The stretches of water which Romsdal Aktiv paddle have been tried and tested. Those stretches which we use are mostly gentle flows with some faster parts in between. Generally these fall within the grade 1 category. This means a constant flow with small waves and sporadic easy obstacles. The river has a good open view, enabling the canoeist to choose a route.
During periods of rain or thawing the category may increase to 2 in some stretches. Category 2 is irregular flow and waves. Some obstacles are to be found though route choice is straightforward. In the beginning of of the lower part of the river Istra one will experience a short stretch of grade 2 conditions. Canoeists and kayakers should seek local expertise before attempting these stretches, therefore avoiding potential hazard spots. Since 1982 Romsdal Aktiv has only cancelled two excursions. This was due to extreme thawing over a long period.
We have not experienced an accident since we started our venture in 1982.
Class 1: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy." AWA
Class 2: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed." AWA
Class 3: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims." AWA
Class 4: Advanced. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require ``must'' moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting is necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong Eskimo roll is highly recommended." AWA
Class 5 : Expert. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is mandatory but often difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is difficult even for experts. A very reliable Eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential for survival." AWA
Class 6: Extreme. These runs often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favourable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. This class does not represent drops thought to be unrunnable, but may include rapids which are only occasionally run." AWA