July 30, 2012 | Tips from Travellers >
Valemount, River Rafting
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I went white water rafting the other day. In fact, all of us at the visitor centre did. I had never been rafting before, and I was unsure what to expect. I guess I hadn't been expecting much, because I arrived in the location not far from Valemount on Highway 16 thinking we would just pop into an inflatable raft and take a ride down some rough water. Then the guides lined us up to get wetsuits and helmets. Then we went through the 15 minute safety briefing where they mentioned the waterfall.
"Oh", I thought as we sat on the ancient school bus ferrying us to the launch point, "this might be worth blogging about after all!"
It certainly was. The river was framed by beautiful forest, beyond which the Rocky Mountains scraped the sky like so many sharp flint tools. As we drifted down the calm first section of the river, Mount Robson made a magnificent photo opportunity as it stood framed by trees and rushing water. I didn't have long to lament having left my camera behind though, as we started getting into the first set of rapids. Paddling like mad, the raft burst over the waves and we were splashed by the fresh mountain water. We portaged around a waterfall and shot through more rapids. at the end we hit calm water, and we all went for a swim in the cold river until we hauled each other back into the raft to paddle in to shore. It was an exhilarating experience, and I am very glad I had the opportunity to do it. It was so good, in fact, that I may want to go again soon. If you are headed out that way, plan for a few hours of extra time and check out white water rafting in the Robson Valley. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera though!