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Old 04-26-2012   #1
The Old Troll
 
David Miller's Avatar
 
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 393
Please don't flame me but....

The love of my life has agreed to accompany me through the Grand Canyon next May. The problem is that she is scarred to death. We have been on several trips together but nothing like the big water rapids on the Grand. I have equipped her with a high buoyancy pfd and farmer jane wetsuit and helmet. We have practiced swimming riffles. We have even flipped our ducky in class IV rapids and gone for that unexpected swim but she is far from ready to swim Lava Falls.

So now to the meat. Is it possible her to walk around the rapids.
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Old 04-26-2012   #2
 
TriBri1's Avatar
 
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 680
Yes most of them, Lava and Crystal are particularly easy if you don't mind rock hopping. I personally think there is more chance of injury walking the rapids though.
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Old 04-26-2012   #3
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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unlike tribri I am going to say NO. too much time. there are multiple rapids every day. but I will also say the rapids are not very hard at all and most of them end in a pool.

it sounds to me like she won't really enjoy herself even though this is almost the best trip you can do in this country. too bad for you.
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Old 04-26-2012   #4
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Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 393
She'll be fine for most rapids. I just the best ones. I'm a natural swimmer but she is not. I figure if she starts around while we scout it won't take too long. I'm an adrenalin junky I love to be scared. She is much more practical.
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Old 04-26-2012   #5
 
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Greeley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 29
She can definitely walk around Crystal and Lava and yes, it would be too time consuming to walk around many of the others. And you may run the big ones great, being dialed in, but find yourself swimming a much lesser rapid-embarassing but it does happen. I think those who walk a rapid, then watch the guide nail it perfectly, always have a sense of "unfinished business" and wish they had stayed in the boat. I'd say keep her in the boat, then keep her in the boat.
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Old 04-26-2012   #6
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Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 393
PS that's here in the picture. Zoom Flume Browns Canyon. She's smiling.
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Old 04-26-2012   #7
 
Preston H.'s Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 89
The rapids build in size and intensity quite conveniently in Grand Canyon. As long as you don't screw up House Rock, there will be lots of small stuff, then some medium stuff, then Hance (mile 65-70 maybe?) is the first kinda big rapid. By that time she should be settled in. So don't flip in House and you have many days of mellow stuff to get the old lady used to rapids.

On the other hand, may God have mercy on your soul if you take here there and she's scared *&%^less the whole time.
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Old 04-26-2012   #8
 
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Greeley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Preston has it right-don't screw up early or you will have the worst two weeks of your life.
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Old 04-26-2012   #9
 
New Castle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 71
grand canyon

fear can is a very individualist phenomenon that, as we all know, affects everyone differently, but it can be debilitating. Preparation and practice for what to do when the event happens are key, as well as talking about it. We all face the dragon in our own ways, right?
I think dealing w/fear is a healthy exercise, that requires ultimate focus and thinking as to what to do when. Let her make the decision to go, w/no pressure, as she has to step off the porch,not u.
Other comments were right, that for the most part it's a rapid and a pool.
I almost flipped in House Rock and was petrified scared until Hance. Everyone else ate it there, and I wanted to throw up as i approached the entry. Had a great run and that set my confidence the rest of the way.
Good fortune to you both.
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Old 04-26-2012   #10
 
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x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,477
an idea for you would be not to "talk them up" try not to make the rapids a big deal. talk more about the flatwater and the scenery and geology, hikes, etc. tell her that there are only a handfull of "big ones" compared to the miles you are on the river and how it is a small part of the trip.

When i show my wife down a river that has scatterd "big ones" as we call them, after we get through the first 1 or 2 I tell her how that was the "crux rapid" or that one was the longest or most technical, it seems to help.

You said you were an adreniline junky and she is more calm and relaxed. Take her approach.

Be clam and relaxed, don't get fired up in front of them if it scares them. it has helped me.
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