Whitewater Wednesday: Leadership learned from the river.

First rule of rafting, always have T.P.!

Wade Thompson

There is a sound…. IF you have experienced it, you only have to close your eyes to hear it…. the thunderous roar of water cascading over boulders in a dance of hydraulics and eddies… a symphony of violence and chaos…. churning and boiling as it flows to its final tranquil, calm resting place.

The sounds of whitewater have a frequency unheard by the human hear, but like a weapon of bio mass destruction, the resonances can have a profound impact on the lower GI track of the lowly raft guide. The guide must be prepared when this frequency is encountered. Its effects can strike at any given time… even sometimes in early spring just thinking about…. it ….. excuse me a minuet….

Every river, stream, creek, brook, and burn, in the world, apart from the Grand Canyon, is graded on a class system from I-VI. It is the dumbest system in the world. The aforementioned Grand Canyon uses a 1-10 system which, because it is exclusive to the Colorado river, is somewhat better.

Class I – Think lazy river at your local waterpark, Water Craft of choice 2 truck inner tubes. One for you and one to tow the cooler.

Class VI- Think Niagara Falls. Unrunnable in a water craft. And if some idiot tries it and lives. Well, now it’s Class V+. The idiocy of this system will be reserved for a rant at a different time. (Feel free to feed the fodder in the comments)

All commercially run rivers have to fall somewhere between II-V. With an inflation of “+” by commercial outfits and douchebags beginner kayakers and idiots who fling themselves off waterfalls.

Class II and III is just a great day on the river. Regardless of the experience of whoever is in the boat, mostly, good times will be had by all.

Class IV and V is a different matter altogether, and you know it when you hear it… Oh that sound… Penobscott, Gaully, some obscure river in the middle of Sasquatch country Washington….Just the thou… excuse me….

Whether a groover, Port o john, a park service loo, or popping a skwaat behind a parked put-in vehicle. NEVER LEAVE THE BASE WITHOUT THE BOG ROLL.

And this is advice for life. Even if you left the guide game long ago, in this crazy world we live in now, security is only a roll away.