First Time Grand Canyon.... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-08-2009   #1
 
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kittredge, Colorado
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First Time Grand Canyon....

I'm going to be rowing the Grand Canyon for the first time end of Aug and just gathering tips to help with this.... I'm excited but nervous at the same time!

I have a 14fter, but think I should go with a bigger boat. I was thinking 16ft. It's a small group, so not a huge amount of gear, but still, you're going to have a lot for 3 weeks. Plus, I want the weight. Suggestions?

Also, what's a good flow for the Canyon? I'm not as familiar with the different flows, so don't know if it gets more mean at some levels and easier at others.

Any thoughts?

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Old 06-09-2009   #2
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Maximum cargo capacity is nice when your out there for that long. Plus,you get a nice sense of security and stability when lookin at the V-wave or splittin the horns. I took a 18ft Maravia on our 21day trip-loved it,except in the wind. Had tons of space and room left over. And that diamond plating all over the frame sho is nice to walk around on.In a 14fter your gonna be loaded down and pretty heavy,and more than likely you'll flip. You may not though if your a stud on the sticks. Plenty of people do it in 14footers and do just fine. I'll definitely be taking the same 18fter next year though! Shiits big. And i love having all that space...

Best not to worry about the flows,ya got not control over em anyways. It all depends on what time you hit the rapids and where they are in relation to the Dam and when the releases are and the pull of the moon and the tides and ranger peggy.....try not to think about it. I know we did try and hit Crystal at higher water though--gives you a little bit more room to pull right of the monster holes and not get hung up on rocks along the right shore.

With the tides,keep an eye on the boats overnight,esp during the first week or so,higher up in the canyon. Don't want your boat bein left high n' dry.

Its an awesome trip. Enjoy the big shit. Its scary to look at but a blast once your in it.
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Old 06-09-2009   #3
 
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I was on a six person trip in March for 25 days. We had two 14' rafts and a dory. No one came close to flipping and we had no problems hauling our food and gear.
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Old 06-09-2009   #4
 
Cisco, Utah
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"The more than likely your gonna flip" comment is uncalled for in my opinion. Nothing wrong with a 14'er down there. Trade off is 14'er is more maneuverable / 18'er more stable/holds momentum. I'd rather be maneuverable and in the right place faster than stable and still struggling to get there. Definitely arguments both ways though.
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Old 06-09-2009   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
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I took a 14'er down in March. My advice? No problem with the boat, but don't get too cocky. I made it through all the big rapids no problem, but flipped in a rapid no one has ever heard of thinking, "I can take a piece of that hole...". You can get away with almost anything down there in the bigger boats, you need to be very careful with the smaller boats.

Having only rowed 18-footers down there before, I really enjoyed the smaller boat. It was a lot of fun in some of the big stuff - the waves in Hermit probably being the best. Everything seemed so much bigger in a little boat that I ever remember it being.

Don't underestimate the amount of gear you have. I have never been on a trip where we are loading at Lees Ferry and had lots of excess space. You can probably carry 3 or 4 times more gear on an 18-footer than a 14-footer.

If you do rent an 18er from Brady or Pro or someone like that, you likely won't regret it, they are really solid, good boats which rig up quickly and carry a ton of stuff.

Oh yeah - don't go left in bedrock.
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Old 06-09-2009   #6
 
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Our boatman took the 14 footers on standard routes through most rapids except Crystal which they ran left of the hole. We also watched another group flip an 18 footer in House Rock so don't go expecting a bigger boat to be unable to go over.
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Old 06-09-2009   #7
 
BV, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightingale View Post
I'm going to be rowing the Grand Canyon for the first time end of Aug and just gathering tips to help with this.... I'm excited but nervous at the same time!

I have a 14fter, but think I should go with a bigger boat. I was thinking 16ft. It's a small group, so not a huge amount of gear, but still, you're going to have a lot for 3 weeks. Plus, I want the weight. Suggestions?

Also, what's a good flow for the Canyon? I'm not as familiar with the different flows, so don't know if it gets more mean at some levels and easier at others.

Any thoughts?
I've rowed my 14' boat down the GC three times at various water levels. Havent flipped there (yet). I would say it has more to do with the boatmin than the boat...
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Old 06-09-2009   #8
 
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14' will be fine, although I agree that having a little extra packing space is nice. If you pac light, don't take a bunch of extra stuff (trinkets, and toys) it will be just fine.

Its ALL about skill on the sticks.

OB~
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Old 06-09-2009   #9
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Carbondale, Colorado
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The Colorado in the Grand is basically a pool/drop river.

The drops are quite pleasant, but those darn pools wear on ya....
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Old 06-09-2009   #10
 
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Salida, Colorado
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You'll want a copy of Lindemans Guide for your first trip.

I'm doin my 4th Grand in a 14 in Sept no worries.
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