Rangitata Rafting

Grade 5 Rafting, 9th May, 2010

They say you’ll never forget your first time rafting, and this couldn’t be more true. At the start of the trip I got a feel for the raft on calm stretches of water, learning all the basics, steering, ducking in and out, what would happen if the sheet hit the fan.

We started off with a gentle lope of grade 1-2 rapids, building in a natural progression to the intense grade 4 and 5 section where the full volume of the river narrows to a pinch.

What an amazing experience, having to put yourself as far out on the edge of the raft as possible, while paddling into massive waves crashing in around you, as you try to stop yourself falling out of the raft – it was intense fun!

After that buzz of the grade 5’s I had the opportunity for some swimming down the river in the glacier water and leap from the jump rock, only 10 meter’s high, but pretty terrifying, check out my face on the pictures for proof!

About the location and rapids

The valley I rafted on was the site of Edoras from Lord of the Rings. The massive volume of water begins to wind through the gorge, the rapids build in a natural progression to the intense grade four and five sections where I rode “Roosters Tails”, drop into “Pigs Trough” and hang on through “The Pinch”.