I’ve been lucky enough to go whitewater rafting six or seven times in my life, each time more fun than the last. I’ve always had a hard time finding people to go with, because people seem terrified at the idea. Which might be fair. The best way to market whitewater rafting is to show the most extreme videos and shots, but rarely does it show the perspective of the people in the raft who are usually laughing, shouting with joy and yes, holding on for dear life.
We recently went on a whitewater rafting trip to Golden, BC, which uses the amazing Kicking Horse river to draw adventure seekers from around the world to experience some truly fantastic whitewater. I brought along my boyfriend, who agreed to go after a lot of begging and pleading on my part. I may have also agreed to do the dishes for the rest of the year.
But I was desperate for him to come, because I wanted him to see that while whitewater rafting looks scary, it’s actually a lot of fun. The problem is you have to convince people to go with you for them to experience it themselves, which can often be the hardest part.
There are definitely accidents in whitewater rafting, even recently in Alberta there was an accident. But if you spend a few minutes on each companies website, you’ll already begin to feel a lot safer. Nothing we do in life is 100% safe, but for every time I’ve ever gone whitewater rafting, I’ve never felt like my life was in danger. Between the big raft, the life jacket, the helmet and the wetsuit, the companies have your prepared for every type of situation.
And is it scary? I guess the idea of it is scary, but if they can make a whitewater rafting movie starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, it can’t be that scary. And truthfully, I honestly don’t think it’s scary, it’s thrilling. And I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s good to get those endorphins going every now and then. The good thing about the Kicking Horse is there are lots of option depending how comfortable you feel. We went with the Alpine Rafting company, and they have a couple of different tours. I assume that Golden’s six companies all offer similar tours, although I believe they enter the river at different spots. There’s the classic, the challenge, the family and the ultimate. We did the classic, which was a 5.5 hour tour, with lots of stopping time for food and photos. It was a mix of the family and the ultimate. So the morning is pretty calm and perfect for families, with the afternoon being a little more exciting. I sorta wish we had done the ultimate, which starts in the afternoon and leads you down the middle and lower canyon. It would be a bit trickier to convince a newbie to do it, but again, once you got them on the boat, they’d be glad you did.
Near the end of our day, we got the chance to jump in the water. The boat was filled with people who had never whitewater rafted before, and yet there they were, willingly jumping in to the river. I jumped in as well, and since the water is glacier-fed it was cold. Really, cold. In the video you can hear it basically take my breath away, but it was still so fun, because I knew I was safe.
But I think the best part about whitewater rafting is when it’s over. Not because it’s over, but because the feeling of accomplishment is such a great one. So rarely can we look at a powerful piece of nature and say that we tackled it. Not only did we see the beautiful Kicking Horse river, we basically threw ourselves down it…safely of course.
So let this blog post stand as a full endorsement of whitewater rafting. It’s such an amazing experience, packed with unforgettable moments and yes, a lot of water.