25 days Solo in da Ditch - Mountain Buzz

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Old 11-08-2010   #1
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 116
25 days Solo in da Ditch

Books, Check. Guitar, Check. Extra batteries, Check. Wilson Volleyball, Check.
What else do I need?
So putting on on the 20th of Nov to 15th of Dec, Pierce Ferry TO.
Lots of time to do some thinking/reflecting. Lots of time to read and lots of hikes to be had. I'll be in a raft, (and wont be taking any trash out for a certain condescending kayakers whom recently talked shit on da buzz about the front range rafters and will also be there around the same time.)
Any suggestions from people who have done this as to what they would have/have not done in hindsight. Any hikes you would highly recommend. This is my first private trip but 7th overall and I really want to do some stuff that I have been unable to do on commercial trips.
Thought you Buzzards could offer a fresh train of thought on this subject.


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Old 11-08-2010   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 154
Ethan here... GTS 09... remember that? or not? I kinda do.
Have you done the route to the top of the redwall at 50 mile, then walk out to the point overlooking the camp? It's rad, and definitely worth a half day there. There's also that route all the way to the rim at 19 mile. It's in hiking books, and I've heard good things. You can camp on the Bedrock. Some friends who did a four person, two boat private, ran the rapid and tied up to the bottom end of it and camped there. They said it was a highlight. I've heard that going long up National is worth it. I've always wanted to hike up Prospect canyon and look back down on Lava. I've also always wanted to check out stuff between Lava and Diamond. It always seems like we're trying to blast out of the Canyon at that point. I guess some of those canyons have a lot of cool stuff. After rigging a GCY Diamond Down this spring, we rowed across the river and went up the eddy as far as we could and hiked into that canyon on river right, just above Diamond (it forms the riffle as you come around that last corner). It's pretty cool. We didn't have time to go too far, but you can go around a fall on the creek left side and continue up.

I've always wanted to do something like this. Hopefully I'll run into you again next season somewhere!
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Old 11-08-2010   #3
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 116
Hey Ethan,
Yea, good to hear from ya.
I just got lucky with the opportunity and jumped on it when it came.
Thanks for your Beta. I was really planning on taking my time after Lava for sure. Such a cool part of the canyon. I will definitely check out the 50 mi. route as well as National.
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Old 11-08-2010   #4
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 154
The route at 50 mile is pretty easy to find. Go back from the camp towards the canyon. Don't go to far into the canyon though. There are some Bright Angel cliffs at the mouth on your left as you're walking up. Look for a path or cairns heading up through those ledges. Then there will be a trail that heads straight up the slope, angling towards the redwall. Once you hit the redwall, the route is pretty easy to follow through the narrow, exposed ledges. There aren't many options. You'll top out in a the canyon above the redwall, and then just pick your way to the top of the ridgeline (there is a bit of trail if you follow the canyon back a bit), and follow it back in the direction of camp and an awesome overlook.
Have fun out there!
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Old 11-08-2010   #5
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Hey, don't you do trips for OU? You should get hold of Bert. He will have all kinds of ideas for you. The other thing to do might be to get with some science trips or late commercial trips to see about getting some caches set up for you. Have a blast!!
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Old 11-08-2010   #6
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 674
Hey... you and I exchanged a few messages a while back as we launch the day before you. Looked at the launch and Phantom calendars last night and you are on a faster schedule than us to Phantom (we are stalling for someone hiking down). So, we should definitely cross paths. If you are looking for company on Thanksgiving, our plan is to layover at Nankoweap. Feel free to join us! We will be a group of three rafts.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 11-08-2010   #7
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 119
Speaking of Nankoweap, you could hike up to the rim out Nankoweap Canyon. Never done it but it's supposed to be great. I think there's a window up there somewhere.

If you're looking for science trips, try contacting Brian Dierker at Humphrey Summit Ski in Flagstaff. He does the river support for a bunch of them and will have an idea of who'll be down there when.

Have a great trip! I'm jealous.
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Old 11-09-2010   #8
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 116
Thanks for the responses folks.
I'm just trying to get as much info out of the greatest amount of people I can. I didnt think I need anything brought in for me, and I dont want to hook up with any science trips. That is at least I do not want to combine trips. A few days here and there may keep the volleyball at bay, but the Idea is to be without the clutter(physical as well as Spiritual) as well as self discovery.
That being said, Laurie, I think Thanksgiving @ Nankoweep sounds devine and it would be my honor to join your group on this most festive of evenings. Thanks for the invite. You just just might see me floating into your eddy.
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Old 11-09-2010   #9
craig, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 13
Good luck on your journey, I wish you well. I was wondering though, what kind of push back or questions did the park have for you about going solo?
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Old 11-10-2010   #10
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 116
There were some questions on the permit paperwork asking about the TL's experience, and I believe the experience level of the trip participants. As I am the only participant on this trip, obviously I spoke for myself. I sent in the paperwork, and my permit came in the mail. I guess the NPS felt I could take care of myself. Thanks NPS. I don't believe this is uncommon actually.
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