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Old 08-18-2010   #11
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by ldemuth6 View Post
Im headed down in Jan, see flows should be 17,000-22,000.... it's my first trip down the grand and curious how things look/any major concerns at those flows. I'm still trying to decide more playboat oriented or bigger river runner-- most everything i've read suggest playboat, and the fact it's gonna be f'in COLD. Any info or ideas is greatly appreciated
If you mean a playboat kayak instead of a hard shell then for sure playboat. I've had two friends run the entire way in duckys and both made everything except Lava. You want to go left at lava in a ducky but never in a raft. We've run the right side at all levels and have made it everytime. The lowest, 6000cfs and the highest 17,500 cfs. My main rule at any level on the Grand is generaly go with the most water.

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Old 08-18-2010   #12
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
If you mean a playboat kayak instead of a hard shell then for sure playboat. I've had two friends run the entire way in duckys and both made everything except Lava. You want to go left at lava in a ducky but never in a raft. We've run the right side at all levels and have made it everytime. The lowest, 6000cfs and the highest 17,500 cfs. My main rule at any level on the Grand is generaly go with the most water.
Why would you say that? Never go left that is. Presenting rapids as only having one solution could make someone predisposed to do the wrong line for the flow.

When I was there I was with several multiple time GC guys and it was my first. Everyone scouted and scouted ( it was around 23k to 24k), I saw where I wanted to run ( on the left of the ledge hole) but kept my mouth shut as I was the first timer.

After a 45 minute scout they decided we needed to scout from the left side too. Another 30 minutes of scouting.......finally I said stick a fork in it and turn it over it's done and I am running the left side. It was anti-climactic.

The only one who had trouble waited until everyone else ran, dicked around for another 20 minutes and then the sun was in their eyes they lost their line and went right in the left side of the ledge hole. I have to say they had the most exciting run and didn't flip. Did everything but flip, but they didn't flip.

There were some really nasty surging laterals around the cheese grater that were freaking everyone out. Seemed like occasionally the water would surge completely over the cheese grater. Could be remembering wrong, but no one wanted to be over there.

Most rapids have many options depending on flow. I could see at lower flows that the entrance or top of the left side could start to close out.

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Old 08-18-2010   #13
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Sorry Otto, but have to agree with Carvedog regarding Lava: Over 20k and the left side starts to look much more inviting than the right. I've run it from less than 1000cfs (spring of '77) to over 80,000 (summer of "83) and pretty much everything in between over the years, er, decades. The higher the water, the meaner the right side gets.

Whatever level you run it, it's a fun rapid that always deserves respect.
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Old 08-18-2010   #14
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post

Horn Creek Rapid is especially tough at low water. It is very difficult (bordering on impossible) to miss the big hole, even with the essential perfectly-timed eddy turn below the mid-stream pour-over at the entry. Set a downstream ferry angle to punch the eddy below the pour-over, and don't let the eddy swing your bow downstream. Keep pulling on the right oar to maintain the downstream ferry angle and keep pulling to the left. You might be able to just brush the left side of the hole. More likely, you'll hit the hole anyway, so be sure to hit it straight and push your way through it. The odds are that all you'll get is a boatload of water, but a flip is pretty easy anyway.

At Lava, the left-side runs go away at low water. The right-side run requires a precise entry within 3 feet to the right of the massive mid-river pourover (the ledge hole). Too far to the right leads you into a pair of ugly holes against the right bank, and too far to the left takes you over the death rock into the ledge hole.

Hance is filled with obstacles--boulders and holes--but the slower current makes it into a fun slalom course, with lots of maneuvering but no serious peril. Scout it well--and, of course, scout everything else as well.
I'll second that....Those are really they only rapids I can remember that were a little challenging. Horn in particular, definitely right to left momentum at the entrance. The hole located bottom right/middle (that most of the flow dumps into) easily flipped one of our 16' rigs.

The 20's are awesome at those levels....IMO.
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Old 08-18-2010   #15
Colorado Springs Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 254
At 8000 all three of our 18' rafts did not make the right cut and went left of the island. All of us had rowed the canyon before (at both higher and lower water) without problem. In hindsight it was kind of cool going that way but I'm glad there wasn't wood in the exit slot! It was hard enough to get lined up for as it was.
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Old 08-25-2010   #16
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 90's
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9
Hey, again- just wondering if any passenger spots are open for the October Grand trip? 25/f, Telluride, CO 860-575-1038... Thanks for any info or contacts. Cheers. Britt
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Old 08-27-2010   #17
Buena Vista, Colorado
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Check your PMs
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Old 08-27-2010   #18
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19
All the comments so far are great and spot on. The Jewels were more fun at lower water; Granite, Hermit and Crystal were very straightforward (watch out for the hole on the right in lower Crystal). Mostly read and run otherwise. House Rock was a little tough because you had to enter it so far to the left, but there was plenty of time to move right. Horn was the tough one - one one trip we only had one kayaker swim and all the rafts made it, but we didn't think that would be the case when we first looked at it. Enter it 'between the Horns' toward the left side, blast your way through the hole at the bottom of that drop, and then do everything you can to get to the left around the hole. You should be able to punch the corner of it if you can't make it. Don't be lulled into thinking you can enter right and pull left around the hole - the lateral waves are too powerful; on one trip the two that tried that were slammed to the far right right against the wall and the guide looked like a ragdoll flying out of the boat. Fortunately he hit the wall only glancingly on his shoulder and wasn't more injured. Have a great time
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Old 08-27-2010   #19
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
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Posts: 119
Here's a link to some runs through Horn at med/low water, I'm guessing somewhere around what you'll see. All 6 rafts run right of both horns and all of them take a piece of the wave/hole 3/4 of the way through.

I'm probably going to get flamed for the following comments but here you go...

The yellow raft has by far the smoothest run. He is calm and tries to move left behind the river right horn. When it's clear he's not going to miss the holes (he figures this out way before anyone else) he simply spins the boat forward and pushes downstream through the left side of the big stuff. This is a classic right side run at this level. Better to spin and be facing in the right direction than to keep fighting a losing battle to get left.

So, if you want to get some action, this is a great way to run it. Note that he spins early so he's set up to take on the downstream stuff pointing directly into it. Most of the following boats don't straighten out in time to be set up correctly for the runout past the horns. No offense to any of you out there that might be in this video!

All of the boats seem to be attempting to run right to left but none of them make it. (They could be planning on hitting the big stuff so maybe I'm wrong and they went exactly where they wanted.) None of them have any real right to left momemtum going down the tongue however. If you really want to get left from the right, you have to have massive right to left momentum going for you. That means starting farther right at the very top and rowing hard (backwards and downstream!) towards the left (always with downstream angle). You'll want to drop your stern into the eddy behind the river right horn earler than they do, so you slide across the eddy as you begin your counter clockwise spin to get your boat straight. The sharper your angle (closer to straight downstream that to the river left) the better chance you have of using the eddy behind the horn. If you hit the eddy line without much right to left momentum and with too shallow and angle, say 45 degrees, you'll simply get rejected back into the tongue, even as you're spinning.

But, I would suggest an arguably better line if you want to miss the bottom stuff: Simply drop between the horns backwards and, as soon as you clear the V-wave just downstream in the tongue between them (you can see it clearly in every run on the video - none of them get close to it) you point your stern about 45 degrees towards the left shore, take a couple of big strokes and spin your boat around. You'll miss the stuff on the right completely and likely won't even get wet. You'll be facing downstream now and can set up a right ferry angle if you're heading too close to the left wall in the runout. I think this is a super clean and classy run personally.

While I'm at it, here's a tip for Granite, which is the next rapid downstream: Start right and stay right, just off the wall by about 20 feet. If you try to get left the river will keep tugging you back to the wall. If you're already there you can take advantage of the lateral compression waves that come off the wall to keep you on the tongue. It's one of my absolute favorite rapids!

Have a great trip!
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Old 08-28-2010   #20
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Centennial, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 17
you should have fun with Bedrock at that level. make sure you eat your wheaties!

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