How hard is the Grand Canyon? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 12-01-2010   #1
boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 142
How hard is the Grand Canyon?

Hi all,

I just got the chance to row my cat on the Grand Canyon. It is going to be sweet, but I am a little nervous about the difficulty of the rapids. They are supposed to be some of the biggest out there.

I have ran Cataract at 55k and I thought that was pretty full on. If the grand is even bigger, I am not sure I will be able to row it.

Anyways, I have a 14 foot cat.


Eric Harvey

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Old 12-01-2010   #2
briandburns's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1979
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 187
You'll be fine....I've been down there with some raw beginners (myself included) and made it OK. The rapids are big, but straightforward--not too many surprises, or moves to make.
Hope you have a great time. It's a beautiful place to be.
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Old 12-01-2010   #3
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 487
If you still own your cat after a 55k cataract trip and want to keep boating you'll be fine. The grand is ALL pool drop. I'd say class III big water boating. Nothing compares to the Big Drops (50k+) in the grand.
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Old 12-01-2010   #4
Collinsville, Oklahoma
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
Surely you have along some experienced grand canyon folks. They will stop and scout the big ones with you, take their advice.

When is your launch? I am launching on May 16th 2011, taking my Lynx IK, that and a drysuit, since I figure I will be swimming a lot!

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Old 12-01-2010   #5
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 623
55K in Cat is bigger than anything you'll see in the Grand at normal flows. My first time down the GC was with a bunch of people who'd been before, and they kept asking me what I though compared to the 40K Cat trip I'd taken the year before. Nothing in the Grand was as big as the Brahma Wave in Big Drop 3, although, some of the eddies can be nearly as tough to get out of as that eddy on the left above Satan's Gut. . .not a fun place to do laps.
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Old 12-01-2010   #6
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Canberra, OZ
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You are doomed.
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Old 12-01-2010   #7
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 834
Originally Posted by yakkeranna View Post
You are doomed.
LOL. I, too, am hoping it isn't too hard. I'm an experienced kayaker but haven't pushed rubber down anything over class III... and I'll be the captain of my 14 footer on the Grand Canyon next July.

In my boat we are going to put on helmets before the big ones so when the frame lands on our heads we will be OK. I'm rigging to flip and I'm assuming that it is going to happen. I'm wearing a NRS anti-gravity shirt under my PFD:

NRS Anti-Gravity Shirt

I bought the NRS float shirt after I swam in big water years ago. Didn't use it much after that but I think I'm going to do it for the Grand Canyon. I hate swimming in the big stuff where you pop up for air only once in a while. It so skeery.
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Old 12-01-2010   #8
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 209
The Big Drops even down at 15K are about as hard as anything in the Grand Canyon at normal flows. I tend to be a nervous boater, and I had no trouble or flips rowing the Grand after rowing Westwater a bunch. The rapids are big, but very straightforward.
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Old 12-01-2010   #9
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 986
The lines are pretty wide open down there, just hit the stuff straight and you will be fine, even if you don't there are huge miles of flatwater between drops. On a side note me and keck found the way to success was to talk massive amounts of shit about how bad ass you are and then while no one is looking put an extra strap on everything.
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Old 12-01-2010   #10
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
The Vishnu schist is much harder than the Tapeats Sandstone, but it is all pretty hard. Dont miss your opportunity because of this... F'in amazing place!!
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