Frequently Asked Questions
Acknowledgment of Risk Forms
As with any outdoor activity there is an element of inherent risk in whitewater rafting, and we require all participants (or parents or legal guardians) to read and sign an Acknowledgment of Risk form before every trip. Every member of your group must sign one of these at the meeting place. In the case of unaccompanied minors these forms must be signed by the parents. Call our office for an Acknowledgment of Risk form in advance, copy as necessary to ensure that each minor has one signed by parent or guardian. Once again, each and every member of the group must have one of these read and signed before each trip or they will not be allowed to board a raft.
Maximum Group Size
Due to the National Wild and Scenic status of the Poudre River, the maximum number of people that can go on any trip is 50. Larger groups can be accommodated by splitting the group and utilizing different stretches of river. It is possible that there may be other participants on this trip. On other rivers be sure to call our office to find out what the maximum group size is. Standard seating in our 14 foot self-bailing Hyside rafts is 7 customers and a state certified guide per raft. This means that there is one guide in each boat. Sometimes we have to alter this seating arrangement, but this is the standard set-up. Other rivers have different maximum group sizes, please make sure that you are aware of these maximums if you have a large group.
The protection that the Poudre River enjoys as the only National Wild and Scenic River in the state of Colorado means that we are very restricted in the numbers of people that we can take rafting on any given day. In general we are fully booked for each trip. We can not "overbook" trips as airlines often do and therefore have to turn people away once a trip has been filled. If you have to cancel your trip, we will refund your money less 20% if written notice is given to A1 Wildwater at least 10 days prior to your launch date. No refund is available if you have to cancel your trip less than 10 days prior to your launch date. If a trip is booked less than 10 days prior to its launch date, there is no refund. Under certain circumstances, trip credits may be arranged, however. Please make this information available to all trip members.
Our meeting times are critical because they have been arranged so that we can make it to the launch spot within our launch window. if we are late for our launch window, we will not be allowed to launch our boats. Therefore, you must be on time and in the case of large groups you should be a little early and have your group organized before the check-in period begins. This ensures that all paperwork and pre-trip necessities can be taken care of in a timely manner and allow us to reach our put-in site on time.
ALL Poudre Rafting Trip meet at our location in FORT COLLINS.
Check-in times for half day trips are at 8:45 am and 1:00 pm daily.
What to Bring
Personal gear for rafting can make or break your trip. Keep in mind that you are rafting and that you will get wet. You will get wetter on some trips than on others, but it is not very likely that you will emerge from your trip bone dry. This means that cameras, watches, etc, that are not waterproof are subject to damage. You will also be pretty active during your trip, so if you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses you should have a strap to hold them on. A good way to think of what to bring rafting is to only bring things that can get wet or lost (sunk). If you only bring things that can get wet or lost, you won't be disappointed when it happens, and pleasantly surprised if it doesn't. Below is the personal gear checklist that we send out with maps and directions. Please refer to this list when packing for your trip. You can see that is says in several places and in several ways that you should not bring cotton on the river. Cotton is a terrible insulator when wet, and actually sucks the heat right out of you. For late season trips, a T-Shirt is ok, but you are better without. Synthetics such as those listed insulate when wet and dry rapidly. If you are prone to being cold inquire about whether a wet suit is necessary. Footwear of some sort is required by law, so be prepared. Try to bring something that will stay on your feet. Tennis shoes work, as do river sandals, but shoes keep your feet warmer. If you have any questions about what to bring, just ask us when you book your trip. A Driver License or Major Credit Card is required as a deposit for wetsuit rental.
Personal Gear Checklist
_____ Tennis shoes, water shoes, or wetsuit booties (REQUIRED)
_____ Splash Jacket (We supply)
_____ Wetsuit (definitely May & June, we rent these)
_____ Shorts (quick drying!)
_____ Sunscreen (the sun can be VERY intense)
_____ Eyeglass strap! (much cheaper than new specs)
_____ Change of Clothes/Towel (leave in car)
_____ No jewelry/watches; we're on River time now!
* Wetsuits are required from May thru June 23rd, for all advanced trips. We rent them, bring your own, or bring wool, polypro, or acrylic. Remember NO COTTON!!!!!
What does Class I, II, III, etc. Mean Anyway?
The International Scale of River Difficulty rates the difficulty of a given rapid, or an entire run, on a scale of I to VI. This scale works well in providing a general description of whitewater difficulty. A person who feels more comfortable on a big water run like the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon might rate a smaller mountain stream much higher than those who are familiar with that type of river, or vice versa. The scale does work very well, however, to give an idea of the nature of the run. The system is similar to the green, blue and black rating system for ski runs. One person's blue might be another's black depending on whether they like bumps or steeps. Our trips are rated using the scale below as a reference. Keep in mind that these ratings are based on the flows during which we normally run, but that changes in water level can have a large impact on difficulty. The level of difficulty for your trip may be higher or lower than described here. It is for this reason that we reserve the right to cancel or change any trip for safety or any other reasons. The definitions below are the abbreviated main points of the International Whitewater Difficulty Rating Scale.
Class I: Moving water, riffles, small waves.
Class II: Easy rapids, waves, clear channels.
Class III: Large waves, obstacles, narrow passages.
Class IV: Long rapids, unavoidable waves, many obstacles.
Class V: Violent rapids, extremely difficult, unseen hazards.
Class VI: Unpredictable, dangerous, nearly impossible to run.
Note: River conditions and ratings can changes with any change in flow volume. Whitewater boating has an element of risk at all ratings and levels.
The above definitions excerpted from Colorado State Parks Arkansas Headwaters Recreational Area.