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Old 10-11-2007   #11
Vernal, Utah
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3
As an aside, my uncle did a winter trip and had a case of beer frozen to his floorboard all the way through Marble Canyon.

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Old 10-11-2007   #12
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Did a grand trip in December 2005 for 26 days. I'd go again in a heartbeat. Definately a better than average way to celebrate Christmas and New Years.

Planning out you trip itinerary is key. The canyon tends to warm as you go along so Marble Canyon is usually the coldest. Even then, however, the Martin and Whitis guide has a lot of good pointers as to which camps get sun in the winter and which ones don't. Heeding that advice is a good idea as you can generally find nice camps (especially layovers) that will get good sun for at least half the day.

Mucklucks are key, even for kayakers, as they are invaluable when loading and unloading rafts.

I was fine with a 0-degree bag and a paco pad. Night time temps were generally between 20-30.

The water temperature is warmer than you would tend to expect. Its bottom water out of lake powel, so it doesn't tend to change a whole lot during the course of the year. I think it averaged aroung 50 degrees for our trip, which isn't too different from Clear Creek during runoff.

Also a thermos that you can stash in your kayak is not a bad idea.

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Old 10-14-2007   #13
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Originally Posted by Emmielou View Post
Oh this is great, thanks so much! I wouldn't have thought of a bag for my chair, great idea

I think I might just overpack slightly with an extra sweater and a pair of shorts in case of crazy weather. As for the river itself, I don't own a dry suit and don't see a reason to buy one unless to sell it back after the trip. Think a solid dry top and NRS paddling pants, some ankle high booties and solid gloves would suffice? I totally appreciate the feedback. The coldest trip I've ever done was Westwater in late October, and the closest I've been to the Grand Canyon is to fly over it (city slicker here), so I have NO idea what to expect.

If you can afford the drysuit why not? Yes you can sell it after. But you are going on the trip of a lifetime why not make yourself as comfortable as possible. As a passenger you will not be able to keep yourself as warm unless you row on the river. A couple times this year I was rowing in 38-45 degree temps and it was hard for me as the boatman to stay warm with splash gear on bottom and rain gear (not drytop) up top with multi layers of fleece. Then add in three days of rain and all wet gear. Breaking camp in the rain/sleet and setting up the same. God I hope not, but you have to plan for that.

When paddling I had to put on a completely wet underwear top under my Kokatat drytop and it dried on the river while I was paddling in a couple of hours.

You may be able to get the kind of suit that rolls together with a gasket at the waist. In other words separate top and bottom that work together.

Ultimately you know how easy you get cold outside, but on a boat you have limited options for aerobic activity.

Good luck and it may be warm who knows.
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Old 10-14-2007   #14
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
If you are in a raft, Mukluks, ie. tall rubber boots, are the way to go for cold weather. This is even more true if you aren't going to have a drysuit with booties. They let you walk around camp and load/unload the boats with warm dry feet. On the raft if you can avoid getting water in them - ie put splash pant legs over them - they will continue to be a great choice. For Lava and other major rapids with a good chance of flipping you may want to switch to something that will stay on in a swim. IMHO.

This is what I am talking about (there are lots of companies that make these):

Cabela's -- Muck™ Wetland™ Field Boots

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