Rafting Away

As a Canadian, I feel like the only way to end my hiatus from the blogging world is with an apology: I’M SO SORRY FOR DROPPING OFF THE FACE OF THE PLANET. (I would like to tell you that my laptop died, making blog updates difficult, but I don’t really believe in making excuses, so I will just admit to being a terrible blogger for a while!)

To pick up from where I left off, I promised an elaboration on my bungee jumping shenanigans, which you can find on BC’s tourism board, here.

From there, over the course of the summer, since my laptop has been on the fritz, I’ve admittedly felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the “real world” (read: everyone who lives outside of Whistler).

I've had to rely on other people's selfies with me in the background to prove I'm still alive!

I’ve had to rely on other people’s selfies with me in the background to prove I’m still alive!

With that being said, this summer has turned out pretty well! I’ve made some amazing friends, who I’ve faced some preposterous scenarios with (only a few of which I can even BEGIN to explain).

(The results of this night, however, canNOT be explained!)

(The results of this night, however, canNOT be explained!)

(After all that excessive interluding,) The last you all had heard, I had just gone bungee jumping. This was, of course, one of the best experiences of my life! Seriously, after jumping off that bridge, I was literally laughing to myself mid-air like a deranged maniac because I was enjoying the adrenaline-filled freefalling so much!

After that though, I decided to slow things down a bit with some whitewater rafting down Whistler’s Green River. Now, I’d been rafting a few times before this down the Ottawa RIver, so I felt like a pro on my first excursion tackling the green rapids (“green” not only being the actual name of the river, but also being an equivalent to the fact that the rapids felt the a green ski run).

Racing down the river (backwards on occasion), my boat fared pretty well considering most of its paddlers had no idea what they were doing (ie, they nominated me to be the “captain” of our raft because of my dragonboating experience from back in Singapore). Even if I had thought my crew was crazy, I could feel my drive and intuition starting to take control in the rougher sections of the rapids as I lead our boat through some of the more traitorous terrain.

While the whole excursion lasted over 3hours, it felt like a blink of an eye and I was left craving more. So much so, that one of my buddies and I decided that we needed to up our rafting game and tackle the Squamish-Elaho Rivers and some more extensive class 4 rapids.

This next adventure was a full day affair, starting off with an hour-long car trip to reach even the start of the excursion (which I was surprised I was able to sit through, given how excited I was). The wait was well worth it though, as it seemed that as soon after we had been seated in our rafts, we had arrived at a set of cliffs that our guides let us scale up and jump down. Now, I’m no stranger to rock (or even ice) climbing, but scampering up a rock face while wearing a lifejacket (which made me quite a few inches thicker and more likely to totter off the edge in) is a whole other story – my centre of gravity was so mis-aligned, I was amazed I didn’t fall off the cliff I otherwise would have considered a green “no need for ropes” climb! Despite feeling like a climbing newbie, I enjoyed being able to jump off the top of the cliffs into the rapids below.

From there, it was time to start the actual paddling experience. After some brief instructions (“paddle when I say paddle”), we were facing our first set of rapids, in which I found myself either catapulted into the sky and paddling through mid-air, or pushing my oar through a rapid going about 100x my paddling speed.

"Paddle, even if you're 10ft in the air, I don't care!!"

“Paddle, even if you’re 10ft in the air, I don’t care!!”

Despite my feelings of futility, I paddled onwards until we reached a section our guide reckoned we could swim though – later on I learned that these were class 3 rapids that very well could have killed us, but at the time, it seemed like a good idea. With my innocence still in tact, I hopped out of the nice, safe boat and into the freezing river. Within moments, the water had taken control and I was being carried away over rocks and through rapids at breakneck speeds, laughing my head off at the sheer recklessness of the moment.

"Haha! My life isn't immediately in danger for the next 1 seconds, haha!"

“Haha! My life isn’t immediately in danger for the next 5 seconds, haha!”

Soon enough however, we reached a calm section of water and I climbed back into the safety of the boat before making it on to some of the more traitorous terrain the excursion had to offer. There were some points amidst the rapids where I thought for sure that our boat was destined to tip or that I’d be flung out, but somehow, we managed to persuade through, fully intact!

By the time we had made it back to base camp for dinner, I felt as though I had fully earned the burger that I hungrily devoured. Whistler may be a mountain town, but that day, I learned its rivers are also not something to be reckoned with!!

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