Grand Canyon Speed Record Attempt Unsuccessful - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-18-2017   #1
 
Colo Springs, Colorado
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Grand Canyon Speed Record Attempt Unsuccessful

U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom-built cataraft

They were on their way, on a record pace, when their frame broke in Lava Falls and punctured a tube.

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Old 01-18-2017   #2
 
San Jose, CA, California
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Perhaps a titanium frame would be more appropriate as it is both light-weigh and strong additionally does not splinter when cracked. However, enough for a frame on a boat this size would not be cheap.

It also goes to show just how effective the light weight carbon kayak is for speed. A 42lbs 18ft by 24in carbon fiber sea kayak takes much less energy to paddle than the boat used in this race.

Rock on for this crew for building, training and attempting such a feat. To each their own. On that topic, I think it is so easy to judge a person or group because of how they do a grand canyon trip.

Perhaps the ideal is 21 days in October. Over the course of my own grand canyon trips which I admit I have been fortunate to go on. I have had folks tell me I am crazy for going in the winter. Crazy for going in July. Crazy for doing a one-week kayak self-support. The list goes on.

Anyway, cheers to new grand canyon trips!
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Old 01-18-2017   #3
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thanks for the post. exciting report! i'd like to see the failed part. it was a full moon on jan 12. sometimes failure is the best success of character building! TBP Admin.
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Old 01-18-2017   #4
 
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Cool post. Agreed with the previous comment about how different trips are considered crazy by most and crazier by the rest. Hard to believe kayakers, at any flow, could be beat. For long anyway.
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Old 01-18-2017   #5
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Old 01-19-2017   #6
 
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Nice story. Shame about the tube but now another chance which is what it's really about.

Sounds like they rowed backward as a team for most of the river. I'm wondering if they turned around and faced downstream w forward or back ferrries for some of the bigger moves such as the left at Hance, right at Bedrock and either the left or right run at Crystal? Moving those 48' tubes around much would be a chore!
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Old 01-19-2017   #7
 
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The Denver Post article about it here... U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom-built cataraft ... said that after a close call in House Rock, they switched the rear most seats around and had those guys facing down stream presumably so they could see and react to things better. They also had a guy on a "tiller" to steer it. I'm sure it was still a beast to maneuver though.

My high school had a crew team and I was on it for a few years and I know the oars that they were using are designed to row one direction. I'm sure they could get some power the other direction, but not nearly as much as the correct direction.

They may not be as big and burly as Hance and Crystal, but I think the two rapids I'd be most nervous in with a boat that size is House Rock and Bedrock. Tight squeezes and a 50 foot long boat sounds hard to me. Watched a couple of J-rigs do Bedrock on my last trip and it took some deft maneuvering at the wheel.
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Old 01-19-2017   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
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Speed attempts should be banned. They are inherently unsafe and cause people to make poor decisions while attempting. Swimming lava after 20 hours of rowing not fun. Limping out of the canyon after not being able to repair your rig and with little food and water also not fun.
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Old 01-19-2017   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fumble View Post
Speed attempts should be banned. They are inherently unsafe and cause people to make poor decisions while attempting. Swimming lava after 20 hours of rowing not fun. Limping out of the canyon after not being able to repair your rig and with little food and water also not fun.
Drinking should be banned. It is inherently unsafe and causes people to make poor decisions while partaking.
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Old 01-19-2017   #10
 
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Yeah... I'm not into the "nanny state" bullshit and the whole "saving people from themselves". I as long as their behavior doesn't have a large negative impact on others, they should be free to push their own boundaries and risk their own lives.

I haven't tried to plan one of these trips, but it seems the timing is a challenge. I still need to read the Emerald Mile and a better account of the 4 guy who did it wildwater boats last year, but both the Sea Kayak guy and this latest attempt did Lava in the dark. I'm not sure what you trade off running in the dark instead, but maybe running Lava with some day light would be a good thing.
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