Wall Slammer Rapid (Class IV-V) - Royal Gorge
Wall Slammer Rapid is a challenging rapid with minimal moves to make, but potentially big consequences if things go awry. It’s a class IV to class V rapid – typically a class IV when rafted commercially – that has one simple rule. Don’t get slammed into the wall! Sounds easy, right?
Set up right of center and allow the river to slowly carry you towards the right, but prepare for a charge from right to left to get past the Vortex Hole. Most guides try to hit the far left side of the Vortex which allows you to pass through the hole, but it also kills your momentum which is good. If you keep charging left you can hit some rocks left of center (no good). If you don’t charge the Vortex it can surf your raft right toward the wall (yep, that’s no good either). At medium and higher flows the river can slam the raft so hard against the wall it flips the raft off the wall – never an optimal outcome!
Listen to your experienced guide, follow her or his paddle commands, and you’ll most likely finesse your way through this exciting rapid set directly below the Royal Gorge Bridge!