Addison's scale for river rating - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-01-2014   #1
 
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Addison's scale for river rating

This makes a lot more sense IMO than our current system. I especially like the ability to discern penalty factor, for those stepping up their difficulty.


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Old 03-01-2014   #2
 
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Great post! As a beginner/intermediate paddler I would love to see it.
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Old 03-01-2014   #3
 
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Great post indeed! I like it!
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Old 03-01-2014   #4
 
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That is a good system..it 's been around awhile but doesn't seem to have caught on that much...guess it is weird but I like a good IV -/IV /C -


Check out WaldenRidge Kayaking 's site they have a way of rating well known runs that involves surveying qualified boaters and compiling a spread sheet...I 'm a bit fuzzy on the details but remember thinking people on the Buzz would find it interesting...meant to mention it to Bobbuilds and crew before their trip...Bob you out there?
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Old 03-01-2014   #5
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I believe even Corran eventually decided this wasn't the best way to approach rapid ratings. With all the beta available know especially with most runs having video documentation and extensive blog write-ups I feel like anyone getting in over there head didn't do much research. Alternatively they are doing something rarely paddled and should approach with a expedition mindset with expectations for frequent scouts. The simplicity of the rating system is the beauty. You have a very rough idea of the skills required for the run and if you start thinking about the run you will look further into the specifics.
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Old 03-02-2014   #6
 
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Grading rivers/Addison scale

I've always said some waterfalls are class 2 w/ class 6 consequences. I've never been a big fan of Corrin but this system does a better job of breaking down a rapids true difficulty. I'm sure this has been discussed but this video is pretty new so I thought I would share.

http://youtu.be/96Xmr5KQPec
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Old 03-02-2014   #7
 
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I sure would have liked to seen this used when I was first stepping into class V stuff. So much is really IV+ with IV consequences and what is really wanted is V- with III consequences. Once you get above IV, the details like this are so critical. Without a standardized way to communicate, we are challenged in our research.
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Old 03-02-2014   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
I sure would have liked to seen this used when I was first stepping into class V stuff. So much is really IV+ with IV consequences and what is really wanted is V- with III consequences. Once you get above IV, the details like this are so critical. Without a standardized way to communicate, we are challenged in our research.
If you can blow a line without getting beat down then the line wasn't really mandatory in the first place was it? There are a ton of optional lines which add style and grace to a given rapid and likely increase the difficulty. That doesn't mean the rapid gets a harder rating because you made it hard. There are lots of runs with hard moves on easy rapids which fulfill the needs of steeping up and a good crew (which is essential for stepping up anyways) will point out said moves.

On the rare occasion where moves and consequences are wildly different, those providing beta are very forthcoming with that info anyways.
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Old 03-02-2014   #9
 
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I think every rating system needs to reevaluated through time. Technology and skill sets change the entire dynamics of most sports. The problem becomes addressing what improvements or deficits exist.

The current International Rating systems is great is many respects: its KISS oriented; it provides a useable format for most people unfamiliar with a run; it addresses risk and difficulty in easily digestible format. To me its a great glance at a new run.

But as many of us know it sucks in regards to detail and has limited value above Class IV boating in most regards. i get by with the current system for easy class IV multi-day rafting with little concern but I would never use it for anything much above that without significant research.

The Addison system addresses some of the concerns but still seems too vague. I would think they need to reconsider the Danger portion specifically. The subjective nature of average conditions has been the bane of many attempts at revising outdoor pursuit ratings (canyoneers have debated similar issues for years as well). If the desire it clarify the currently murky system then the "Danger" component fails (i think the difficulty and exposure components would just need minor tweaking).

I also wonder ultimately if it is wise combining systems for average whitewater paddling/rowing and steep creaking? Its really hard to compress the risks associated with dropping waterfalls into a spectrum with Class III family float trips. No rating system is ever gonna do that diversity justice.

I do think the time commitment/exposure system Addison recommends makes since as it provides quality information at no cost. Both mountaineering and canyoneering have both used a similar 2-3 variable rating system for years. Could help and wouldn't take much effort to revise the vast majority of runs in the US.

Phillip
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Old 03-02-2014   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn View Post
If you can blow a line without getting beat down then the line wasn't really mandatory in the first place was it?
But this is the weakness with the existing system, it merges difficulty and penalty, often discussed as "mandatory". A line or run can be difficult but not be mandatory. Lines can also be super easy and mandatory. Some people weigh difficulty more, some penalty more, and that IMO confuses the discussions. Add in location, and it is a whole different ball of wax. A V/IV/A is completely different than a V/IV/C or even a V/III/C This is often a discussion around the difficulty of the Selway vs the Lochsa. Barring extreme flows there isn't a huge difference between them. Except how remote the Selway is, that makes it a much different ball of wax. You can climb out of the Lochsa anytime you want and hitch a ride if you find you are in over your head. Not so with the Selway.
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