Wet and Wild Whitewater Rafting

Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Friday, June 10, 2011

One of the perks of living in Banff, apart from the cheap staff accomodation and the access to mountain hikes from downtown, is the fact that it is a tourist town. Due to this fact, a lot of the adventure/activity companies want you to try their products so that when a guest asks you to recommend activities, you will recommend theirs. So on Wednesday, I got to go up to the Upper Hot Springs for free for the afternoon which was nice because it is outdoors and has Rundle Mountain as the backdrop.

On Friday straight after I finished work at 7am, I went home and got changed to go whitewater rafting with Chinook Rafting for the day - a saving of $160! The other night auditor Adam and I got picked up just before 8am and we headed out to Kananaskis to get our gear. After a lengthly safety briefing and command instructions, Adam and I got onto our raft with 4 other girls from Discover Banff Tours to raft the Kananaskis River. This particular river was rated 2 to 3 which meant it had some rapids, but it was fairly tame. We started out by the guide testing our commands before we started heading downstream. We managed to go through the first rapids with ease before we pulled the raft over to the side to do some raft surfing. What that basically meant was that the raft guide would position the raft underneath some rapids which would make water pour into the raft holding it in place and getting us drenched in the One of the girls from the other rafts managed to take a swim on that one. With the next rapids, one pair of the girls had a turn and were either drowning or squealing with delight! Eventually after 2 hours and dodging all the kayakers who were playing in the rapids, we came out at a dam and dragged the raft out of the water.

We jumped on the bus and headed back to base to get changed and have a bbq lunch. There was one Indian family from Mumbai who tagged along in the morning and they left in a stretch limo. We were waiting after lunch to get confirmation that the Horseshoe Canyon raft on the Bow River was available because the water level was quite high. Luckily enough we got the all clear and jumped back into the wetsuits and travelled to the entry point just below a reservoir. There were only a few rapids on this course, but they were bigger so we made sure to pay attention and follow the commands of the raft guide. There were three rafts and after we came down the second rapids, the third raft turned over behind us. For a few minutes there was a mad scramble to get all the rafts over to the side and pull the people out of the water. Luckily everyone was accounted for and we rested for a while because one girl had a bit of shock and another bruised her knee.

Finally we all managed to get back into the rafts and we had the opportunity of jumping from the cliffs into the swirling river. Quite a few people opted for the 2m jump, but Adam and I did the 8m cliff jump in to the water. It was such an adrenaline rush that I did it twice and I almost lost one of my boots in the process. The final float down the rest of the river was peaceful with stunning scenery around us and we once again came to the end of our trip after 2 hours.

Not having slept in 24 hours, I fell asleep on the bus on the trip back to Banff and managed to squeese another 4 hours in before having to turn up to work that night. Lets just say I slept very well after I got off!
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Tom on

Looks like fun! How cold was the water?! The scenery thereabouts looks absolutely gorgeous.
Still jealous by the way :)

Karolyn "Frau Schmitt" on

Those blue helmets are sooooo unattractive dahlings ... but looks like a whole heap of fun ... for free!

danielpinno on

Water wasn't too bad when I wasn't drowning in it, certainly makes you feel alive!

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