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Old 12-14-2012   #11
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 459

I think it comes down to how well your friend knows these folks, just as it would with any group. I wouldn't discount a trip just because they are "hikers." My best GC trip was with a group comprised mostly of climbers. Fun, hardy outdoor folk.

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Old 12-15-2012   #12
Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 136
If you skip this trip for a "better" one, the better one might not come? I have been on a few trips in the Ditch with people I didn't know. They where great. Wet suit would be a good idea. It is only mandatory if you go into the water. Get you palm read to see into the future so if you flipped get the drysuit
If your trip turns out to be weird, just be ready to do your own thing at camp.
The one thing that can f up a trip is if you run short on food. So if you are going w/ a co. that handles the food on you trip, you should be good.

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Old 12-15-2012   #13
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

I'd have to respectfully (yeah, I know this is the Buzz and I don't have to be polite) disagree with Liquidphoto on needing a wet suit only if you go in the water.

The risk of hypothermia is real in the GC even in the summer -- and it's far greater in the winter. I suppose persistent shade, cool baseline temperatures, and huge waves of cold water from the rapids might be tolerable with splash gear for some people. Maybe sitting largely immobile on a raft hour after hour, day after day, soaked by rapids would be fun for a few folks. But taking a chance on getting thrown into the water (you don't have to flip to wind up in the drink) in those conditions without some kind of full body thermal protection is folly.

In all probability, none of this will personally impact the origional poster. But not insisting on life-preserving gear does cast some doubt about the basic decision-making going into the trip. Which can ripple down to enjoyment and safety for every member.


Rich Phillips
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Old 12-15-2012   #14
Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 136
Yeah Rich, but its all part of a bigger plan. If people start dying off there will be more food to eat .
Maybe I shouldn't be sarcastic in my post? Some can't read thru it. I would recommend not a wet suit but a dry suit.
Keep the harry side up.
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Old 12-15-2012   #15
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by liquidphoto
Yeah Rich, but its all part of a bigger plan. If people start dying off there will be more food to eat .
Maybe I shouldn't be sarcastic in my post? Some can't read thru it. I would recommend not a wet suit but a dry suit.
Keep the harry side up.
Maybe mountain buzz needs a font to help convey your tone

(About 1:30 in)
Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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Old 12-17-2012   #16
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Dry suit could save someones life down there in Jan.

On our trip we had two flips in hermit and reflipping required people to stand in deep water for hours with no sun. If we didnt have drysuits we would have been in big trouble
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Old 12-17-2012   #17
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
When I boat with people- I expect that if something happens I will need to do everything in my power to help them and I expect the same of them. If I have no idea about the level of experience of the people I'm going with-then who is going to help me if I get into trouble?

I've had first aid situations where I was the who was prepared and gave aid but then if I had been the one who had gotten injured- not sure who would have helped me. Not something I'd like to leave to chance for a month long trip.

Then again- I tend to err on the more conservative side of crazy....
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Old 12-17-2012   #18
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Mesa, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 259
Thanks to all the great responses. I am still on the fence about this trip. Going to hold off on a decision until I get more information....

The medical was a concern but I did find out an ER nurse will be along.

I am not sure about the groups understanding of limited sun, warmth, ability to flips boats, how to handle water situations.....big concerns still

Keep 'em coming!
Whether U Think U Can, or Think U Can't; U R Right!
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Old 12-20-2012   #19
Pinecliffe, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 447
Be Careful

You dont want to end up on a shitty trip. Dynamics are VERY important. I was on trip last fall with a chick ( psycho) who wanted to cook and load everything on her boat, an old 16'. Bitch/**** couldn't cook. She would hold it agianst you that she had cooked shitty meals and had community gear on her boat. Well, to keep a long story short; no one wanted to talk to/be around her after day 2. A small trip= hard to get away from such a bitch. 16 peeps you may be able to escape people you dont gel with. BUT... Maybe not ( you don't know them), I would wait for a comfortable trip, at times I wished I hadn't gone. PM for more specifics, but all it takes is one bad apple to fuck it up for everyone. Good luck and enjCUNtoy what you choose, but a good trip would be a better wait for, better dynamic 21 days with people you dont like/know/trust... fuck that.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. KARL MARX
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Old 12-20-2012   #20
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,929
Communication is key to any long trip such as this. I would either discuss your questions/concerns with the TL because it only gets harder when the environmental and group stresses kick in on the river. Many groups can handle it but preparation and accountability are key.

I am doubtful I would go with a group that is not mandating dry suits for everyone. Sounds harsh but hypothermia is a group issue and can easily be fatal. An injured member is the responsibility of everyone on the trip. We had 6 days straight of rain on our Jan GC trip and drysuits saved us from the worst possible of outcomes. Those waves are huge and likely to inundate even the best boater so getting wet is almost a certainty.

I also wouldn't go without knowing the skill set of each boater. With such a long trip I would also recommend having at least one peep who is an oarsperson as well; that way if there is an injury they can be rotated in.

Just some thoughts. Its an amazing place but its not guaranteed to be a great trip despite the location.


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