5 Reasons You Should Whitewater Raft The Gauley RiverJuly 24, 2013
The raging Gauley River is only open to whitewater rafters and boaters a few days a year, when they release the dam and send a flood of water racing down the rapids.
It’s one of the world’s best whitewater runs. Give the Gauley a go. Grab a paddle and hop aboard a raft this year.
Why? There are so many reasons. Here are 5 of the top reasons to paddle the Gauley:
1. Enjoy Huge Thrills
The Upper Gauley River’s claim to fame are the “Big 5,” it’s 5 class V rapids. They’ll knock you around and get your heart racing like it’s getting a workout! The big water from the dam release is controlled, so it’s a guaranteed swell of epic proportions every time.
2. Unique Experience
Those Big 5 rapids? Not only are they formidable because of their size, they are also notorious for their diversity. It’s a sample platter of some of the most unique and challenging river formations you can face in a raft.
The big 5 include:
- Insignificant– a long line of steep drops, which train you right into an onslaught of pounding waves and huge holes of recirculating water
- Pillow Rock- a massive pillow of water that rushes up, over and down a huge boulder the size of a building, which lurks just inches below the surface
- Lost Paddle- a full quarter-mile stretch of continuous whitewater with 4 separate huge drops
- Iron Ring- a rapid marked by two routes: over one ledge or over the other
- Sweet’s Falls– a 14-foot waterfall
It’s an insane variety of the river’s finest challenges.
3. Test your teamwork
When you paddle, you roll down the river with 7 companions, and you have to work together to keep the raft upright. Paddling together is much more important than paddling hard. The Gauley is as technical as it is swelling, so teamwork is key. Grab your family and friends, or your coworker team, for a real whitewater rapid obstacle course. It’ll bring you together for a lesson in cooperation you’ll never forget.
4. Earn adventurer cred
As one of the most challenging rivers in the world, the Gauley is a one-way ride to bragging rights. Sweep down this massive river, and you’ve tackled one of nature’s greatest adventures. It’s sitting there, rumbling, calling you out., yelling “bring it on!”
And while we wouldn’t want to downplay the potential danger in any outdoor sport or whitewafting trip, the guides who run the Gauley are the most experienced in the business. They’ve taken poor paddling crews through those rapids upright, and they know the lines and maneuvers to guide your boat through the water.
5. Don’t Miss Out on The Best
The waves pounding through the Gauley are the best on the East Coast, possibly the entire country. They’re consistently named in the Top 10 in the World. Do you live in WV? In one of the 10+ major cities within a half-day drive? How can you miss out on this World-Class experience that’s flowing right through your backyard? It’s our gift from this East Coast mountain range, and we should accept it eagerly.
So which day are you grabbing your paddle?
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