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Old 07-29-2008   #11
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 25
"professional guide" does not mean you are good just means you get paid for it. i don't need their toilet paper. i don't need their ice. i just need to be able to enjoy the canyon on an equal playing field. i am all for working together to share camps. i am just not ready to let them have whatever they want just because they are commercial.

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Old 07-29-2008   #12
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 60

You have it all wrong. You apparrently haven't done much boating in the canyon. It is not about giving them what THEY want, It is about being realistic. Since the Dam has been in place, this wonderful place cannot be replenished. Camps that we are talking about are getting way over used by YOU and ME. Alot of these are getting smaller and smaller and WILL NOT ever get bigger in our lifetime. By being an arrogant asshole and making larger groups use smaller camps, things will get even worse. This is happening all the time down there. PEople are trashing the place. Think about all the other rivers you have boated on and how the camps are starting to look. Boating has becomevery popular lately. WE can help slow this down, but we have to be willing to communicate and cooperate. This means not always getting what we want. I have had a permit and had to deal with another group that wouldn't communicate and was racing us to get to places. IT Sucks!
I have ONLY been down 6 times. I have flipped down there. HAd friends who nave flipped. Lost food and such. I make my own ice, bring enough toilet paper, beer, coffee, food, whatever. I don't "need" anyone else either. But I respect the area. We need to all do our part to help it. This means SHARING! Getting along! Not being mister I'll go where I want. I have shared camps with other groups and we had a great time with each other. Even shared our meals.
Something else for all of you-I went down late March this year. The flood wiped out some of the "standard" camps you would want ot camp at. This issue is only going to get worse. Firewood is gone in the upper stretches (like down past Crystal).This will make things tough in the winter.NOw I have read people are trashing camps to get wood for fires that they shouldn't have anyway! I suspect the BLM will do this flood thing more often also. Pleas don't be the "bad seed" that makes the Park service close the canyon to us because we can't act like adults and follow the rules and guidelines that are in place.
We try real hard to get a good group of people together when we go down. Good luck getting a group together with your attitude.

Happy boating!

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Old 07-29-2008   #13
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 25
missing my point

i do and will continue to communicate about camps. i have been down the canyon a number of times and share and camp according to my group size. what i am saying, and read it this time, is... commercial groups should not be automatically intitled to camp at a certain spot just because they are commercial. IE large camps for groups of 24 or more.
never once did i say "i'll go where i want." i practice and encourage " getting along". no need to be nasty and call people names mr rafterbrooks. by the way i am a "professional river guide" myself.
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Old 07-29-2008   #14
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 498
A reformed Motor Boaters reply. Started as a Private Boater in73 then went to the Grand as a Commercial 81 thru 89 and now am back to being a Private boater. I ran 89 trips as a guide about half Motor and about half Oar lead about 50 of the trips. I mostly stay out of these threads because I will not go back to the Canyon until the list goes to no longer than a 3 year wait. And I do consider myself first and foremost a Private boater

I do now and did then think that the Private was being screwed. However here are a few points.

I was close to the River rangers in the early 80's and sad to say it was the private boaters who drug their feet with the carry out laws when they were first enacted. Pull into camp and see shit all over and usually it was a Private doing some civil disobedience. In fairness there were and probably still are bad guides but the peer pressure is extreme down there.

In June of 02 2 out of 3 private launch dates went unused because people on the list couldn't get their shit together. This is happening while the private community is begging for more launch dates.

Now as far as haggling for camps. I was always very kind and into camping in new places so i might not have been the norm but my Questions usually went like this.

What are your plans. "Dude we were going to lay over there and hike." I would go on. If I wanted to hike also I would ask to share. If there was group incompatibility I would alter my plans. But then again running Crystal in the dark without scouting is something most privates won't even contemplate

The second question was always group size.

I would also offer beer bribes. I can only think of twice in what would have been about 1000 nights that I had problems. One at lower bass and one at ledges. The lower bass I offered to share they said no and then they started to get verbally abusive. I threw the one doing the most talking an Icer then proceeded to hand out about 2 cases worth. They left happy and gave me a friendly wave the next day.

The second time the guys came on strong and were ass holes and yes showed me their ass repeatedly. When in the Mouth at Matkatamiba they used drugs and foul language in front of a family trip just to show their disgust for commercials. I altered my plans and fucked them at ledges then as they floated by handed out icers and asked everyone how they wanted their steak cooked. So perhaps if you are being fucked by commercials repeatedly maybe you might want to alter your tude.

I can also remember helping turn over numerous private boats and twice fed and watered Privates for extended times because of their incompetence.

In closing i would add that I have since chased rapids on 4 other continents and with the exception of deepest darkest Africa. The Grand is the best river experience on the planet. So why go in with a tude looking for confrontation? Steve "Jonsey" Jones
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Old 07-29-2008   #15
Daledough's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 99
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
I agree with rich and mostly agree with the reality sheriff. Commercial trips help mainstream America appreciate what so many of us are passionately ga ga about. I run trips mainly on the upper Colorado (Westwater and Cataract) and I must say that I wish Tom Martin, or some similar group would organize against the junk show private boaters we are seeing up here. Motor trips are far less disruptive than the triple J-rig configuration complete with PA system and DJ scaffold I was forced to endure on a recent trip...or the bonehead drunks that burned down Spanish Bottom recently. Where has personal responsibility and respect for other boaters gone?
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Old 07-29-2008   #16
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
There are a number of issues flying around here.

Freeboatin is absolutly correct, the imbalance in group sizes was an issue we and many others asked the NPS to correct in the 2006 river plan. They didn't and this issue is still an issue. The do-it-yourselfers being groups of 16 or 8, get a "suggestion" to camp at small camps so the concessions trips of 32 can camp at the larger camps.

We need to remember this is a suggestion and not a regulation. If i'm in a small group and Little Nanko, Upper Nanko and the Point camp are taken, I'll camp at Main Nanko. if another group comes along, I'll happily offer to share the camp with them.

What happens is, based on reports from last season, commercial trips upstream will not share, and the point camp has three groups of 16 folks camped there.

The simple solution is to equalize trip sizes across the board. Till then, do-it-yourselfers should be flexable, as should concessions groups. Give where you can, but offer to double camp where you can't. Invite them in, make sure they know YOU KNOW the regs it's a suggestion not a regulation), and stand firmly but politely on your ground.

Steve Jones, can you please cite source for the do-it-yourselfers not advocating to pack out solifd waste. The history, well documented in "Hijacking A River" and elsewhere, is that the concessionaires were dead set against packing out solid waste, and had to be regulated by force into it.

Rafterbrooks has a good point about not trashing vegitation to light a fire. I'll post on that in a minute.

Best to you all, Tom Martin

Finally, the driftweood
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Old 07-29-2008   #17
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 60

Sorry to miss your point. You come off to me as a private boater who has never been and feels that he should have the whole canyon to himself. I do feel your pain with the discrimination. The canyon is one of the wonders of the world and alot of people want to see it. As it stands now, it appears to be easier to get permits since the wait list is gone. Who knows, I saw alot of choice days in my opinion up for grabs in those follow up lotteries so maybe people are getting their trips out of their systems.
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Old 07-29-2008   #18
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Hi Brooks, don't forget the Waiting List is still there, you just can't get on it. The NPS now estimates they will have everyone on the list off the list (and hopefull ON the water) by 2038. Waiting Lists gaurantee you a launch date, and only work when supply can be kept close to demand. Waiting Lists do not work if the allocation is not adjusted and demand outstips supply.

While we can postualte folks are getting trips out of thier system, we can just as well postulate that these trips are in high demand and losers far aoutweigh winners. 26-74/100-0 is not 50-50. Yours, Tom
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Old 07-30-2008   #19
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 154
Ok, now that I have a new username and can finally post again:

I'll just start by saying that I work in the Canyon. I have motored, and am now rowing. While motors are not my style, I truly believe that they have their place in the Canyon. While Grand Canyon needs supporters, and there are thousands of people - who came down on a motor rig - who would not have ever supported Grand Canyon in some fight, I think it's more widespread than that. When wild places anywhere are threatened, I think those people might think twice now. That's because they have finally been to a wild place and understand the value of wild places. So in that light, I am a supporter of motors in Grand Canyon.

If I were in trouble, I would want a motor trip to show up. Take Sarah Kuhn, an OARS guide as an example. She had an open cut and went swimming in Havasu. And we all have little open cuts and scratches that are hard to keep on top of keeping them clean. By the time they scouted Lava the next day, should could barely walk. They decided to Evac her, however the parks service was not able to fly that day for some reason. So a CRATE motor trip came by and she jumped on with them and got out much quicker than had they waited till she could fly. It turned out she had gotten Strep G from Havasu... want to swim there anymore? I don't. So I think in emergencies, they can be a huge plus.

And as for the camp thing. We don't feel we are entitled to the big camps necessarily, or no one I've been on a trip with does. earlier this year, while on a motor trip (23 people), we gave up Silver Grotto to a private. Even after we had communicated with the group and they said we could have it. I don't think that's too selfish. I've also been on trips where we gave Bass to a private... and NO ONE gives up Bass. We took the Parkin's Inscription camp just upstream. A small, Southwest facing, backed by black schist and therefore hot as shit camp.

And just cause we're commercials, doesn't mean privates don't screw eachother. One of the guys I worked with earlier this year, was on a winter private. They were flip-flopping with another private. They had communicated that Mark was going to take 110 and the other private was going to take Bass. The other private passed Mark's trip while they were flipping their boat back over after a flip in Crystal, so they knew that there had been a flip and likely cold people. Well, they apparently decided to pass up Bass, and Mark saw this, but kept going, keeping his word. It turns out that this other private had taken 110, and there is very little camping beyond that. Mark passed 110 at dusk and had to keep going.

It's not just commercials "screwing people", it's a whole lot of people in a place where paying attention to everything going on around you is important. And then it's creating "what if" scenario's in case something unexpected happens. And in most cases, commercials aren't out to screw you, they're just running a trip like you are, and they have desires and a schedule to keep, just like you do. The only time I've seen words passed that were less than nice, was when a private was blatantly trying to be assholes to us.
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Old 07-30-2008   #20
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 498
Tom Once again I have always been a private boater. just detoured in to commercial because I liked the Canyon so much. True the outfitters dug in and had to be forced.

On the 1982 BTS (boatman seminar trip) every time Kim Crumbo saw a piece of Micro trash or evidence of misuse he would mutter damn privates. The general consensus among the park on that trip was that privates were the problem whether they will admit it now or not. So much so there was some eye rolling amongst us that did both. That's my source and I realize this is the virtual world and I am siting real life experience so flame away.

Also as a trip leader I was checked out by the Park Service 8 times. I received a 5 or perfect score every time. I wonder what privates would score I know mine would be the same but I have doubts about all privates.

Tom when did you do your first trip and how many have you done? sj

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