WHITEWATER RAFTING & ZIPLINING FAQ

WHITEWATER RAFTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ESSENTIAL INFO AFTER BOOKING

The destination for your Rafting or Ziplining trip is 3555 Hartford Rd. Hartford, TN 37753. Ober has two different locations. Your scheduled trip for rafting or ziplining is at our Harford, TN location and not our Gatlinburg, TN location.

 

Our Team Members go through extensive training before being “checked out” as a guide. All of our guides are trained in CPR and First Aid with many being trained in Advanced Wilderness First Aid. Ober takes pride in providing our Guests with a quality trip that is extremely enjoyable; however, due to the nature of rafting and other associated activities, Ober Adventure LLC and its affiliates assume no responsibility for personal safety or loss of personal property. All participants are required to complete a personal liability and photo release form before their trip.

Trip                         Min. Age              Length

Upper Pigeon               8                    2 hrs.

Lower Pigeon               3                    2 hrs.

 

POLICIES

Cancellations : you will receive a full refund for your trip if cancelled 7 days before the date that your trip is scheduled. If you are cancelling within 7 days of your scheduled trip there will be no refund.

Rescheduling : If you would like to reschedule your trip we will accommodate as best as we can to get you moved to a date that is more suitable for you. Based on demand and availability we cannot guarantee that your trip can be rescheduled.

 

HOW ARE RAPIDS RATED FOR DIFFICULTY?

International Scale of River Difficulty

Class I- Easy; Few or no obstructions; moving water with riffles; risk to swimmers is slight.

Class II- Novice Wide clear channels; occasional maneuvering; rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.

Class III- Intermediate Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and capable of swamping a boat; complex maneuvers in fast current and narrow passages require good boat control; large waves, holes and strainers may be present but are easily avoided; powerful current.

Class IV- Advanced Intense, powerful rapids; turbulent water; may involve long, unavoidable wave trains, holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure.

Class V- Expert: Long, obstructed, turbulent rapids; drops may contain very large unavoidable waves, holes or steep congested chutes with complex demanding routes; several of these factors may be combined at the upper level of this class; rescue is extremely difficult; above average rescue skills are essential.

Class VI- Almost Impossible Difficulties of Class V are carried to the limits of navigability; very dangerous; risks are high, and rescue may be impossible; for teams of experts only under favorable conditions.

WHAT IF I CANNOT SWIM?

Many rafters cannot swim but you should be comfortable in water. On all trips, Coast Guard-approved PFDs are provided and must be worn. On advanced trips it is recommended that you have basic swimming skills. In general, you should be comfortable in water and all rafters should be able to follow directions.

DO I NEED TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT?

Participation is required on all of our whitewater trips, you must paddle. You do not need to be an athlete; however good physical condition is recommended.  PFD limitations are a maximum girth of 58″. For any medical conditions that may be affected by strenuous activity please consult your doctor.

WHAT DO I WEAR?

In the summer, athletic shorts and t-shirt are recommended (preferably no denim or cotton), shoes with secure heel strap are required. Sunglasses or any glasses with a strap are fine. Jewelry and anything in your pockets should be removed and left in your locked car.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS BAD WEATHER?

Rain: Trips go rain or shine. You are going to get wet anyway so why not enjoy your river trip when other activities like hiking and biking are better suited for sunny and dry weather. Rainy days also provide some of the most beautiful scenery as fog and mist rises off the river. A baseball cap can be worn under your helmet and help by keeping rain out of your eyes.

Lightning:  Exposure while on the river is at a minimum because of the high ridge lines and trees that surround the river. Trip starts may be delayed if a storm is severe but seldom cancelled due to lightning.

High Water/ Flood: Ober, in conjunction with the agencies that license the outfitters, have established a protocol for paddling at specific water levels. If the water levels on any of the rivers exceeds safe levels, trips may be cancelled. In the case of a trip cancellation, Guests are offered the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

CAN YOUR GROUP HAVE THEIR OWN BOAT?

Yes, you can! If you do not have the 6-7 people to fill the boat you can opt to purchase any additional seats in the raft to ensure your group will be the only group in the boat.

WHAT ARE GUARANTEED DAYS ON THE PIGEON RIVER?*

On the Pigeon River Duke Power is required to release water for recreational purposes 4 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 11:30am until 6:00pm. These days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

*Possibly corrected Dates and schedules coming soon

WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE THE AGE/WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS?

Minimum ages and/or weights are set by the managing agency that regulates each river. One’s ability to stay in the boat during higher class rapids is one of the factors in this decision along with proper fitting of a PFD with the correct buoyancy based on weight. Ober will not knowingly take an underage person on our trips; we do ask, and we do require a signature from a parent signifying proper age.

ZIPLINING TOURS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ESSENTIAL INFO AFTER BOOKING

The destination for your Rafting or Ziplining trip is 3555 Hartford Rd. Hartford, TN 37753. Ober has two different locations. Your scheduled trip for rafting or ziplining is at our Harford, TN location and not our Gatlinburg, TN location.

 

POLICIES

Cancellations : you will receive a full refund for your trip if cancelled 7 days before the date that your trip is scheduled. If you are cancelling within 7 days of your scheduled trip there will be no refund.

Rescheduling : If you would like to reschedule your trip we will accommodate as best as we can to get you moved to a date that is more suitable for you. Based on demand and availability we cannot guarantee that your trip can be rescheduled.

 

WHAT IS A CANOPY TOUR?

Canopy Tours are guided experiences using ziplines and bridges to travel through the trees. Natural interpretation, a sensation of flying, gaining a new perspective on trees and terrain, thrilling personal challenge and group interaction is all part of a canopy tour. Rangers lead groups of 8 to 10 people on an aerial trek while providing instruction, giving assistance and sharing stories, taking time to enjoy new vistas.

WHAT IF I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS?

Heights are a part of what makes a Canopy Tour fun, exciting and challenging. We will start with basic instruction and practice zip lines before going to taller lines and platforms so you can judge your comfortability before starting the course.

DO I NEED TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT?

On most courses there will be stairs and or hills to climb, you must evaluate your own ability to climb stairs and walk on uneven terrain. On the Canopy Tour there is a very long set of stairs so being physically capable is a must. In order to zip you must weigh below 250lbs.

WHAT DO I WEAR?

You will be outside for up to three hours so dress appropriately for the expected weather. Personal safety harnesses will have straps that go around your upper thighs, so longer shorts or pants are advisable. Straps over the shoulders are more comfortable if you have a collared shirt.  Ball caps are not permitted since they restrict vision and make for a poor helmet fit. Beanies in cold weather are appropriate, fit under helmets well and will help keep you warm.  Sunglasses or any glasses with a strap are fine. Jewelry and anything in your pockets should be removed and left in your locked car. Long hair should be pulled back and restrained.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS BAD WEATHER?

We go rain or shine. Dress appropriately for the expected weather. In the case of high winds or lightning we will delay, cancel or cut a trip short. Rescheduling or a refund will be offered based on the circumstances.

WHAT FACTORS DETERMINE THE AGE/WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS?

Due to the nature of following instruction, predicting behavior and general height issues we require all participants are 8 years or older. Weight has a large impact on traveling speeds. Although harnesses and cables are rated for higher weights, traveling speed and control are a must for everyone.