Whitewater

Whitewater

The Whitewater Program offers river trips and training for members who wish to paddle in moving water and run rapids from April to December. Trips range in duration from a single evening to multiple days. Training focuses on paddling and tripping skills as well as river safety.

Club trips range in difficulty from gentle Class I/II rivers like the Mississippi, to roaring class III/IV rivers like the Ottawa.

To ensure everybody's safety, whitewater trips are only open to club members who have qualified for the club's Whitewater List.

Trip leaders use this list to confirm who can participate to White Water activities . During an activity, for safety the trip leader may restrict who can run certain rapids.

Most of the trips are advertised on the RACCC website calendar, others are advertised on the Forum under “Whitewater Trips”, usually no later than the Wednesday prior to departure.

For more information, contact the Whitewater coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who can join trips?

Only RACCC members on the Whitewater list may participate in RACCC whitewater trips. Whitewater trip leaders use the Whitewater List to identify members who have up-to-date whitewater skills and will use the list to determine participation in organized trips.

Club trips range in difficulty from gentle Class I or II rivers like the Mississippi, to roaring class III to IV rivers like the Ottawa. All trips have a trip leader who will post trips and clearly state the level of difficulty and the skill level required. Trip leaders always have the final say on who can participate.

If you are a tandem paddler and need a partner for a trip, the web site offers 3 tools to help find a paddling partner:

  1. Signup for the activity on the Calendar and specify your situation (Needs a Partner)
  2. You can use the RACCC Whitewater List to identify people who have the appropriate skill level.
  3. Post a message on the RACCC Forum under the “Whitewater Trips” asking for partner

In addition to trips, the RACCC whitewater program also hosts practice and play evenings, extensive training opportunities, day and weekend outings and opportunities for play boating.

Any paddlers wishing to participate on a whitewater trip must be on the RACCC Whitewater list before they may go out on trips with the Club.

 

How do paddlers qualify for the Whitewater list?

  • Successfully complete the RACCC's Paddle Canada Whitewater Introduction Tandem or Solo course and be assessed as competent on Class II whitewater by club instructors.
  • Show proof
  • Be recommended to the Whitewater Co­ordinator by an experienced club member, or by a Paddle Canada or ORCKA Moving Water Instructor who has detailed knowledge of your skills and capabilities.
  • Demonstrate you have the required skills on a "qualifying trip" by the Whitewater coordinator or a designated experienced club member.

 

What types of trips are offered?

  • Evening trips: RACCC members often organize last minute, informal weekday evening practices at Champlain rapids or the Pump House. These are posted on the calendar or on the whitewater forum. Regular weekly sessions for novice to advanced paddlers are also usually held nearby during the spring.
  • Day trips: RACCC whitewater day trips are posted on the calendar or on the forum as “last minute trips.” Individual participation is at the discretion of the trip leader, who is responsible for deciding whether a participant is adequately skilled to participate and has appropriate gear (including dry or wetsuits as necessary).
  • Weekend/multi-day trips: Occasionally, multi-day whitewater trips occur. These are posted months in advance and participation is at the discretion of the trip leader. More frequently “park-and-play” weekend trips are organized which are posted on the whitewater forum as “last minute trips”. These are usually car-camping trips.

 

How do paddlers find out about and join trips?

Once qualified and on the Whitewater list, any member may sign up for advertised trips with the trip leaders. All trips are designated as appropriate for novices, intermediate or advanced paddlers.

Since summer water levels fluctuate, many of the day-trips are last minute trips and are posted on the Whitewater Trip Forum by Wednesday night for the coming weekend outing.  If you are on the Whitewater List, it is strongly recommended that you log on to the Forum and subscribe to the “Whitewater trip” thread. You must be a RACCC member to access the forum.

Whitewater trips are often also posted on RACCC website calendar and will be included, when possible in the RACCC Members newsletter, CanoeBytes.

If you are having difficulty finding a trip please contact the Whitewater Coordinator who will help you make contact with trip leaders running trips that suit your skills and abilities.
 

What equipment is needed to participate in a whitewater trip?

All whitewater trips require paddlers to be wearing a properly fitting PFD with a pealess whistle and whitewater helmet. A limited number of PFDs, helmets and paddles are available for members to borrow, however the RACCC strongly recommends that members purchase their own. Before you go out and buy equipment our beginner whitewater courses include tips on equipment purchase and proper sizing.

In addition, early in the season and late in the season, some trips may only be open to those who have proper cold-water equipment specified by the trip leader (e.g.: wetsuit or drysuit).

 

Is additional training available?

The RACCC whitewater training focusses on paddling and tripping skills as well as river safety. All courses use the Paddle Canada National Certification Program and skilled instructors. The RACCC has a broad range of whitewater specific training for all levels of paddlers including:

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