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Old 10-18-2014   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3
Grand Canyon High Flow River Beta Needed

Howdy. We are launching on Nov 3. There will be a High Flow release beginning on Nov 10 and lasting for 4 days. It will begin to hit us around the time we reach Phantom. This means we will be lining up for some of the biggest holes on the river at the peak of the flow. Horn, Hermit, Granite, Crystal at 37,500 CFS! Either really terrifying or crazy fun - probably a little of both. Has anyone seen these rapids at this level? Would be grateful for any beta on what to expect.


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Old 10-18-2014   #2
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I'm jealous! I hope you are taking big boats - the only rowing I've done at those flows was on the Nenana in Alaska and I wanted every foot of our 18' boats. Sadly both of my grand trips have been at 6,000-12,000 cfs so I have no specific beta to offer. If you want high water specific rowing advice I have that to offer.

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Old 10-18-2014   #3
pojoaque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 109
you're gonna have fun. my first trip in 99 was at about 33K after the little colorado. i don't remember a whole lot (too much beer on that trip) but the pieces that made an impression were the enormous first two waves on sockdolager. i think lots of things get easier at higher levels, horn for instance and we were able to run left on hance, which may not be an option after the flood down red canyon. hermit was a roller coaster blast. granite had huge waves but it was just straight down the right side. that was the only trip i've been able to do the left run at lava which i think was easier than usual also. i do remember being pretty puckered up about making the cut right of bedrock but it worked out.

since that was my fist trip, my memories are probably skewed and inaccurate but that's what i recall. the next trip i was shocked that the waves at sockdolager weren't terrifying.
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Old 10-18-2014   #4
Cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 111
Awesome opportunity

Dawdle a bit the first severl days and let the high flow catch up to you before hance. Maybe camp at 75-mile on the 4th (?) and then DO THE GORGE IN A DAY! Hance to Crystal in a day is totally fun at 30K+ Watch out for Waltenburg above 30K
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Old 10-18-2014   #5
Cottonwood, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 111
Oops. I meant let the high flow catch up to you on the 11th.
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Old 10-19-2014   #6
trevko's Avatar
Fort Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 117
I ran it the first time they ramped it up to 45k. Big water but hugely fun with many of the rapids getting washed out - Horn being one. I agree with AZJefe and dawdle as much as possible and let it catch up to you above the gorge. The eddys and eddy lines can be crazy, but that was mostly in the 20's.
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Old 10-19-2014   #7
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 130
Originally Posted by semievolved View Post
i do remember being pretty puckered up about making the cut right of bedrock but it worked out.
As a non-boatman on a 25K Grand trip, I recall the consensus being that making the cut at Bedrock was easier than usual, the high flows allowing entering much farther to the right.
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Old 10-19-2014   #8
Read_N_Run's Avatar
Niwot, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 750
Hearing that you can enter bedrock earlier on to make aright run would have been good for me since the last time I did it I didn't make the cut and wound up on the left side. All was good but I would imagine I would not have fared so well if I took that line at 35k.

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Old 10-19-2014   #9
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Sounds like a great opportunity for a multi-day layover!
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-19-2014   #10
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
If you're at Crystal with the high flow I'd go left at the rock garden. I can't say what the left side of the upper part will be like.

And, don't forget to be careful at the jewels, esp. Sapphire and Serpentine.

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