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River Classifications

Class Ratings I-VI: Choose the route that best suits your ability, it is important to note that water levels will increase the classification.

Class I: SIMPLE-There is moving water with few riffles and small waves with a few or no obstructions. Correct course of approach is easy to determine.

Class II: INTERMEDIATE-Contains fairly frequent, but unobstructed rapids. Correct course of approach is generally easy to recognize but some manoeuvring is required.

Class III: CHALLENGING-Numerous rapids with high and irregular waves, contains narrow passages that often require complex manoeuvring. Course is not always easily identifiable. Maximum level for an open stock canoe.

Class IV: VERY CHALLENGING --Long rapids, characterized by high and irregular waves with boulders directly in the swift current. Course is often difficult to recognize requiring some scouting from the bank.

Class V: EXCEEDINGLY CHALLENGING --Continuous rocky rapids with high and irregular broken water, which cannot be avoided. These courses have an extremely fast flow, abrupt bends, and strong crosscurrents. These types of waters result in difficult rescue conditions. Frequent inspections from the bank are strongly recommended.

Class VI: LIMIT OF NAVIGABILITY-Course takes the Class V difficulties and increases them to the upper limits of skill and equipment. These courses are extremely dangerous and are only recommended for teams of experts.