Grand Canyon Outfitters who's your favorite? - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #11
 
kayaker's Avatar
 
in a van down by the river, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 135
There are pros then there are masters

If you wan' go wid the best, go with MOENKOPI.
You want to be smart about this trip. This is a once in a lifetime deal.
The General Manager at Moenkopi has humble and knowledgeable staff who personally vet the equipment going out on each trip. MOENKOPI goes boating!
Brady gets his staff wet! Oh yeah! For sure!
They do have the best fucking freezer in Northern AZ and DO KNOW how to get it done on all kinds of complicated SouthWest trips.
They are the ones I use to pull off trips in a place where they have the logistics/food/price/pre-trip/full deal to get it done.
That is my dos centavos. Flame on my brothers...

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #12
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Ceiba

For what it's worth Ceiba is an amazing outfitter. We did their Whole Shabang for 16 of us last summer on 3 of their 18' NRS rafts plus two of our dories. We were all amazed at how dialed in the food was and the gear worked great. We added an extra cooler of ice for drinks and had them also do our shuttles. And they accommodated our menu changes without any problems.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
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hooligan shmulligan's Avatar
 
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 12
Every outfitter provides about the same service. But why use an outfitter?
We are private boaters and we should be doing are own outfitting.
Can't get your shit together and put a trip together? Maybe you're not ready for a grand and should consider a commercial trip. Maybe I'm being a little Salty but its becoming clear to me that there are becoming three types of boaters in the Grand DIY privaters,commercials and painless private outdoor enthusiasts .
Almost every you tube video of the grand is a yellow boat shit show. This is eventually is going to bite the boating community in the ass and commercials are going to use the inexperienced trips as an example of why commercials should be the stewards of the canyons and privates trips should be banned.
Just look at the last few years of people crawling all over the Ross Wheeler, crawling in the Nanko grainerys and the dip shit with the double fire pan bonfire.
Rant over
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
 
Three Rivers, California
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 91
We used Moenkopi for a trip in late May 2019. For ease of the trip we rented everything from them. If it was their first year, or they were super cheap, what they provided would have been acceptable. Yet it was not neither of those situations.

Day one, fill a drag bag and drop it in the river. Oh boy, guess we should have checked...they are an outfitter after all... They didn't have a large enough knot tied at the end and it lost a whole bag of beverages to the rio. Not that anyone cares about the quantity of adult beverages on the canyon .

The menus were full of typos and often just plain wrong or didn't match the menu about 80% of the time. It become an ongoing joke. "Menu: Follow instructions on box. Shop for food and low and behold no box, just an unlabeled bag of rice. Dehydrated? Freeze dried? Instant rice? Regular rice? Your guess for the win! Every single meal we had was packed in reverse order. Three days in one can. The meal consumed the soonest was at the bottom, the last meal to be used on top. So we had the pleasure of unpacking every single ammo can to get to the meal on the menu. Now, I get that in 18 days on the canyon you will repeat meals. Why you would repeat those meals day 15 and 17 is beyond me.

We did request no green bell peppers. So instead we got red bell peppers. Every. Single. Meal.

Owner was not at all receptive to feedback so next time I'd go with any other outfitter.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
hooligan shmulligan: Wow. You join MountainBuzz in 2020 and immediately start spraying. Together our group has over 100 trips down the grand as guides and privates. We've done DIY(in our own gear) and outfitted and found that outfitted allows us to enjoy the Canyon a lot more and worry a lot less. 16-days of food for 16-people is a lot of logistics. Ceiba is the way to go.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonflowerone View Post
hooligan shmulligan: Wow. You join MountainBuzz in 2020 and immediately start spraying. Together our group has over 100 trips down the grand as guides and privates. We've done DIY(in our own gear) and outfitted and found that outfitted allows us to enjoy the Canyon a lot more and worry a lot less. 16-days of food for 16-people is a lot of logistics. Ceiba is the way to go.
Like I said if you can't put together a 16 day raft trip with out some one holding your hand then maybe the grand ain't for you. Its the Grand not Shackleton's arctic expedition.
My last trip we passed or where passed by 15 private trips. It was pretty disheartening that we were the only private DIY trip, the others where all painless privates with a dory on one and a small cat on another. I get sometimes you need to rent gear for what ever reason and one of our boats was rented because the boatmen felt better about an 18 vs his 16.
I've dedicated a large portion of my life to boating and the reward is doing the Grand with my friends and my gear. Doing a painless rental ,in my opinion cheapens the experience to nothing more then Burning Man on the Water. So instagram influencers can get likes and never think about the canyon again. To me its as insulting as if I were to be able to helicopter to the top of Mount Everest take a selfy and brag about it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
 
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 294
When I do the grand I'm sure I'll rent gear because I have no use for an 18' boat, monster cooler etc outside the grand. Oh I also don't have a walk in cooler in my garage to freeze said giant cooler.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly By Night View Post
When I do the grand I'm sure I'll rent gear because I have no use for an 18' boat, monster cooler etc outside the grand. Oh I also don't have a walk in cooler in my garage to freeze said giant cooler.
I've never rowed an 18' boat down the canyon...but have rowed my 16' twice and my 136DD(13.5') one year and my 146DD(14.5') the next. I had a lot more fun in the smaller boats. Totally doable to go with a smaller 13-16' raft.

I think only Pro and Moenkopi do the hard freeze thing...and only if you get your coolers to them weeks in advance (or use theirs...for a fee). I know Ceiba does not do that... so if it means a lot to you then they might not be the right fit. I think they do enough other stuff right to recommend them though. I've always wanted to do it that way but like you have never had the chance. It takes a lot of care to get done since you can't just pour water in and let it freeze...you have to add it incrementally.

Getting good solid ice blocks and then fill in all the gaps with cube ice or broken blocks is 80-90% as good as the freeze in method IMHO. One of these days I'll make molds of my cooler and create a silicone mold to make ice blocks in my freezer at home that are the exact shape of my cooler...but that is getting off track. I've always thought that was a sell-able product idea though.

I sympathize with Mr. Hooligan a bit and largely agree with the sentiment...but realize that not every group is prepared or experienced enough to do the Grand on their own and I don't think that should count them out from getting to experience the Canyon without having to shell out for a concessions trip. As much as I'd love to keep the canyon to the uber experienced river peeps... its just not realistic. I've seen a ton of groups down there with basically no river experience with most, or all, of the group. This is one of those trips where non-river people from all over the world know about and will apply without full knowledge of whats involved just because they hear about its epicness.

Despite all that...most of the trips turn out well. Relegating the inexperienced to only go down with the concessions companies isn't fair IMHO. The cost difference is huge...which is reason number one (of many) why you won't ever find me on a concessions trip as a customer (I'd go be a baggage boater if they needed one just so I could go a second time though). Going painless private isn't my favorite way to do it...but I'm accepting of it if the Permit Holder wants to go that way. Better that, then them trying to do it fully DIY and failing.

I know several people that could totally do it and have the gear but always rent boats and go painless private anyways since they prefer the ease of it and prefer to put the wear and tear on someone elses gear. I've never been that guy and will always prefer to have my own gear down there. I've never had any mishaps or major gear failures down there in the 4 trips I've done... and don't notice a huge degradation of gear from each trip...and I'm not easy on my gear either.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
 
Arnold, California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 251
Hooligan Greenwall - Do you have thoughts on what frames should be used on the Grand? Iím not aware of any outfitters using custom welded frames.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherpaDave View Post
Hooligan Greenwall - Do you have thoughts on what frames should be used on the Grand? Iím not aware of any outfitters using custom welded frames.
Bwa Ha HA! Most outfitters DO use custom welded frames mostly built by PRO or Artisan Metal Works.
I'd rather run a wood frame in the Grand then a Greenwall frame. At least the wood frame is real not make believe.
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