Grand Canyon of the Stikine in a 13' AIRE Raft? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 08-18-2015   #1
 
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Grand Canyon of the Stikine in a 13' AIRE Raft?

I heard a rumour from a very reliable source that 2 guys will be attempting a run in the near future of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine in a 13' AIRE Raft R2 style with a Creature Craft for support. Anyone hear this or know more?

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Old 08-18-2015   #2
 
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It may be the guys that have been firing up top to bottoms up here on the North Fork. If anyone could do it, it would be those guys. I wish them the best of luck. I heard the Stikine was their ultimate goal.
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Old 08-18-2015   #3
 
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I have been watching the weather, and flow on the Stikine. Rumor is it may be an unusually short window this year.
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Old 08-24-2015   #4
 
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So apparently Cramer has been doing some top-downs with the boys on NFP and he's been helping them develop and improve upon a few "stay with the raft" techniques & equipment strategies. Stikine is presently at 575 CMS which is 20,300 CFS - far too high.
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Old 08-24-2015   #5
 
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575 cms actually = great flow for a raft descent!
The best "say with the raft" technique was adopted by the Russian's may a decade ago. It's known as the "Use a rope to strap yourself to the raft" technique. Far superior to the creature craft "seatbelt yourself to your hamster ball" technique. Either way, I hope they strap their sweet yeti cooler down as tight as they strap themselves in. Rig to flip kids! Don't forget the bocce balls and extra sunscreen for wolf track and enough ice for cocktails on day 18.
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Old 08-24-2015   #6
 
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K... I have no experience with big whitewater. But watching the YouTube videos of the kayakers tackling this run I've got a question.

How on Earth are they going to keep from flipping that raft in some of those HUGE holes!! Seems like swimming that river is akin to suicide (so much so that flippers evidently think its a better risk to free climb out of the canyon).

This will be an amazing run, I guess I don't see how they make it though.
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Old 08-24-2015   #7
 
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I've seen the NFP videos, pretty sweet. They do bring their A game. But the Stikine looks WAY bigger and more consequential. I think it is V drive that just makes me pucker and drop just a tiny pellet in my trousers.
There is no way you can go into that thinking a flip isn't inevitable. Perhaps they are just willing to accept the consequences of a flip. Hold on tight and stay with the boat and put it back together when possible. MAYBE a top notch kayak crew can support them. A creature caft doesn't seem maneuverable enough to be a ton of help.

If they fire it off it would be a feat worthy of a viking song.

Even lapping the NFP takes huge balls.
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Old 08-24-2015   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UriahJones View Post
K... I have no experience with big whitewater. But watching the YouTube videos of the kayakers tackling this run I've got a question.

How on Earth are they going to keep from flipping that raft in some of those HUGE holes!! Seems like swimming that river is akin to suicide (so much so that flippers evidently think its a better risk to free climb out of the canyon).

This will be an amazing run, I guess I don't see how they make it though.
And this is what makes their slated or supposed potential attempt remarkable and newsworthy.

In a conventional raft or cataraft no one has rafted the entire GC of the Stikine.
There have been to the best of my knowledge 3 raft attempts - one in 85, one in the early 90s on conventional rafts and then Cramers attempt on his cataraft in 06. The Creature crafters did it in '12 as we already know which was a hell of a run but still no conventional rafts (I guess with the invention of creature crafts the definition of a conventional raft would be something like a raft that if you flip you end up in the river?). Bottom line is these guys gotta be a well oiled machine as an r2 team. They need to be strong on the reflip - being able to reflip fairly quickly in class 3-4 water. They have to have exceptional ability and strategies to stay with their boat at all costs, to get them out of terminal Eddies or doom rooms (drag bag, grapple hooks, etc). They need to have not just phslysical stamina but mental stamina - they can't let a beat down affect their psyche). The ability to persevere in an extreme environment is an understatement. The only shame is some guy who does dances in the end zone gets millions of dollars yet guys like this who are attempting to push the limits of what the human race is capable of in spirit and strength are relatively unknown.
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Old 08-24-2015   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeyFitter View Post
The only shame is some guy who does dances in the end zone gets millions of dollars yet guys like this who are attempting to push the limits of what the human race is capable of in spirit and strength are relatively unknown.
Ditto to this. And props to the sheer ballsyness of trying to run in a raft!

If they do run it, I hope that neither dies in the attempt. I can't even imagine what water that big would look like, let alone try it without the maneuverability of a kayak. Clearly there must a plan for the inevitable flipping of the raft. No way on earth that gets through upright.
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