The most exhilarating, fun experience I’ve ever had was whitewater rafting. A couple of years ago H and I entrusted our lives to a guide from Wild Water Adventures near Banff, Alberta, Canada. The trip took us 20 km down the Kicking Horse River in an hour and a half. We wore wetsuits, polar fleece jackets, raincoats, neoprene booties, and helmets. I learned firsthand that wetsuits don’t keep you dry (that’s what drysuits are for).

Our self-bailing raft (water escapes through holes on the floor) would disappear into huge swells and the water would come crashing over the top of us. At 4°C (39°F) the glacier-fed river was quite refreshing and took my breath away. With each wave I could feel the icy water rush down my back and I was totally soaked in no time. I wonder if the water temperature had anything to do with the level of excitement?

We did several Class IV rapids, which is the highest level that a commercial trip can attempt. Class IV rapids can be described as erratic waves or holes. Large obstructions need to be avoided. Risk of injury if swimming. Very difficult.

Dangerous? Yes. But what a rush!

I started the adventure in the front of the boat. Half-way through the trip we rotated positions. I can tell you that the front position is the most fun and exciting place to sit! However, you will bear the brunt of the waves.

I have a hard time understanding the desire to sky-dive, rock-climb, and bungee-jump. But I do understand the call of white water.

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