Grand Canyon Trip Support - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-27-2011   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Grand Canyon Trip Support

Hi,

If you have a 2012 GC permit for a launch between mid April and mid September, and are thinking you might want raft support, consider checking this out.

Looking for Help with Your Trip? - Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association

FWIW.

Rich Phillips

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Old 10-27-2011   #2
 
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NorCal, California
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20' motorized cats, I think we call that a commercial trip. I realize that just about anyone can win a GC lottery but if you don't have the skill to oar the canyon why bother. And if you have to get these 3 guys to motor you down you need to work on your boating skills first.
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Old 10-28-2011   #3
 
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Hi Wavester,

This is really not unlike the posts you see where people with a permit are looking for someone to augment their trip with gear, personnel, or experience. We're just coming at it from the other direction.

To be clear, we're not commercial in any sense -- just three guys with a collection of gear and a fair amount of experience. We'll pay our share just like other participants and won't expect any compensation -- over or under the table.

You're absolulely right -- this arrangement is not for most private boaters. But it lends itself to helping a group of kayakers who don't want to go self-support for a couple of weeks. It also might appeal to rafters with smaller boats and not a lot of experience in organizing long desert river trips.

Your point about having experience before getting a GC permit is one that's been debated quite a bit. But the reality is, the "one trip a year" rule in the Grand Canyon means there are people winning permits in the lottery who have quite a bit less experience down there.

And yes, the fact we're motorized will turn some folks off. But there are others for whom that would provide benefits. It's all in your concept of a GC trip, the time you have available, the amount of gear you want to bring, and other elements like that.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
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Old 10-28-2011   #4
 
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Rich - what a nice response. All those years of running GCPBA (That was you right?) have honed your ability to be nice even to those that might be a bit less than that to you. Good luck finding a great trip to join.
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Old 10-28-2011   #5
 
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Hi Raftus,

Actually, this being the Buzz and all, I considered that a pretty mild jab (grin).

Thing is, we all (and I include myself in this) tend to forget that there is a rather large universe of boaters out there -- with widely varied interests and capabilities. Our little private three-person consortium is not trying to impose on anyone else our views of how the Canyon ought to be run. But if our capabilities will help someone else get on the Grand -- and get us on the river there as well -- then so much the better for all concerned.

BTW, I didn't run GCPBA, but I was on the Board until about 3-4 years ago. It's still a good organization, doing good things. In fact its Board is meeting with top GCNP officials this coming weekend -- something that's pretty unique. GCPBA's relationship with the Park is valuable to private boaters when it comes to voicing our interests and concerns about GC river-running.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
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Old 10-28-2011   #6
 
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I dont think there was anything rude at all about my comment and I stand by it. I know exactly who he is and was a member of the GCPBA myself until they became an organization advocating for motor rigs and fought against wilderness designation in the Canyon and gave away over 2/3 of the summer GC launches for commercial use.... Nothing to be proud of imo. (now that's what I call a "jab")
And I have no doubt these guys will find a trip, somebody who just read about a trip of a lifetime in Outside magazine and entered the lottery for the first time, now they need somebody to motor them down the canyon and take over their trip.
As they say to each his own, good luck.


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Originally Posted by raftus View Post
Rich - what a nice response. All those years of running GCPBA (That was you right?) have honed your ability to be nice even to those that might be a bit less than that to you. Good luck finding a great trip to join.
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Old 10-28-2011   #7
 
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Hi Wavester,

I don't consider your comments as serious jabs in any case. They represent a legitimate point of view that a lot of folks have expressed. And in any event, I think the unpublished rule here is, "If you post on the Buzz, be ready to take a little guff every now and then".

So, even though I'm not a spokesperson for GCPBA, let me add a few things to the mix.

1. As a matter of record, GCPBA has never advocated for motorized GC boating. The fact it opposed a lawsuit that -- among many other things -- included a challenge to the use of motors, does not mean that it advocated for motor use. GCPBA has maintained complete neutrality on the issue. Not supporting efforts to obtain a motor ban does not mean advocacy for motors.

2. The new management plan (which GCPBA did support) means that:

a. The motor season was shortened considerably.

b. The number of private GC launches increased considerably, while the number of commercial launches was modestly reduced.

c. For the entire year, commercial launches decreased from 640 to 598, while private launches increased from 253 to 503.

d. Private launches increased from 226 to 384 during the most desirable Spring/Summer/Fall seasons.

e. A large percentage of the increase in Spring/Fall private launches are in the no-motor portion of the year.

3. GCPBA has never opposed wilderness designation for the Grand Canyon river corridor. In fact, I can tell you that in all the Board activities in which I was involved, opposition to wilderness was never voiced. My impression was (and remains) that if it did come up as an issue, GCPBA's Board would support a Wilderness designation by Congress. Again, the failure to advocate actively for something shouldn't be interpreted as opposition.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 10-28-2011   #8
 
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Hi Rich,
Most of the increased launches for privates were in the winter while commercial launches were actually increased in the prime summer months under the newer plan. As to whether the new plan is better then the old, that's debatible as are many of the numbers your throwing out.
I noticed that your offering your guide service during the prime spring and summer months. Perhaps you should take advantage of all those launches during the winter that GCPBA got us, say Jan or Feb. After all a 20' motor rig can probably carry a lot of cold weather gear...grin.
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Old 10-28-2011   #9
 
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Interesting "facts", here's an accurate souce for how the CRMP has impacted private boaters in the Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon Litigation | River Runners For Wilderness

Wavester


Quote:
Originally Posted by richp View Post
Hi Wavester,

I don't consider your comments as serious jabs in any case. They represent a legitimate point of view that a lot of folks have expressed. And in any event, I think the unpublished rule here is, "If you post on the Buzz, be ready to take a little guff every now and then".

So, even though I'm not a spokesperson for GCPBA, let me add a few things to the mix.

1. As a matter of record, GCPBA has never advocated for motorized GC boating. The fact it opposed a lawsuit that -- among many other things -- included a challenge to the use of motors, does not mean that it advocated for motor use. GCPBA has maintained complete neutrality on the issue. Not supporting efforts to obtain a motor ban does not mean advocacy for motors.

2. The new management plan (which GCPBA did support) means that:

a. The motor season was shortened considerably.

b. The number of private GC launches increased considerably, while the number of commercial launches was modestly reduced.

c. For the entire year, commercial launches decreased from 640 to 598, while private launches increased from 253 to 503.

d. Private launches increased from 226 to 384 during the most desirable Spring/Summer/Fall seasons.

e. A large percentage of the increase in Spring/Fall private launches are in the no-motor portion of the year.

3. GCPBA has never opposed wilderness designation for the Grand Canyon river corridor. In fact, I can tell you that in all the Board activities in which I was involved, opposition to wilderness was never voiced. My impression was (and remains) that if it did come up as an issue, GCPBA's Board would support a Wilderness designation by Congress. Again, the failure to advocate actively for something shouldn't be interpreted as opposition.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 10-28-2011   #10
 
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Hi Wavester,

I guess I have to start out by noting that RRFW's position was soundly rejected by both Federal District and Federal Appeals courts. It reads well, has genuine merit in some respects, but ultimately was unpersuasive with regard to the issues. So what we have now -- and will have for the next few years -- is what I'm talking about.

The numbers I provided are not mine -- they come straight from the management plan's (Grand Canyon National Park - Colorado River Management Plan Grand Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service) ) supporting materials. And they're pretty clear...

Not all the increase in private allocation was in the winter, but the entire late fall/winter/early spring allocation went to private boaters. If you want a pure no-motor environment, there are six and a half months of it in the new plan -- including many beautiful late fall and early spring launch opportunities.

But the benefits are more extensive than that. For private boaters, spring, summer, and fall launches alone increased significantly -- exceeding the entire private allocation under the old system. The number of commercial launches decreased. The motor season was shortened. The maximum size of commercial groups was lowered. The small group option was added for privates.

Plus, other features of the plan eased pressure on the Canyon and helped reduce on-river contacts. For instance, the total number of launches each day dropped from nine to six. The total number of trips on the river at any time dropped from 70 to 60. The maximum number of people on the river at one time was reduced to 985 from 1,095. Again, not my figures, but those contained in the management plan that was adopted.

Sure there was a numerical increase in winter launches. That's because before the new plan there were no winter trips at all.

Were there elements in the plan that don't sit well with me? Sure. Things like the one trip a year rule. I personally would have a large and small trip launch every day of the year. I also would like to have seen a different method for the lottery to make its automated choices.

But overall, the new plan resulted in a fairly decent compromise between a lot of very different competing interests, and objectively provided significant access gains for private boaters. Perfect, no. Lots better, absolutely.

To be quite clear, this little three-person consortium of ours is not a guide service; we're just folks looking for a participatory role in a private trip. And the dates we're potentially available coincide with the motor season established by the Park. The rest of the year there are no motors allowed.

And ironically, you've mentioned something that a few folks have raised as an argument for a winter motor season. A big S-rig could easily carry a yurt, several cords of firewood, and all the warm clothing you could ever want down there. Not to mention the extra safety margin that a big boat like that can provide under some circumstances for cold weather boating.

Another irony -- I'm fundamentally a rowing guy. I've taken the very same twenty foot cat down the Grand and other rivers under oar power, and will likely do it again. But there are situations where a motor trip makes sense for me. And all we're looking to do here is find someone else for whom our kind of setup makes sense as well.

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
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