Do You Have What it Takes ... White-water Rafting

Staff

According to white-water rafting enthusiasts, which river in Alaska features the longest stretch of continuous rapids?

The Talkeetna River is widely believed to have the longest stretch of continuous rapids in Alaska. Its 18 miles of Class III and IV white water are called the Rock Garden and the Sluice Box. Do you think you can handle it?

White-water rafting has a ratings system to classify rapids. How are rapids rated?

Rapids are classified from Class I through Class VI. Class I represents rippling waves, where very little maneuvering is required. Class VI rapids should be attempted only by expert rafters, as rafting them can lead to serious injury and even death.

Because of glacier runoff, Alaska has some of the best white water in the United States. It's also some of the coldest. For this reason, many rafting companies supply you with which of these items?

A drysuit provides protection for your skin from the ice-cold water. Unlike a wetsuit, which lets a little bit of water collect in the suit, a drysuit keeps you thermally insulated and dry.

When you jump to the high side of the raft to keep it from flipping, what technique are you using?

High siding is a technique that rafters use when the raft is about to hit a big rock or wave. Instead of leaning away from the obstacle, you put all your weight toward it (the "high" side) to prevent the raft from flipping.

What is the term for the area of calm water behind an obstruction in the main current?

An eddy is an ideal spot to stop your raft when necessary. Leaving the main current to enter an eddy is "to eddy out." You may use an eddy to rest, prepare for a maneuver or scout out upcoming rapids.

True or False? Sometimes white-water rafts have motors.

With a "motor raft," the raft is propelled by a motor instead of by oars or paddles. You just hang on for dear life as the raft tosses you and your fellow passengers through the rapid.

If a raft dumps some or all of its passengers but remains upright, it's said to have performed a what?

Generally, a raft is very stable because of its low center of mass and large size. Often, before capsizing, it'll shed its gear and passengers first. If a raft dumps its passengers but remains upright, it's said to have "dump-trucked."

When is the best time of year to go white-water rafting in Alaska?

Because Alaskan rivers are fed from glacier runoff and their waters are bone-chillingly cold, most Alaskan white-water rafting tours take place during the summer months, when at least the air temperature is warmer.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Alaska's ice-cold river rapids provide for some of the best white-water rafting in the United States. But like we said, that water is frigid. And some of those currents are awfully quick. Are you up for challenge? Take this quiz to find out!

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