More Adventures Whitewater Rafting and Via Ferrata in Buena Vista
Friday was definitely an exciting day in Buena Vista with AVA Rafting. I was lucky enough to try lots of new extreme sports making for another awesome experience in Colorado! Whitewater rafting is pretty straightforward, but what is Via Ferrata you might ask? It's kind of like a cross between a ropes course and rock climbing where you're given portable crab claws to clip into cables and climb with many different obstacles to conquer. It was probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences I've had thus far, but totally safe because in the case of a fall you're completely secure.
The day started out with Class III/IV whitewater rafting in Browns Canyon. It was my first time whitewater rafting and it was absolutely exhilarating. The water levels in the Arkansas River is really low this year, so some of the rapids were harder to maneuver than normal with rocks sticking out everywhere. This also meant that it was a bit slower than normal, but I though it was perfect for a newbie like me! After gearing up with the necessary safety equipment, we were shuttled to the drop in point a little ways down the river. Once we were all loaded in the raft, there was a two mile stretch of calm river to practice paddling. I was glad because it gave me a chance to test out the waters, literally!
Once we reached the first set of rapids, the experience really began. We went down eight miles of the Arkansas encountering many rapids. There were some spots that were tricky, but we all worked as a team to get through them and had an absolute blast! Browns Canyon was gorgeous reaching up dramatically on either side. There were many beautiful rock formations and it felt really remote with no houses or other structures. It was about four hours of rafting, the perfect amount of time to feel comfortable in the water and have so much fun. We all were splashed in the process, but it was nice to cool off in the wake of the morning sun.
After a quick lunch of chicken fajitas provided by AVA, we geared up for the Via Ferrata. We were given full body harnesses, zip line trolleys, and crab claws along with some other safety equipment. With that we were off for our first two zip lines! It was so much fun going across the canyons between the mountains that we would be climbing up. The views were amazing, and we could see parts of the Arkansas River where we had just rafted.
The first feature of the Via Ferrata course was called the "butt pucker" because it was an overhang hundreds of feet off of the ground. Just looking at it made me nauseous. I'm not usually scared of heights, but hanging over the edge of a cliff on an overhang made me very nervous. The kids went first and loved every second of it, giving me confidence that I would survive at the very least. It turned out to be lots of fun!
There were many challenging obstacles throughout the three hour adventure that definitely put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to take risks I never would have previously. The kids were absolute champs, leading the way the whole time. We even got a chance to ride a zip line where we reached 55mph! I raced Emma on that one and lost, so we'll have to do a rematch so I can redeem myself.
Brandon and Sean were excellent guides for the Via Ferrata as was Principle Scott our rafting guide. They all made the experience so much fun and I loved every second of it even though some of it made my stomach turn in fear. I absolutely recommend the rafting and Via Ferrata if you're in the Buena Vista area because it was truly a unique experience.
Follow me on Instagram @lexi.brocoum for more pictures!