I have spent many years thinking about our grading system and how it seems that all rivers have differing types of risk. The current system 1 - 6 with a few plus's in between is good but open to differing interpretation and only looks at the risk of negotiating each rapid.
It seems to me that a Grade 4-5 Wairoa run in no way is similar or carries the same risk as a Grade 4-5 West Coast Creek run. Should you mess up the Wairoa help is near at hand and apart from drowning, any injury can be dealt with and extraction be affected quicky. Should this same senario occur on the Coast (Lets use the Arahura as an example) this extraction may take days intead of minutes/hours. Surely therefore the two rivers although graded similary are worlds apart when it comes to inherent associated risk. Surely these two rivers should carry a different grade as a result???
The 1-6 plus/minus system used currently seems to forget about the danger of isolation, temperature or even civil unrest etc and I feel that there maybe the oppertunity to have a new improved system that will address all of the above.
I have a few ideas but wonder what the current feeling is out there about this dilemma I have???
Would appreciate some input.