Pearse Ferry Rapid Portage - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-06-2018   #1
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2
Pearse Ferry Rapid Portage

Has anybody recently done the Diamond Down section of the Grand? I was curious about the Pearce Ferry Rapid is it? Is it better to go river left or right? About how long is it in time and distance? I was going to do a self-support kayak trip in April and was curious what I was getting myself into. Also, are there any of the drops below Pearce Ferry that were reported a couple of years ago, or is it all pretty straight-forward? Thoughts? Words of advice? Other??

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Old 01-06-2018   #2
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,180
I can't say I've heard of people portaging in the last 5-7 years since Pearce Ferry boat ramp was created, but I'm sure its doable. There is a trail down from the Pearce Ferry boat ramp to the rapid that is about a half mile. I think its mostly there for people to go look at the rapid, but I think there is a way down to the river from there too. Its sort of a haul with all of your gear but its doable and the safer route.

If you have good eddy catching skills, I think the easier, shorter but riskier portage would be to catch one of the small eddies at the top of the rapid on river right. You could then just walk over the conglomerate ridge and put in on the downstream side. The risk would that you fail to catch an eddy and end up running the rapid. IMHO I think the rapid is the most runnable that it has been in a long time right now, but its still a class IV+/V rapid. I think its runnable, but difficult and certainly some risks involved (a large boiling eddy and potential to get pushed against the left side wall among other hazards).

I can't say what kind of rapids are below Pearce Ferry rapid if any, but I imagine they are easy in comparison if they are there. The paddle out to the first access point on Lake Mead at South Cove is about 18 miles from there. Looks to be mostly flatwater and part of it on Lake Mead itself.
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Old 01-06-2018   #3
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Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 288
Sack up and run the shit.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-09-2018   #4
Aspen, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
It was NOT runnable in late sept...
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Old 05-23-2018   #5
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Pearce Ferry Rapid here's the scoop! I ran the Diamond Down section earlier this month and it was a blast! The last of the Grand rapids were a bit of a handful for my first time in a kayak for the season, let alone one fully loaded for a possible five day trip! Pearce Ferry Rapid was formidable, to say the least! Despite conflicting advice as to which side to portage from, I chose river left. Although the sand was a hassle for my wheel assembly with the loaded kayak, simply dragging it seemed to work best. The whole portage (plus scouting) took about three hours plus a climbing rope to lower my kayak back down to the water downstream of the rapid - great fun though. The rapid is VERY impressive with a lot going on: severe side waves, huge boils, undercut river bank,! Is it runnable.....I don't doubt that there are boaters out there capable of doing it, but what a run it would be!!!! As for the remaining trip down to South Cove...some minor whitewater and LOTS of swirlies, not a problem for a raft (?), but keeps you on your toes in a loaded kayak!
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