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Old 07-27-2013   #31
Steamboat, 80487
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by 86304 View Post
so, does that mean your going for it?
Without a doubt yes!

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Old 07-27-2013   #32
Spokane, Washington
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 9
Schutzie -

What a great post on page one. I copied it and emailed it to all my kayaker friends.

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Old 07-28-2013   #33
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Slightly different opinion....

If you have solid boatmen who have experience to the Grand then I would trust their advice over anyone here. Listen to them and learn from them.

The one thing I haven't heard here is critical to me.....its a expedition in many ways which isn't common in the US. Recognize a mistake on a 220+ mile trip can have significant consequences that are not experienced on shorter trips like Westwater and the like.

I would recommend having significant help from a more experienced person in regards to TL or handing it off to them completely. Permit holder does not need to equal trip leader.

To those who say the Grand rapids are straight forward pool drops...I simply dissent. Many people do learn in the Grand and have a great time, it may even be most. But don't downplay the seriousness of these rapids in advance; and to counter don't freak yourself out unnecessarily either. But many of the rapids aren't straight forward.

Take Hance....its current incarnation (which may change again before you arrive) is a extremely long rapid with major features throughout. Places like Horn and Crystal to me aren't what I consider classic pool drops with relatively minimal consequences for a swimmer or boat. They both can eat a boat and cause major issues to life or convenience in the rapid and the runout. Rapids like Upset force you closer to some of the largest hyrdaulics you will have ever seen. I have witnessed it psych out people more experienced than myself, and likely for good reason.

And I would completely ignore the person that calls it a Class 2.......that is negligent. You can state with accuracy that it is mostly flatwater mileage-wise but there are definitely stout Class IVs by international definition throughout the 220 miles. A flip in the wrong place can mean miles of swimming in 55F water as your team tries to help you eddy out.

All that said, it sounds like you are someone who isn't likely to underestimate the risk and have taken precautions many seasoned boaters have not. Trust the advice of the people you know and your gut above all else. Prepare well in advance and you are just as likely to have a blast and mostly remember the side hikes, which are epic. Even the biggest rapids like Lava are normally just a thirty second experience that we all spend way too much time worrying about. It has some of the best camps of any river and you can shockingly few encounters with other groups even during the height of the season.

Best of luck with the decision and enjoy the run either way.

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Old 07-29-2013   #34
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Originally Posted by jrdavey View Post
Schutzie -

What a great post on page one. I copied it and emailed it to all my kayaker friends.

Three other tips;
1) Keep a journal. Write in it every day. Every. Stinking. day. You'll thank me.
2) You didn't mention your take out. If it's Pearce Ferry seriously consider a motor. I know, lots of extra weight, stinky, nasty etc. But, when you are 20 miles from Pearce and wondering what the hell, you'll thank me.
3) Those guys in the floating condos? The commercial guys? Make friends with them. Give them your beer, food and even your women (or men) if they ask. They can keep you out of trouble, get you out of trouble, and they know some great songs.

Man, are you gonna have an adventure!
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Old 07-31-2013   #35
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 148
Do it with 15 Confident Virgins

Know what a downstream Ferry angle is, it makes life easy. Down stream oar is your power. Watching youtube videos one can see how worthless "Upstream Ferries" are in the Canyon. Too much volume to row backwards, don't waste your time. But if you watch all the youtubes videos one can see how forgiving the river is as folks row backwards essentially slowing themselves down into a big hole like Upset, and make it")

Being athletic, and confident is important. One should never make someone feel less of a person if they don't want to run the Grand. Or make them row but... On the other hand if someone can do 20 pushups in a row they can row the Canyon. One 55 ish yr old lady told me she didn't know where I got the 20 push up formula because she can only do 5 in a row and she can row just fine. True story. Proof positive that, if someones terrified(no worries)? find someone else, or else suffer the melodrama that awaits you. If someone is athletically confident they can do it")

Continuing on the Athletically confident scale(One person with Class III experience), if I had a permit and I had never run the Canyon I would pick 15 more fun athletic Virgins to run the Canyon and see it for the first time together. After you run it once you will be down 10 more times plus in a lifetime but you can never go back and do it again with 15 people that had never done it, Powell Style, cept ya'll will prolly have hrs of youtubes, and guides, and boating crap")

One bad thing you can do is park it on a rock!. But..the river is so wide, why would you? No offense to those that have btw. Just pay attention and don't get wrapped on a rock(there's only about 5), and then try to avoid a hole sideways. Bring an instrument, tell lots of jokes, or make yourself useful and do lots of dishes. EMS people are priceless. Paramedics, nurses, doctors, and fireman are great to have on a trip. Canyon Experience, ahh its ok but way not necessary if you have river experience elsewhere.

Most injuries happen on shore. Don't climb over your head, be conservative, and take care of each other. Excessive alcohol will lead to poor decision making, and high risk to injury,

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Old 07-31-2013   #36
boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 298
Thumbs up to Phillip/Restrac2000! Great post. While I have only been on the Grand 2 times, 2012 and 2013, what makes any trip great for the less experienced is having someone who is experienced to guide you along. Your limited experience will not be a deficit if your group is balanced out with those who do. I agree with everyone that you should definitely make this trip happen. The ranger talk at the put in always says that most injuries happen off the river, but you spend a lot of time on the river and mistakes due to inexperience can make a trip much less pleasant. Good luck and have fun.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
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Old 07-31-2013   #37
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by kikii875 View Post
Agreed, House Rock is a good example of current going different speeds depending on your line.
In this video the first boat (me) is doing a downstream ferry and working only the left oar to keep from getting turned to soon, and then turning just in time to square up to the hole. The third boat starts with an upstream ferry and gets turned 90 degrees just like my boat, but that puts him parallel to the hole, and over they go. Good times.
Just came back to this thread. good vid. shows the power of not T-ing up to the laterals too.

The other thing the flip boat did was start down the right side of the tongue. Much better to be center or left to start and let the mo (mentum) carry you over those little laterals on the right side of the tongue. Every little wave he hit was pushing him more into the meat.

It was mentioned before and it is hard to learn except on bigger water. There will be a point as you ride up the wave and get to the top when the boat becomes much easier to spin ( as in to straighten out before you hit the boat flipping hole in house rock). The stroke (instead of just inserting the oar blade and yanking on the handles) becomes much more like a kayak stroke where you are feeling for pressure and when it starts to become easy near the top of the wave then pull hard.

I haven't seen too many people talk about this, but it's a very common newbie issue. Jamming on the oars and nothing happens. When it is more timing than strength issue you have to quiet the inner mind/panic to wait until it feels better.
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Old 07-31-2013   #38
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Couple comments I just can't help but make;
As to physical fitness; yes it is definitely a plus, but should not be a bar to going; I know of several folks who have gone who could no more do a single pull up than 20, and they did fine. It's a physically demanding trip, no question, but if you've done Yampa, Gates, etc. you'll do Ok. Just know your limits. Make sure your people know their limits.

The comments about the ferry angle are for the most part what I would say, but I'd say it differently. The oar set up I used was a pin and it locked the oar solidly on the frame; if you let your downstream oar drag you would surely break something at some point, so I always kept my downstream oar out of the water unless I actually needed the stroke, and then only when I could be sure there wasn't a hidden rock waiting to bite our oar. In fact, it takes a conscious thought to put that downstream oar in the water; Something has to be wrong with the using the upstream oar to turn. I once broke a frame in half hitting a rock that I didn't look for with my downstream oar

I mention this because moetown says your downstream oar is your power. Just be careful with that downstream oar; assuming you use a sleeve rather than a pin, it will still jam your undies to catch that downstream oar on something.

The ferry thing you should have already figured out; angling your boat in the current will use the current to push you to one side, cause you know, you're going slower than the current. It should be part of your planning when scouting rapids, and you should always be playing around with it on the flat water to understand how it works on your rig.

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