Monday, March 31, 2014

The Canyon Clams Another Soul.

Another accident in the canyon, this time, sadly, with one life lost.

They were boating in Wild Sheep Rapids with flows pushing 20,000 cubic feet per second, which makes that rapid a Class V at that flow, if I recall correctly. 

To those unfamiliar with the Rapids Classification system, rapids are rated on a 1 to 6 scale for danger, pass ability, and competence and ability of the captain. 

Class 6, the highest rating, is considered certain death to any person who attempts to run the rapid, in any method, at any experience level.  Niagara Falls is a Class 6 rapid. 

At the flow levels in the Snake River on the day Ricky was lost, it looks like Wild Sheep would have been a Class 5, which is considered “edges of navigability.”  Essentially, a Class 5 rapid is considered to be extremely dangerous and deadly, with lots of maneuvering necessary to achieve safe passage, and should be attempted at great peril of life by only the most experienced captains. 

Hugely exciting; highly risky.  Ricky was lucky enough to die doing what he loved, which is something that we should all be so lucky as to be able to do, but the tragedy is that he died so far before his time, and left so many loved ones behind. 

I did not know him, but he was my kindred spirit.  He had the river in his blood.  Had I known him, I’m sure we would have gotten along well. 
Ricky and his friends in Wild Sheep Rapid last year
A few minutes after the above picture

1 comment:

  1. Quick clarification - the pictures posted are not pictures of the accident that killed Ricky. I'm lead to believe that this is the boat that he was on, and that t was the same three guys on board when these pics were taken, but these were taken last year, a full year before the accident that claimed the boat and Ricky's life.

    Yes, gentle reader, those pictures are what it looks like when things GO RIGHT in the canyon. Imagine what it loosk like hen things go wrong!