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Old 10-10-2007   #1
Creted Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
The Grand in January- bad idea?

Just got offered a trip in the Grand putting in on the 16th of Jan. Right off, I am thinking absolutely, but then a little hesitation to miss prime ski season and maybe freeze my ass off. I have always dreamed and drooled of a Grand trip, just never envisioned a winter trip. Any thoughts? I know it can snow then, I've been on the south rim in April during snow, but what are 'typical' Jan. temps.

Gotta decide very soon, any beta on the winter Grand experience appreciated.

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Old 10-10-2007   #2
Fuzzy's Avatar
Knife Fork of the Spoon Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 365
any chance you get to go you should go

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Old 10-10-2007   #3
Boatin', Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 201
We're launching January 9th and couldn't be more excited. That's not peak ski season and you'll still have 3 good months to ski after you get back.

24 nights, fires every night, no commercial trips or motorized boats. Come on, that's a no brainer!
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Old 10-10-2007   #4
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 507
It's going to be a drought this winter. Go get some water.
action is the enemy of thought
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Old 10-10-2007   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 254
The Grand!

good for you august -

funny, cause i just received a call from a buddy of mine, inviting me to a trip on jan 26....definately prime ski season and maybe colder than early jan...

anyways, my 2 is that i had another offer for a private trip a few years back, and declined, because of lack of vacation, and i've been kicking myself ever since.

a private trip is pretty rare, eh? anyways, i'm going to go and can't wait to leave the world behind.

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Old 10-10-2007   #6
Creted Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5
That seems to be the consensus. I just talked with a friend who has done a Nov./Dec. trip and a Sept. trip. Supposedly the Sept. date is ideal conditions, yet he enjoyed the Nov./Dec. much more because of the quite. He did however say not to be fooled- it was cold. Typically they were in the sun for 2 to 3 hours max per day. It didn't snow on them, but some cold rain for a few days in a row. Said that the weather in Sept. was ideal but they were far from alone down there.

I had another realization today, I was planning on spending two weeks north of the artic circle on a river this summer. The trip fell through for unexpected reasons, but I didn't even bat an eye at the idea of that cold, and I'm sure it would have been colder then this trip.

Thanks for the input. August
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Old 10-10-2007   #7
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
Grand Canyon temps link with monthly averages and precip totals (look at bottom of page):

Grand Canyon National Park - Weather Conditions (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 10-11-2007   #8
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2163
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 295
Even if there is snow on the rim, it is unlikely that there will be snow in the Canyon itself. Remember, you will be 3000 feet below the rim. As someone pointed out, the lack of commercial and motorized trips will make it much more pleasant.

Having just completed a Canyon trip in august, I can safely say that it is more than worth it and that if you have any chance you should take it. Go for it!
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Old 10-11-2007   #9
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Last time I did it was in late August and September: couldn't sleep for the heat.

So give it a go, for sure. Just pack your arctic gear. If you're running a small boat, a 2-piece drysuit would be nice, with neoprene hood and some serious foot layers. Fingerless gloves are good for rigging. Lots of fleecy stuff for camp. (When it's rude cold, for a lux bedtime, pour warm– not hot— water in a non-leaky drybag and kip in. Once you're toasty, set it outside.)

I've not done the Grand in Jan. but have done early (melting ice) and late season sampling in alpine lakes, when the water's right on the freezing point. You need to think about what you do. Hypothermia's a bugger. When the sun is off the water, pick the dry lines. A flip isn't quite as casual at that point.

Good book: DOWNCANYON by Ann Zwinger, U. Arizona Press, 1995. She spent quite a bit of time in the Canyon in winter. It's not a boat guide but more natural history and atmosphere.

I envy you, mate—
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Old 10-11-2007   #10
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Another heat scam–

Take space blankets (the heavy duty kind with grommets) and screen them up behind your river chairs. Good way to get really warm with a reasonable size fire.

yrs, Chip

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