Adventure Center finishes semester with whitewater rafting, kayaking trips

Jeff Russ

The Adventure Center’s final two trips of the semester are in the water: a whitewater rafting and caving trip and a whitewater kayaking trip.

Whitewater Rafting & Caving

The whitewater rafting and caving trip is April 20 to 22. It costs $175, and the deadline to sign up is today.

The trip is to Lower Youghiogheny River in Laurel Highlands, Pa.

The group will be rafting class III and IV rapids.

American Whitewater defines class III and IV rapids as: “Rapids with high, irregular waves often capable of swamping an open canoe. Narrow passages that often require complex maneuvering. May require some scouting from shore.”

Dave Herpy, outdoor adventure and camp coordinator, is a rafting guide who goes rafting every summer. He said he enjoys the adrenaline rush of whitewater rafting. He said anyone can raft.

“It’s a matter of ‘do you like that adrenaline rush, do you like to go outdoors and do you like to get wet?'” Herpy said.

There is a mandatory pre-trip meeting scheduled for today, where people will learn more about the trip.

Herpy said the most important part of rafting is knowing what to wear.

“We are going to be outside,” he said. “It is important that people dress appropriately and bring appropriate clothes.”

The trip will also include a day of caving. It will be a three-hour trip through the Laurel Caverns Geological Park. The group will provide all the gear for the caving trip, but everyone must bring a flashlight and overalls to wear.

Herpy said the best part of the caving trip is the darkness.

“If all the lights are off, you are in complete darkness,” he said. “It’s so dark you cannot see your hands in front of your face.”

Whitewater Kayacking

The final trip of the fall semester is a whitewater kayaking trip. It is April 27 to 29 and costs $175.

The deadline to sign up for this trip is April 25.

“This is a good trip for anyone interested in the whitewater experience,” trip leader Rachel Freeman said. “It’s a great weekend to be outside and meet people who enjoy the outdoors.”

The trip is an eight-mile kayaking trip to the Middle Youghiogheny River in Laurel Highlands, N.C. The rapids are class I and II rapids, which are defined by American Whitewater as having waves up to 3 feet.

There will be a mandatory meeting April 26 where participants will get their gear. As part of this meeting participants will be in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center pool learning the basics of kayaking.

“If you don’t know anything about whitewater it’s OK,” Freeman said. “This trip is set up for people without any experience.”

Herpy also said this trip is good for beginners.

“It’s geared for people who have never kayaked before.”

Freeman has kayaked for six years and is a raft guide in West Virginia over the summer. She said kayaking is good for anyone who likes the rush.

“It’s nice to be paddling across the water,” she said. “Going through the waves is like a mini rollercoaster ride.”

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].