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Old 09-10-2015   #1
 
Knoxville, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 2013
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Grand Canyon Winter Questions

Got a slot on a permit for a 16 person trip through the grand with raft support from Ceiba outfitters, dec 17th-jan 10th. Curious if anybody has run the canyon in the winter? How cold does it get out of curiosity? Also I'm sure it gets dark ballz early. Super stoked but curious if anyone has done it!

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Old 09-10-2015   #2
 
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I have friends that did a winter trip a couple years ago. Apparently one of the coldest stretches of weather people recall. It was the Grand. They said it was amazing.
The also said it was miserable cold and dark 2.5 weeks.
They were self supported kayakers ....... Your raft support should should bring the stoke up a bit.
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Old 09-10-2015   #3
 
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sure lots of folks have done winter trips, real short days, some places the sun never reaches the bottom of the canyon, dry suits for sure maybe even a wood stove and check the thread Hot tents and wood stoves.
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Old 09-11-2015   #4
 
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I've done GC in December twice now, one longer trip (21 days) and one shorter (18 days). Go for a longer trip, the days are too short to try to pack everything in in a short time, especially with the short daylight hours. It's awesome, the river is less crowded, and snow on the rim is beautiful. Wear a drysuit. Here's a report from our first Dec launch:

Into the Outside: The Big Ditch in December

a few other tricks to stay warm:
- if your stuff gets wet, put up a drying line near the fire and attach a space blanket (emergency blanket) behind the gear, so it reflects all the heat back to the wet stuff
- put some rocks in/near the fire and warm until they are almost too hot to hold in your bare hand and put inside wet boots to dry them out
-pick up driftwood for your fires all day as you're floating, sometimes your camp won't have much and you can't scavenge any driftwood from above the high water mark
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Old 09-11-2015   #5
 
Knoxville, Tennessee
Paddling Since: 2013
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Thanks!

Good to know it is a great time of year to paddle! How cold does it get exactly? I have a 0 bag, Thermarest four season pad, and an MSR hubba hubba three season tent. I've done a lot of winter camping so I'm used to that, but my tent is mesh with a rain fly so curious about how cold this place actually gets at night. Cheers!
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Old 09-11-2015   #6
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhNoItsKamryn View Post
Good to know it is a great time of year to paddle! How cold does it get exactly? I have a 0 bag, Thermarest four season pad, and an MSR hubba hubba three season tent. I've done a lot of winter camping so I'm used to that, but my tent is mesh with a rain fly so curious about how cold this place actually gets at night. Cheers!
Obviously weather varies, but I did a 27 day solo in late January 2014 and it only got below freezing the first two nights downstream of Lees Ferry. Through the middle and end of the trip I was wearing a bathing suit and hiking in 60-70 degrees weather. Plan for the worst, but the weather will likely be better than you expect. In no way was the trip a sufferfest...and you have the advantage of having much the river to yourself!

I wrote a quick guide for solo self supporting the Canyon in the winter, but much of the same advice would work for rafters! Here's the link: Soloing the Grand Canyon: Complete Kayak Self-Support Guide

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 09-11-2015   #7
 
GJ, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhNoItsKamryn View Post
Got a slot on a permit for a 16 person trip through the grand with raft support from Ceiba outfitters, dec 17th-jan 10th. Curious if anybody has run the canyon in the winter? How cold does it get out of curiosity? Also I'm sure it gets dark ballz early. Super stoked but curious if anyone has done it!
Cold enough to pay attention and plan for, but not too cold to dissuade.

Ran the Grand last January, doing it again this coming January.

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