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Andrew Westwood - Water Reading & the language of the River

Andrew Westwood - Water Reading & the language of the River

Postby GregS » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:21 pm

Water Reading – know the language of the River

The above-mentioned article is an introduction to river-reading improving "your ability to read water, the language of rivers, and understanding all that the river is trying to communicate to you – its’ paddling audience".

The language of rivers is discussed using a vocabulary of "texture" and "colour".

As you moving water winding its’ way over rocks, ledges and around outcrops and around bends in the river bank, you’ll see a veritable kaleidoscope of changing colours and wave patterns. Each obstacle leaves a visual marker to its presence. By looking at the changing textures and colours you can decipher the river bottom, the level of difficulty of the water features, and ultimately, make a choice as to whether you ought to run, or not run, a rapid.

[...]

Reading whitewater is a lot like learning a language. The more you practice the better able you will be at quickly deciphering the message. Fluency comes once you can glance quickly at a set of rapids and “read” precisely where to paddle your canoe. Building upon the basic vocabulary of texture and colour will allow you to scout a safe route down your next rapid, or even more importantly, recognize when it would be safer to portage around it.
GregS
 
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