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Old 03-02-2016   #11
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
18's have much bigger coolers. Run Lava left

No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 03-13-2016   #12
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 32
Don't run Lava left unless it's at least 15k or you are in something small.

You don't need 7 boats; I recommend going something like 4-5 18' and a 16'. I did a private this fall with 16 for 21, slightly more boatmen than y'all, but only 3 big water guides. Y'all have 4, make them captains of 18 footers, rotate the 3 others through the 16' and breaks on the 18'.

Wind blows.

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Old 03-14-2016   #13
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
We did a trip last year. We took seven boats. One 16' the other 6 were 18's. I thought it was ideal. Made everything super easy and we had lots of cooler space. I defiantly am a fan of more boats.

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Old 03-16-2016   #14
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Ran it in October, 4 boats 10 people, all 18' ers and it was awesome. When everyone has the same boat, it makes following the leader a lot easier, and they ran like tanks, allowing for VERY forgiving runs. No flips, swims, or drama, and we definitely needed the space for all the food/gear. I normally row a 15', so it took a couple days to get used to, but I don't think I'd ever run it in anything smaller if I got the chance to do it again.
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Old 03-16-2016   #15
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 221
We did the same trip ..... With 5 18' boats.
We got to take turns on the sticks that way.
Why do you want 7 boats? What is your plan if one of your rowers had an injury ???
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Old 03-17-2016   #16
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,407
Don't plan on taking turns. You'll want to row all of the rapids. Taking turns will suck.
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Old 03-17-2016   #17
Castle Rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 321
I'm now organizing for a Sept. trip. All the same questions (yes, I read the thread). I see a lot of mention of Pro. Any recent experience with Cieba? Others?

Also, do-it-yourself vs. painless private.

Staffing: I'm taking over for another organizer after the trip fell apart. I have many friends that raft, kayak, canoe, so I suspect, but do not know, I will be able to fill. Is a trip falling apart (going from 16 to 1 (permit holder)) a common thing? Permit holder has had an epically shitty year, but was really solid in the past.
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Old 03-17-2016   #18
sledhooligan's Avatar
Craigamerica, -
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 130
Going from 16 to 1 sounds like a shit show. Invite boatmen with boats that are setup for multiday trips or boatmen that are willing to rent a boat. To many Grand trips I see these days are "outdoor enthusiasts" with no real boating experience mooching a ride. My ideal trip is inviting seven boatmen and letting them invite a guest. Eight boats sixteen people.
If your renting and doing a food pack I think PRO does a real nice job and they have good equipment. Donny at REO has always treated us good to but I've seen some of their trips with really nice gear and the next with some worn out stuff. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the four companies. It'll be a decision made up of the little thing each has to offer.
Unless your coming from far away I think Painless Privates are over rated pain in the ass. I'd rather run my gear and do my own food pack. If you can do a 5 day Yampa you can figure out a 20 Grand. The only thing we rent is groovers.
We did a 8 person trip a few years ago three of us brought our own boats and did our own food pack for our portion of meals. The other five rented two 18ft from PRO and had PRO do their food pack for their portion of meals.
What I noticed is the meals all had alot of prep time plus alot of going between both boats to find stuff. Also had alot of glass jars to deal with.
Like I said before I'd rather bring my stuff and leave it up to the individual if they want to rent a boat and let them foot the bill. Get your boatmen first passengers second. PM if you have any other questions. People church up the Grand like its some monumental task to put a trip together but in reality its not much harder then any other multi day trip with the right people.

No one cares that you are a river guide
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