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Old 01-30-2014   #1
 
Ashevile, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1995
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Grand Canyon

Question for Canyon boaters with experience floating the Canyon in late November and/or @ 30,000cfs. Any feedback you can give regarding weather, necessary gear and/or rapid changes, as compared to 10,000-15,000 would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-30-2014   #2
 
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Hi Raftnc,

I'm curious why you are concerned about 30k cfs.

Could be displaying my ignorance here, but in the years I've been following GC issues, the release parameters have never been established this far in advance. Also, a release that high would likely be associated with an specially-arranged high volume event to replenish beaches, which is an uncommon event set up with a lot of science-related activity. Or, I suppose, it could be an equalization event to move water from Powell to Mead. But without knowing what the Spring runoff is, that's not likely to be on the schedule yet either.

Do you know something we don't? (grin)

Rich Phillips
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Old 01-30-2014   #3
 
Ashevile, North Carolina
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Rich, heard that next November will be releasing 30,000 for a particular reason that escapes me now. Any info on that? Dan
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Old 01-30-2014   #4
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Don't know anyone - including the guys that determine whether to open/close the gates on the dam, who are here in SLC (with help from Denver) - who can say with any authority what flows will be in November. Especially given we are again below normal precip on the water year for the drainage. IF there are experimental high flows - and there were last November - they are almost always only 5 days duration.
To respond to the question, I've boated it at 25k several times and 45k and around 80k ('83, the year we all want again!!!). It just gets better and better, but you need to have big river high water experience to be safe. 30k would be damn near ideal from motor boater perspective, rowing a raft you need only to get lined up way early and stay on top of your line all the way down - but have lots of room to see what's happening. Hance (especially since 2012 change) gets HUGE. Some of the "smaller" stuff (think the jewels) becomes significant, but in general, the rocks are covered, the freeway is there, find it and stay square to any waves/holes and you'll be good. Best thing is you can do 25 miles by lunch at those flows, if you know how...
It's snowing as I type here in SLC, but we need MORE!
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Old 01-30-2014   #5
 
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Hi Dan,

B4otter nailed it. Normally, projected release numbers are usually only announced a few months out, and the high volume events are worked up for a totally different reason -- independent of inflow into Powell.

If you can get 25-30k, it will be a fun ride. But winter releases ordinarily are more modest.

Good luck on putting your trip together.

Rich Phillips
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Old 01-30-2014   #6
 
Ashevile, North Carolina
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Okay, thanks guys. How about weather/gear advice. My prior trip was in September. Dan
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Old 01-31-2014   #7
 
Bisters, Oregon
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November is typically a "dry" month. Cold clear nights and warm sunshine. I'd bring winter camping gear w/ good shelter. Precipitation could make for a chilly trip, but likely it'll be spectacular conditions complete with changing fall leaves. You'll be milking the sunshine the way most trips milk the shade on a hot trip. Great time to be down there!
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Old 02-02-2014   #8
Old Guy in a PFD
 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Schutzie ponders a November GC trip...............

first on his list would be a really warm momma!

(sorry; he's ready for the game today and is in his cups a bit already)
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Old 02-02-2014   #9
 
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The Road, Colorado
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Did a late Nov/early Dec. trip a few years back. Had cold weather, well below averages for most of the trip which wasn't really very much fun. The biggest thing is the short days and the lack of sunlight, especially direct sunlight.
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Old 02-02-2014   #10
 
flagstaff, Arizona
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Having said all that, Be ready for any weather Northern AZ can dish. I live outside of Flagstaff and have seen everything from balmy to 20 below and dry to mountains of snow. There is no bad time to be in the canyon.
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