Grand Speed Record May B Shattered Today - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-24-2016   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Grand Speed Record May B Shattered Today

Hi All,

At this minute, Ben Orkin has been paddling an 18 foot sea kayak through Grand Canyon since early Saturday morning. Ben is attempting to break the Grand Canyon speed record set just last week by Matt Kelma.

In 1983, three men in a wooden boat on a flow over 45,000 cfs took 36 hours 38 minutes to make the run. in 1993, three men in a small motor boat took 35 hours 43 minutes. Last Wednesday, the muscle powered speed record was shattered when Matt Kelma finished the run in 35 hours and 5 minutes.

At this rate, if Ben Orkin keeps up the 8.375 MPH speed he has averaged in 24 hours since his launch at 2:00 am yesterday, he will reach the 277 mile mark in just over 33 hours. Ben Orkin is still on track at 5 am, having been paddling for the last 27 hours.

Orkin ran Lava Falls around 11:00 pm local time last night.

The flows the dam is releasing run from a low of 11,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to a high of 17,000 cfs. At the low of 11,000 cfs, the river is moving about 4 miles per hour and at the high of 17,000 cfs the river's speed increases to about 5 miles per hour.

Ben has, for the last 24 hours, almost doubled his speed against the river speed. The analogy is running from the caboose to the front of a slow moving train. Except he is paddling an 18 foot long sea kayak, and the "train" included rapids he would have run in the dark, including Lava Falls.

Here is another interesting fact about this... at the South Rim, sunrise is at 7:35 am and sunset 5:47 pm. or just a little over 10 hours of sunlight. Of course, in a mile deep canyon, actual sunlight is much less. What this means is that the majority of this speed run through Grand Canyon was done in the dark, while the 1983 and 1993 records were done in the summer, when the time between sunrise and sunset was closer to 14 hours. So, Orkin is racing through Paradise in the dark.

You can follow Orkin right now at this link:
https://share.delorme.com/GCSpeedRecord

I wish Ben Orkin All the best, tom

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Old 01-24-2016   #2
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Just above 240 mile...

Wow! Orkin has just cleared the lower granite gorge rapids and looks to be at the Bridge Canyon Damsite. It's the home stretch now!
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Old 01-24-2016   #3
 
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Denver, Colorado
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Awesome!!! I was following the excitement, along with you, last night on Facebook.
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Old 01-24-2016   #4
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Past Separation now... if Ben has it in him to get up to 10 MPH once the light comes on, he could really crank it. He has one more challenge... in another hour or so he will be at Sandbar Alley... Hope he clears that bit just fine!
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Old 01-24-2016   #5
 
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Passing Surprise now

Ben should be passing Surprise Canyon now. At his last check in about ten minutes ago he had stopped paddling and was just traveling at river speed of 4 MPH. Near 248 mile. He has to go to 277. About three hours to go...
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Old 01-24-2016   #6
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Exciting stuff, unless you're the guy whose record stands for a mere week. That would be kind of a drag.

I've been thinking for a while that this record should be quite breakable in a long boat, (by people there than me!)

Next guy or team to break it will need long boat and big water.

What was Matt paddling?

The link above just opens an In-reach map with some way points that are all labeled dec 5.

I don't see anything that gives pertinent info for this adventure, though surely I'm just not seeing the right spot to click.

Anyway big props to all the guys who can go full out for 30+ hours. That is real athletic prowess. I have little interest in running Lava at night, in a sea kayak while burning from the previous multi hour push!
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Old 01-24-2016   #7
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Hi Dave, right you are... set the record on Wednesday, re-set it four days later! If you zoom in on the Delorme page, you will see his blue line, not the red one. https://share.delorme.com/GCSpeedRecord
Ben just pinged in past 250 mile. Going 7 miles an hour...
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Old 01-24-2016   #8
 
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flow is 12K cfs to 17K cfs

not the 11K cfs to 17Kcfs I had posted. Yours, tom
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Old 01-24-2016   #9
 
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Closing in on Devil's slide!
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Old 01-24-2016   #10
 
scappoose, Oregon
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Does anyone know if Ben knows of the new record time he has to beat?
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