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Old 01-16-2015   #11
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 181
My first GC trip launched April 14th 2015...first night full lunar eclipse was oh so awesome...we had 2 nights rain/snow and upstream winds above Phantom but otherwise fine...mostly downstream winds were enjoyed....temperature was good; day 3&4 highs only 55 and days 18-21were right at 100....I measured the sand temp at 135 one afternoon...we had beach canopy and used 3 times..we brought firewood and did most cooking with charcoal & dutch oven

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Old 01-16-2015   #12
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Originally Posted by F.A.A.C. Slim View Post
My first GC trip launched April 14th 2015...
Your first trip was in the future? My last trip will be in the future.

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Old 01-17-2015   #13
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 181
Oops...I must have meant 1914...or was it???....anyway you will have great conditions in April. Last year flows were 7-10K.
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Old 01-18-2015   #14
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 160
I live 60 miles south of the canyon... Pack some gear for snow and cold. Some for warm sunny days. April is I am told God's way of letting non drinkers know what a hang over feels like..... winter for a while... spring for a while...
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Old 01-18-2015   #15
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 130
On my next trip I will take out at Diamond and spend more time in the heart of the canyon.
Of course, the NPS trip-length limits only apply to the Lee's Ferry to Diamond (technically mile 230+) of your trip. So going all the way to Pearce need not cut back on your heart-of-the-canyon time, assuming there aren't other factors limiting overall trip length (e.g. people's time availability).

I've done one night float, at the time of a new moon. It wasn't very fun, as it was so dark that we were pretty stressed trying to not hit stuff. With any sort of moon, I'm sure it'd be wonderful.
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Old 01-19-2015   #16
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 61
I've done three trips (April 2011, oct 2012, oct 2014). This last one was the only one where I took out at Diamond, and I wouldn't do it again. It takes longer to get home, shitty dirt road, expensive Hualapai fees, and you miss some excellent (and some of my favorite!) parts of the canyon. Remember: if you have 18 days on your permit, you have 18 days to get to Diamond; the rest is bonus! Take your time to at least Separation, then create a party barge the rest of the way. The camping is pretty dismal for the last couple nights if you don't do the full moon float, and yes the helicopters can be bad, but I think it's totally worth it. Plan to sleep on your boat and be sure to bring enough beer (buy what your think you need, then double it) and you'll be glad you went the whole way. The chances of Lake Mead ever coming up high enough to back the water up past Pearce again are pretty low; you definitely don't need a motor.

My experience is that there's more wind on spring trips than fall (goes for any desert river), but I'd still bring a Bimini, especially if you decide to go all the way to Pearce as it can get hot down there. I'd also bring a drysuit.... I like to go prepared for anything (it can snow in April) and I've always been glad to have it.
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Old 01-19-2015   #17
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 149
Pardon my ignorance, but what's a Bimini? I was picturing maybe some sort of miniature man bikini, but that doesn't sound right ...
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Old 01-20-2015   #18
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 160
a Bimini top is that fold back half roof thingus that is much advertised on this site. Serves as shade or Parasail whichever...
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Old 01-20-2015   #19
"Just Read and Run Baby!"
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 57
I used a homemade bimini on my first trip in August and enjoyed being in the shade for the whole canyon. I brought it on my second trip in April, rigged it but never used it. I brought it on my third trip, August again and never even rigged it. On the second trip I just enjoyed the depth and view of the Canyon more. I felt like I was missing the vertical show staring out from beneath a bimini. A wide brimmed hat is all the bimini I need now.
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Old 01-20-2015   #20's Avatar
lafayette, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 498
I would bring a Bimini for rain, snow or a shady Cocktail hour on layover days. Mine stays down unless one the afore mentioned is happening.

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