GC Resource Messages - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2008   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,001
GC Resource Messages

Hi Folks,

A recent trip report from Linda Jalbert (NPS) contains the following resource messages for both private and commercial GC boaters.

***

1. Please camp in resilient areas: sandy camp areas closest to river, not terraces or into vegetated zones - especially if you see mesquite, cactus, cryptobiotic soils, etc.

2. Select camps most suitable to your group size. Small camps for 1-12 people, Medium camps for 13-23 people, Large camps for 24 or more people. There are a lot of really nice small camps!

3. For fall/winter/spring trips in future: plan to carry firewood if you want a fire! The driftwood supply was depleted following the March 08 flow!

***

Let's all pitch in to help the Park in these important areas.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA
gcpba.org

richp is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-28-2008   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 25
grand canyon camps

"Large camps for 24 or more people" the only trips with more than 16 people are commercial. so after years and years of waiting we are expected to give larger camps to commercial trips. this does not seem right.
freeboatin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #3
 
DanRauer's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeboatin View Post
"Large camps for 24 or more people" the only trips with more than 16 people are commercial. so after years and years of waiting we are expected to give larger camps to commercial trips. this does not seem right.
That is why you apply for off season trips. No gapers or motors. We went last March and say one commercial trip!

Even so, I also don't think it is fair to give up a great large camp just for commies. They can just motor their asses to the next camp.
DanRauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-28-2008   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,001
Hi Freeboatin,

Dan has part of the answer. But there is a more nuanced piece of the picture to look at also.

There always have been large/small group issues in the Canyon. The general spirit down there is to assist each other in having a good trip -- extending from helping folks who need some extra man/womanpower after a flip and trading toilet paper for beer, to cooperatively deciding on the fly who will camp where.

That latter one is a bit hard for folks who haven't boated some long desert Western rivers to get wrapped around. My first private trip, I had an outstanding Eastern boater with me who just couldn't understand why we had to be concerned about where anyone but us was planning to stay.

Fact is, there are stretches of the Canyon where there are limited numbers of beaches for even medium sized groups. And with dam operations constantly nibbling away at the sand, this will be an even bigger issue in the future.

The other thing is that not all commercial trips are motorized. You very well could have a large (30 or so) group in rowing rigs, in contention for those limited beaches.

In adding more private launches and setting up the small (up to 8 people) trip category for privates, the Park estimated that these small groups would not add to the congestion and competition for the larger camps.

It sort of gets down to asking folks for some on-river cooperation and coordination, so that everyone has the best possible experience in a much sought-after place.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA
gcpba.org
richp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 25
myself and those i boat with have always worked with other trips on camping and such. that is one thing. just giving all large camps to commercial trips is another. no matter how you try to justify it it is plain and simple discrimination against private boaters.
freeboatin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,001
Hi Freeboatin,

I think if the Park enacted a rule to that effect, you would be absolutely right. But what they're asking for is more along the lines of common-sense, self-regulation based on river courtesy.

Frankly, the underlying issue is the question of whether the Canyon is over-allocated. Even within the GCPBA Board, there are divisions of opinion on this. I also know that a notable percentage of the commercial guides think there currently are too many user-days in play. Go too far down that road, and private boaters will be faced with the possibility of even less access than we now have. It's a delicate issue.

No doubt, this camp availability issue is big for many folks. (Among other things I'm sure,) the Park estimated that it could increase the allocation for private boaters to 50/50 with commercials, if it extended the season for privates, and relied on the small trip option to divert pressure from larger to smaller camps.

Here's an extreme example. Last May, I did a 3-person, 2-boat trip. Would it have made sense, or been courteous, for us to have set up in the middle of Granite and claimed it for the night? I think most people would agree that we were right to pass Granite on to a larger group.

We did share a camp one night with a dory trip. We had set up way upriver on a small sandy area, with a bit of a rocky outcropping between us and a much larger beach below. The layout almost made it like two camps, even though that location is regarded as one by most people. When the dories came by, we made it clear they were welcome to the much larger area below. They invited us to come down for dessert later in the evening, and we had a great time with absolutely no interference in either of our operations. So sharing also is an option in some cases.

All of this is to say that it's not a simple issue. But most people seem to solve it just as you say you've done -- with a little communication and consideration.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA
gcpba.org
richp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #7
 
DanRauer's Avatar
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 137
You may have misunderstood my statement...I love to associate with other private boats and plan camps. I have found that it hoes both ways. Especially in the canyon when planning is key. You let a group take a camp you were looking for and they will probably do the same later in the trip.

I don't associate with commies..I generally show them my ass.
DanRauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,001
Hi Dan,

I was with you until that last line. I suspect that was hyperbolic, but if it wasn't, I sort of feel like responding.

I'm one of those private boaters who has been both a commercial passenger and a commercial crew member, in addition to my two private trips down the Grand. But if you dig around in the past of many private boaters you'd probably find more like me than you think. They go down once on a commercial as a passenger, are captivated by the Canyon and the excitement of the rapids. They get on as a swamper on a commercial trip or get some equipment and start building skills, then get on the Grand on their own. Or they start as privates, move into the guide ranks, and continue their private boating as time permits. This hybrid profile is really not that uncommon.

Those commops can defend themselves quite well, but from where I sit, here is a legitimate place for commercial operations in the Grand. Here's an example. The last commercial trip I took, there were a number of older folks who could not have done it otherwise. They couldn't have taken the rigors of camping in the Canyon for 2-3 weeks. They couldn't have hiked in or out at Phantom. They would have had a very hard time sitting all day in a small oar rig. For them, the only way to see the Grand Canyon from the river was in an 8-dy motor trip.

The use of motors is undeniably controversial. But for the purpose of the current management plan, the Park determined that a shorter motor season and limitations on commercial trip sizes were appropriate means of controlling impact.

Cut commercial trips in general off, and you've stopped a significant portion of the world (not just American) public from having some sense of the joy of the river. Not as "pure" as what we might experience as we row or paddle on our own. But at least an opportunity to see the place, appreciate it, and potentially be our allies in future battles to preserve it.

I'd add one thing from a purely practical point of view. The motor trips have tremendous flexibility in where they go to camp. If every trip in high season was traveling at the same speed, there are reaches of the Canyon where camping would be almost impossible, given the shrinking beaches. Motors actually help reduce social interactions of that type, which most people think is a pretty good outcome.

Off the soapbox.

Nah, gotta add one more thing. Keep a good relationship with the commercial folks, and you at least have a sporting chance at bumming that toilet paper or beer you so badly need the last week of the trip (smile.)

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA
gcpba.org
richp is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #9
 
RealitySheriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 60
I just gotta say...I have zero problem with commercial on the GC or anywhere else really. Some people need the safety of a guide in the wilderness or National park (whatever), so NO MOTORS!!. I've got to side with Tom Martin and his group in the fight to remove the motor rigs from the canyon. Yes I know there is precedent...Yellowstone and the snow machines etc...but they suk too. Disruptive to wildlife, consumptive, destructive.

I will also say that I have been on a few trips down the ditch and the commercials are good people (generally) and I have never expierienced a situation where they were less than cooperative...except when you get into Ledges...I always get screwed by the commies in there...but hey there aren't any camps...every man for himself.
__________________
There's a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.
-PJ O'Rouke
RealitySheriff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008   #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 60
I must say I agree with Rich.I have been down a number of times and it just works better if you remain flexible. There are just too many variables to consider in the canyon. One being hiking everwhere you can. So don't be in a rush. Remember this, those commercial guides are poeple too and know much more than you and you might need them to save your sorry ass!
rafterbrooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Online River classifications resource? heliodorus04 Whitewater Kayaking 4 07-19-2005 02:24 PM
River-run Resource books (like CRC) heliodorus04 Whitewater Kayaking 8 07-13-2005 03:38 PM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.