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Old 07-05-2005   #1
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
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Rating history....?

At one time rivers were rated 1 through 10....why isn't that done anymore? It seems that would give people a better idea of what they're in for???

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Old 07-05-2005   #2
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Don't know for sure but the only thing that I know of that has ever been rated from 1 - 10 is the grand canyon.

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Old 07-05-2005   #3
Join Date: May 2005
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Yeah, heard a rafting guy talking about the Grand being rated 10. Thought he was crazy, but still kept my mouth shut.
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Old 07-05-2005   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
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Current rating system is I-VI with 3 levels (-, +, or none) at each level. That's a finer scale than 1-10.
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Old 07-05-2005   #5
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Yea, the only thing I have ever known to be rated 1-10 is Grand Canyon. I thought I was told that was known as a desert scale, I could be wrong but isn't cataract canyon rated the same.

None the less, the current rating system needs some improvement.

For example I went hiking yesterday and checked out the California Section of the NSV, (thanks for the thread on that Badkins)

That is rated class V and I am not about to try and run that but pine creek rapid is also a class V and I can R-1 my stinger down it. The same can be said about the Upper Gauley, granted the potential for a class VI swim into some huge cave is there but seriously the moves are not class V by any means.

I am not sure how we could make a change, it actually seems like a very daunting task. Especially considering that boaters in general can get a bit crusty and protective of there run they pionered 20 or more years ago.
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Old 07-05-2005   #6
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Englewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
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I think that the 1-10 system used to be used in a lot of places across the west, but I could be wrong. I remember as a kid in the 80s my dad saying how western rivers were rated differently.

I actually like the system AW is using - 1 to 4 with +/- and then 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3. I think the distinctions they draw in the "Standard Rated Rapids" are pretty good. It allows for the downgrading of hard rapids that have little consequence, like Lava Falls and Pillow Rock. Differentiates between class V with unpleasant or ungraceful consequences and class V with serious or deadly consequences. We could use an environmental qualifier added to every run, though. Something to note the remoteness, cold water, etc.
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Old 07-05-2005   #7
Join Date: Aug 2004
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To the best of my knowledge the western scale 1 thru10 was developed by the first commercials to run the colorado Platue Rivers. In 81 when I started commercialy the only one left using 1 thru 10 was the Grand. When I started boating on the Payette in 76 everything in ID. was the I thruV so i don't think Id. Ca. Ore. orWA ever used the "Western scale". The Grand stayed how it is rated for 2 reasons I beleive. Former guides write the guide books and the 1 thru 10 really plays with the tourist. I mean if Disney built the Canyon Lava would probably be near where it is. Ya know everything builds to the 10. And what pray tell would the Grand be rated under current I thru V. Anyway someone running Rubber in the 50's probably knows the answer. sj
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Old 07-05-2005   #8
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Join Date: Oct 2003
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here's Addison's Scale...
i like it. it makes sense.
"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 07-05-2005   #9
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The problem with the 1 thru 10 is that it uses the hardest rapid on one river as that benchmark which would make Gore like a 13 and Zute chute like a 20. I also like the way the AWA lists runs from different parts of the country when it made up that system 5.0 Pine creek, Iron Ring, etc. I do think that it is a little much to keep track of and +/- or easy 5, solid 5, and hard five are descriptive enough.
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Old 07-05-2005   #10
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I like the I-V system but also like to break it down between difficulty and consequence. For example, there are a lot of rapids that may just have a class IV move with a class V consequence.
Also a lot of difference between low volume class V and River Class V.

Food for thought....

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