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Old 03-27-2012   #31
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
Someones been watching a little too much "into the Wild".

Spoiler alert. It ends in death

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Old 03-27-2012   #32
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
You might not end up doing the grand. But there's so many great rivers out there.

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Old 03-27-2012   #33
BV, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 56
This is great.
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Old 03-27-2012   #34
Glen Vegas, Florida
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 338
Conan the Aardvark,

Don't let this group of grouchy old curmudgeons try to freak you out. They are just worried about how you are going to transport all the alcohol and drugs by yourself and still have room for food.
As a Marine you should not have a difficult time picking up the skill set for a float trip like the GC. But, what I am thinking is you shouldn't sell yourself short with a blah trip like the GC. Think bigger!
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Old 03-27-2012   #35
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 520
Here is a good one Conan: And you don't need to worry about those pesky permits or getting rescued! BONUS!!

The Yangtze River
Rafting the Yangtze River, China | Adventure Travel Guide |
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Old 03-27-2012   #36
Preston H.'s Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 94
Pretty good thread.

What you should do, Conan, is get a pickle bucket for storage and a big PFD and go for it just like those two Marines back in the day. I recommend a wetsuit for additional safety.

You'll want to travel only at night to avoid the permitting issues others have pointed out. During the day you can either burrow in the sand like so many of the native fauna do, or climb above the river and hunker down amongst the prickly pear and ocotillo.

And whatever you do, carry some wag bags. It is not cool to poop on the beaches.

Good luck man! Let me know if I can provide any more specific advice. I have been on four commercial trips, so I know pretty much everything about GC.
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Old 03-27-2012   #37
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 150
Camping overnight in the national forest without a weapon is excellent training for a solo Grand Canyon run. Do it 3 or 4 more times and you'll be good to go.
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Old 03-27-2012   #38
boof splash
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 147
It seems like the trip of a lifetime...

That would be a truly epic trip. I wish I could do it, and if I could, I wish I could do it twice; once with 13 of my closest friends and once by myself.

My best guess is that it will take you about 10 years of planning, gaining experience, and applying for a permit to be fully prepared for a trip like this. It will also probably end up costing around $10,000 once you cover all the standard expenses and buy all the necessary equipment.

That being said, it can be done. People have done it before and been very successful. Other people have died. Seriously.

It's a very serious undertaking, and is in no way, shape, or form similar to the kind of adventure you go on with a motorcycle or camping without a gun. The river is an uncontrollable variable that will eat you up and spit you out, if it feels like it.

My suggestion would be to do some of the other desert floats in Utah before the Grand. There are plenty runs up there that are much easier to manage. They have easier rapids, they're shorter, and the permit system is much more lax. The scenery and solitude is very similar to the Grand.

Check out this website: American Whitewater - National Whitewater Inventory

Click on any state to see all the rivers in each state and read about some of the other desert floats. Do a few of those, buy the gear (raft, cat, kayak, etc), then scare the shit out of yourself a few times on big water (Try Cataract Canyon at high flows), and then giv'r.

Another good resource is my favorite guide book, "Whitewater of the Southern Rockies". It's a huge book full of information about every single river and creek south of Montana. It has in-depth beta on all the desert floats. If you read the book, you can find several isolated 5-10 day trips over class I-III (easy) whitewater. There's even a run called "Desolation Canyon" - does that sounds like what you're looking for?

If you're serious about this, welcome to the addiction, we're glad to have you.
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Old 03-27-2012   #39
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
Run owyhee from Rome. No permit required and it wont kill you. About 60 miles and you could do that solo. Called Grand Canyon of Oregon. I think its most runnable in the next month or so.
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Old 03-27-2012   #40
Taos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8
I would reccomend a swift water rescue course and lots of on water time, if not this could be you.

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