Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Running the Ganga Gorge - Different Classes of Rapids

If you're new to white water rafting, one of the terms you'll learn is the Grade (or Class) given to a river or a stretch of water.  This grade indicates the level of difficulty of the rapids.

The Ganga gorge above Rishikesh has 13 exciting white water rapids ranging from Grade I to Grade 4 on the International Scale of River Difficulty.  All have catchy names which feature in rafting folklore. Here’s an introduction to the rapids of different grades you can tackle from Himalayan River Runners Ganga Base Camp.

Sweet Sixteen (Grade/Class 1)
This gentle rapid features an easy, slow-moving current. The waves are small, passages are clear and there are no serious obstacles.  You only need very basic skills for Sweet Sixteen.

Double Trouble, Hilton and Terminator (Grade/Class 2)
The stretch of river from Brahmpuri to Rishikesh has a range of Grade 2 rapids and is an excellent introduction to white water rafting.

Double Trouble, Hilton and Terminator are among the famous Class 2 rapids on this section. The whitecaps are bouncy enough to be exciting but not large enough to need more than basic paddling skills and this section is perfect for beginners and children. You’ll hear squeals of excitement from the kids as the raft bucks through the waves and everyone gets a splashing.

Three Blind Mice, Cross Fire, Roller Coaster and Golf Course (Grade/Class 3)
These are thrilling rapids requiring some technical manoeuvres. Three Blind Mice is actually three rapids in quick succession, hence the name. Expect churning waters and a bouncy ride.
There are also exciting waves at Crossfire, a small rapid with a narrow passage and a small whirlpool.

Roller Coaster lives up to its name. You’ll certainly go up and down on this stretch of thrashing whitewater. It’s a more difficult Grade 3 rapid and could be Grade 4 at certain river levels. It has high and unpredictable waves plus hazardous rocks and boiling eddies.

Don’t be fooled by the gentle name of Golf Course. With its fast-flowing current and powerful breakers, this is a heart-pounding run rather than a quiet game of golf! It’s one of three rapids in succession with a golfing theme. Start with Tee Off (easy Grade 2), go into Golf Course, (Grade 3 plus) and end at Club House.

The Wall (Grade/Class 4)
The legendary Wall is the Ganga’s most thrilling and challenging rapid. Rafters are tossed around like a cork on wild chaotic water before facing a huge trough and the monstrous wall of water that gives the rapid its name.  An adrenalin rush is guaranteed even for the most experienced river runners!

Safety for all
Keep in mind that the grade of the rapids is a broad indication and is not linear or fixed.  Individual rapids can be more or less difficult depending on water flow in the river.

Himalayan River Runners pays careful attention to the ranking assigned to every river we raft or kayak.  We emphasise safety for everyone and ensure that you have the skills needed for any river adventure. 

On the Ganga it is easy to get out of the raft and walk along the bank. So if you feel nervous about any rapid, you can just walk around it.

1 comment:

  1. Nice interesting blog I hope there will be more up coming blog like this. Thank you!!

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