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Grading

Paddle Australia 2001 - 2009 Adventure Professional Publications.
All Rights Reserved.

Original concept developed
by Julien Atherstone
& Mike Lyons.
 


Paddle Australia - The Interactive Guide to Australian Paddling
The Interactive Guide to Australian Paddling

Introduction

In many parts of Australia (and overseas) paddling guides are becoming old and do not always keep up with the changing face of paddling, different equipment and circumstances.

The idea of Paddle Australia is to have a guide that can be constantly and easily updated with new rivers, sea kayak trips and paddling notes, rather than waiting many years for the next guide book to be published.

This guide is a forum in which paddlers from Australia and all over the world can do one of three things:

1. access information about different rivers and sea kayak trips around Australia;
2. contribute information about rivers and sea kayaking trips that are not in the Paddle Australia guide, or update information about trips that are;
3. use this site to access information about and discuss any other aspect of paddling.

The guide also aims to generate more interaction; sharing and seeking of information; new runs; closed runs; issues; etc. between paddlers across Australia; and to welcome overseas paddlers.

The site is intended as a guide only, with logistical information and descriptions on the nature of a river, rather than detailed blow by blow accounts of every rapid.

The guide is a continually evolving work (a bit like a river or coastline), it needs your input to grow and improve. We need your contributions of rivers and sea kayaking trips and updates on existing submissions. Your comments, good or bad, will always be welcomed. The Contributions Page explains how to share your information and opinions.

Equipment

Australia is a place of many varied rivers and coastlines, from park and play rivers such Goolang Creek and the Goulburn (Blue Gums), through to the wilderness journeys like Franklin and Herbert rivers or sea kayaking the Kimberley. The boats and other equipment needed will vary greatly and it is important to both read the specific trip notes and to also contact somebody from that region to find out what particular gear is required.

Grading

With the grading of rivers being one of those things that will be forever debated we have decided to go with a system based on 'Class' . The class of a river, in this guide is based on the overall difficulty of the river, according to the International River Classification System (see below) - not taking into account isolation, water temperature or any other external factors. If there mandatory portages a "p" will appear after the class, if any rapid is a class quite different to the rest of the river, and is portagable, then that class of rapid will appear in brackets. (IV) For example a river might be Class IV (p) or Class II (IV)

International River Classification System

Class I Moving water with few or no obstacles. Passages are wide open and easily seen from the river.
Class II Rapids with small obstacles and regular features. Passages are open and obvious without scouting, but may require manoeuvring.
Class III Rapids with regular features that require manoeuvring to negotiate. Passages can be narrow and features such as holes and irregular waves must be run to negotiate the rapid. Risk of injury
Class IV Rapids with highly irregular features. Complicated passages that often include vertical drops and may require scouting to find safe passages. Linked manoeuvres are required in convoluted passages. Risk of injury and possible risk to your life.
Class V Rapids with violent and irregular features. Extremely congested passages that almost always require scouting to determine safe routes. Most class V rapids include vertical drops and require running large-scale features in a complex series of manoeuvres. Definite risk of serious injury and possible risk to your life.
Class VI The difficulties of class V taken to the extreme. Rapids with extremely violent and unpredictable features where experts require considerable advance scouting and planning to determine possible passages. All class VI rapids require the paddler(s) to negotiate vertical drops and very large features. Always a risk to your life. Generally only possible at certain water levels.

Disclaimer

The information in this site is intended to be used as a guide only and is prone to human error. With contributors from many and various backgrounds there are bound to be errors, inconsistencies in grading and changes in local river conditions. All advice and information should be treated with caution and checked locally. The editors, hosts and contributors can accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person as a result of information or advice contained in this guide.

The editors expect that paddlers who use this guide will have appropriate training, skills and experience for the rivers they choose to paddle; will use appropriate equipment; and take responsibility for their own safety.

AdventurePro --- 10/08/2011