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Old 02-14-2013   #1
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
diamond down wisdom

hey guys and gals,

looking for some first hand/recent advice.
(none of us have been below diamond in at least 10 or 12 years)

our GC TL was thinking of passing diamond on day 21 (with a possible passenger exchange) and taking out at pearce the morning of april 19 (day 23).

54 miles/2 nights/no motor/passenger exchange at diamond seems like a lot and still be set up to get to pearce in the am
how many nights do you think we need to allow?

back in the old days when there was a lake we would tie the boats together and night float. i've heard that with the lake gone the banks do a lot of 'calving' so that may not be so safe or practical.

we have the list of camps but were looking for inside advice, if possible.

how fast is the current?
there may be a few riffles in there also?
any trip report links for that section that you could hook a brother up with?

as always, thanks for the help,


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Old 02-14-2013   #2
yakkeranna's Avatar
Canberra, OZ
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 168
The nightfloat still goes. I've done it 2X, once on a March trip, and just this past december as well. The way we've done it is to get to Separation the night before take-out day, hang out, make dinner, get the boats tied together, etc at Separation, then launch at ~ 7 or 8 pm. Have 2 people on watch on the oars at all times (set up shifts) with good flashlights and the required lighting. No rowing downstream, just keep the boats off the banks. I've always planned for ~4 mile/hr but this last trip we definitely made closer to 3 miles/hr. We ended up at the take-out right about 9 am.

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Old 02-14-2013   #3
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
We did the 54 miles in 22 hours last spring. We camped at truck stop, RR just past diamond. We boated past separation (don't have access to info right now) to a camp at RL with a hualapai outhouse (f'in gross!). We barged up there and floated the night with the full moon. Keep in mind it will be MUCH colder at night, on the water. At least in march, and we had been having days in the high 80's maybe 90's. Put warm clothes on before you get cold and figure out a way to make hot drinks. Night float was amazing!

We floated below separation to see our speed with gps. We were getting 3 mph and that's what we used to time out night float departure. We planned for an 8 am arrival and I think we were within 15 mins of it.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 02-14-2013   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
We did it in two days as well. I'm planning to skip it for future trips, as the character is so different from the NP section with all the tourist activity.
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Old 02-14-2013   #5
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
Have done it twice recently.

Trip reports, videos, and waypoints can be found on my web site:


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Old 02-14-2013   #6
Doubledown's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 76
I just got off the river 2/10/13 at South Cove. I rolled out of 220 camp and rowed all the way to Quartermaster at 260. The 40 miles took me 10 hours. Rowing without wind I was around 4 miles an hour. Quartermaster is ENTIRELY overgrown but I was solo and there was room for just my cot near the spring. The next morning I simply floated (minimal rowing) to just below Pierce Ferry Rapid in a bit over 7 hours. Floating the last 20 to Pierce was 3 miles an hour as others have said. Camping at 250 RR would be a more comfortable split. I actually enjoy seeing the canyon at the end so night floating doesn't do it for me anymore. (I have night floated that stretch a half dozen times.) There is a large camp RL about a mile or less above Pierce Ferry take out.

The current still goes all the way until about 3 miles from South Cove. Pierce Ferry Rapid is really mellow right now. Still worth a scout but chill. I encountered unbelievable headwind from Pierce all the way to Sandy Point. Those final 16 miles actually took me 2 days because I couldn't make any headway downstream and had to just tie up to the bank and get in my bivy sack.
That section usually just takes me about 6 hours of rowing to get to South Cove. Hope this helps some.
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Old 03-11-2013   #7
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
appreciate all the responses.

we have changed the schedule to pass diamond on day 20.

has anyone run that section this year, who would kindly chime in.

thanks, bob

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