Green Room Rapid, East Glacial River
About Green Room Rapid
This long, big water rapid requires some precise maneuvering to make it through upright. The name Green Room comes from the potential downtime in the third drop if you end up swimming out of the second.
The most famous rapid on the river, Green Room is worth a scout if you are rafting or kayaking.
There are basalt walls that jut out into the river from both the left and right. Catch the eddy below the wall on the left to scout this rapid from river level. It is quite easy to set up throw bag safety along the shore, especially below the third drop.
The nice thing about Green Room is how clean it is. While the chance of swimming and downtime exists, it all flushes downstream. At around 75 m³/s and higher, commercial rafting companies begin to walk Green Room. Not because it is necessarily harder, but a keeper eddy below the second drop opens up and makes it less commercially viable. Guides will still “R2” the rafts through, as the holes lose their steepness and a light boat becomes more ideal.
The second drop is just to the left of a basalt island and easy to see from water level. Boats that flip, typically do so off the basalt island or in the hole directly to the left. While flipping in the second drop is not ideal, it is much better than ending up to the right of the island. The channel is powerful, shallow, and an overall nasty place to swim through.
If you do end up swimming the third drop, get on your stomach and fight to stay on the surface of the water. This constriction point has a lot of water going deep and people who are on their back feet first are likely to find it.
How to Run Green Room Rapid
Leave the eddy with an upstream ferry angle and work your way to river right. Do not underestimate how powerful the current is while ferrying. Your boat should be only a couple meters away from shore. The first drop is a near-perfect V. Moving right to left, aim a little left of the V’s apex. The goal here is to avoid going right of the island.
As you come through the V, be ready for a powerful eddy on the left that will immediately try to turn your boat. This is a common source of flips as the eddy turns boats sideways as they enter the hole. Ideally you are tracking just the left of the island, but as long as you tee-up the hole you should make it through. If the eddy starts to spin you, consider running the second drop backwards. If you hit the island, highside like you mean it!
It is not uncommon for boats to eddy out directly below the second drop on the left. Depending on water levels, you might be able to exit from the bottom and avoid the hole entirely. If the eddy and boils are too powerful (most of the time they are), you will have to surf across the edge of the hole with the bow of your boat. While intimidating, this is a very effective way of leaving the eddy. This is also the eddy mentioned above that becomes quite retentive at high water.
With a good line, boats spit out of the second drop into an unstable pool with irregular boils and surging eddies. For the third drop, try to be right of center working left. The big thing is to stay off the right wall, which can flip boats if you hit it wrong.
Aerial view of Green Room Rapid.
Lining up the second drop in Green Room at low water.
Kayaker Anup Gurung going for a boof over the second drop at low water. Photo by Mirto Menghetti
Hitting the second drop with a great angle.