For Vancouverites, one of the great advantages of living a two-hour drive from Whistler is the chance to escape the city for a day.
We recently got our splash on with Wedge Rafting, an outdoor rafting company offering tours between Classes 1 and 4 rapids. Wedge falls under The Adventure Group Whistler (TAG Whistler), an all-seasons outdoor adventure company (zip lines, treetop adventures, bungee jumping, snowmobiling, heli-skiing and more).
Wedge is Whistler’s original rafting company and has been in operation for over two decades, so we turned to them last weekend when looking for a whitewater rafting experience on the Green River, just a 10-minute drive from Whistler Village.
On the morning of our tour, clouds hung heavy over the Sea to Sky Highway, but no matter, life on the river is meant for fun and action, rain or shine. We first check in at Wedge’s office inside the Carleton Lodge, sign waivers and meet with several dozen fellow water lovers outside for a short briefing before heading to change and prep for the drive up.
Once our wetsuits, jackets, neoprene booties, lifejackets, paddles and helmets are picked out, it’s up to the shuttle area for our drive north to the river. It’s a great setup and the team is highly organized as there’s over 60 of us rafting on a somewhat sunny Saturday afternoon.
Soon enough, we’re split into groups of six to a raft plus an experienced guide who gives us lots of instruction from start to finish. Fun-loving Argentine native Fidel checks our lifejackets and helmets for fit and safety.
Tight-fitting jackets equate to a quicker rescue if one of us accidentally leaves the boat.
The calm, scenic lake gives way to rapids, and then the tossing begins. Fidel instructs us how and when to paddle as we morph into class 2, then 3 rapids. We’re taking a few bounces to find our groove, and I’m quickly learning the biggest challenge of sitting on the raft’s edge is remaining inside!
There are a couple of points where we’re told to get down (class 3) and my first-time jitters turn to thrill-seeker screams, followed by laughter as I realize I’m the only true newbie in this situation.
It’s an exhilarating feeling — and yes, plan to get wet — but that’s part of the fun. In total, we’re out there just under an hour as we reach the end point and disembark from the rafts. Back on the bus, everyone’s in a great mood, sharing moments of the ride.
Our bus is filled with a group of guys on a stag weekend from Kamloops, a few families on holiday and couples such as us, all out for a memorable day on the water.
There are six tours per day (offered at 9 am, 10 am, noon, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm) and run rain or shine. Cost is $109 adult/$69 kids (10-16 years of age). There’s also beginner and advanced tours available (both offered once daily).
Minimum weight for the tour is 41 kgs/90 lbs. and PFD’s, wetsuits, booties and helmet are provided as well as the return shuttle.
Thanks to the great team at Wedge Rafting for hosting us on the Green River Rafting Tour. Opinions, as always, are my own. Water images courtesy of Wedge Rafting.