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Old 04-06-2011   #11
St George, Utah
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 48
richp is right on!! rapids change with the water flows< Ive seen 4,500 cfs and 100k cfs.Low water scouts for sure would be Hance,Horn,Crystal,Deubendorff,Upset,Lava,232 and Pierce Ferry. Hance,Crystal and Lava are a must scout no matter what level. If you have any Questions feel free to shoot me an email.

And always remember a CRAPPY day in the Ditch Is Better than a Great day at work.

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Old 04-07-2011   #12
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
We just got off the Grand April 1st and I'm still crying!! What an amazing adventure. This is my second time and I used ALLl the previously mentioned guides. The Martin River Map was the one I relied on the most. The others I glanced at for fun and an extra two cents (I need all the cents I can get!). I think the most important thing on the Grand is knowing where you are at all times. It's easy to lose what river mile you are on if you don't follow along and pay attention. Like everyone said already, the rapids are totally different at different levels. No book can tell you exactly how to run each rapid. Most rapids are read and run, but you still have to know a rapid is coming! They tend to sneak up on you in the Grand. When in doubt, or if you can't see it, SCOUT! I think the Martin guide is good at letting you know what rapids you should consider scouting and where to pull over. Sometimes the book would say things like "Go left of the entry pour over and aviod the big hole in the middle". Hell, I didn't even see a pour over or a hole! Sometimes rapids would appear and not even be labeled as ripples on the map. This second trip at bigger water was much easier, but we talked to people that flipped fully loaded boats on no name rapids! Pay attention and rig to flip at all times and you'll be just fine. I'm so jealous!!!!

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Old 04-07-2011   #13
kayakingphotog's Avatar
Austin, Texas
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 54
Maureen's advice is right on!

I was gassing up in Flag just before my first time down the Grand years ago and this grizzled old river rat walked up and started reminiscing. Just before I peeled away he looked me in the eyes and I quote "Just because you make it through Lava does not mean you can sit back and relax. You still have miles and days to go so stay alert".

Of course being a young upstart I quickly dismissed his advice.

Two weeks later after nailing Lava there I was leisurely floating around another bend in the river. My future ex-wife was sunbathing nude on the Cat tube and I was enjoying the view. Far in the distance as I rounded the bend I notice my other rafting companions rowing like hell towards river left. Hmmm? I think nothing of it and continue soaking in the view. After all I am below Lava and am king. The river was flowing about 20k and as we quickly rounded the bend the stage was set. Unbeknownst to me I was swiftly heading towards 209 Mile Rapid.

Suddenly it was to late. I remember yelling "hold on" to my naked wife and the river flexed its muscles and my heavily loaded cat did a beautiful backward flip back into this big ole hole. I just became that other kind of rafter "them thats flipped".

Moral to the story. Listen to grizzled old man and be aware. If in doubt scout.
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Old 04-07-2011   #14
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
It's funny you mention 209 - it caught us off guard as well! It is also a very narrow line on the left there.

As for guide books, I used the pdf, Martin's and Lindemann's on my trip. Dan's sketches are fantastic for the heavies, while Martin's was in use for positioning.
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Old 04-07-2011   #15
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Dang 209! We got left behind the group a bit (one eddy from hell and not paying attention). Another woman was rowing my boat, and I noticed that it looked a little menacing. Quickly we swapped, and I was just able to skirt what seemed to be a hole large enough to swallow a but.
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Old 04-07-2011   #16
lmaciag's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670
My first trip in '08 trip had an issue there too... We got a little separated and the boat in front of me had lost their map early in the trip. The pelican case was open, cameras out... then 209 and a flip. I came around the bend (aware of the rapid and pulling hard left) and saw the duo on river left. Thought they were waving me in for lunch. When I got there, no cat! The guys down river were even more surprised to have an upside down cat float up to them.

It's a sneaky one. Lots of easy water above it to relax.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 04-07-2011   #17
Upper Florida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 21
[QUOTE=maureen we talked to people that flipped fully loaded boats on no name rapids! Pay attention and rig to flip at all times and you'll be just fine. [/QUOTE]

Maureen is right about flipping in no name rapids. We shared a camp with their group at mile 219 and told our story of flipping in 209. After not missing a single stroke and hitting every line the whole trip we got complacent & flipped, we lost our entire kitchen box. I've always said as humbled as I've been by past experience I know many more humbling experiences remain so please keep your maps (which ever ones you use) handy and always remain safe. To Maureen & Scott - Thanks for the beers!
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Old 04-07-2011   #18
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
Originally Posted by The Mogur View Post
I agree that the Lindemann book is necessary, but I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Guide to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon by Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis. It's a waterproof, highly detailed river map, and it works very nicely in conjunction with the Lindemann book.
I agree. This was the only guide I had and it was fine (including allowing me time to yell at the people up ahead floating sans PFDs just before they rounded the bend for 209). There is no guide that can substitute for scouting and reading the river.

The days flow by so fast anyway- take the time to scout and take pictures.
"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 04-07-2011   #19
Othello, Washington
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 30
After six runs I insist on scouting Hance, Granite, Crystal (I swam it in'11 & it is an ugly swim), Duebendorff, Bedrock, Upset, & Lava. Even if the kayakers feel its good to go, a screw up in any of these isn't worth it. Tom Martin's guidebook is worth the $25 cost, especially for the campsites. Easy to read & waterproof. Watch out for rapid 209. It's a sleeper & can ruin your whole day.
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Old 04-08-2011   #20
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
Dump Truck-hope the beer and firewood got you through the rest of the trip nicely with no further carnage! Nice running into you guys, but I was sad that it was our last night. I would've drove straight to the put-in and done it again! Oh, to be back on the river....

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