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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Buzzards!

A friend got on a private trip with a group of hikers he knows....so I begged on the trip, as I have never been able to get on the Ditch!

I am not sure of the experience level of the group and now I am having trepidation. After reaching out via email I am still not clear as to the group dynamics.

16 people, 21 days....they are an experienced back country group with lots of canyon experience but not rafting....

I have strongly suggested everyone wear drysuits....some are not planning to. The TL has some experience rafting the Canyon but I am not sure as to what level.

I am looking for any insight as to what I should expect.
 

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You can't be the TL. You don't know everyone and they likely won't answer to you anyway. Hikers can be a lot more independent/introverted than your average whitewater boater. That said, voice your opinion once, then let it go.

Haven't been...yet...but what I'd do:

Pull more than your weight, pack a spare drybag with warm clothes to loan to the dumb people who inevitably get semi-hypothermic with no drysuits; be the solid, quiet, stoic crazy boater dude.

Start a journal, listen to your iPod, play guitar, etc. by yourself if the camp dynamics are wierd.

Take plenty of video. Provided nobody dies, come back and share the carnage vids with your friends on the Buzz.

Enjoy the trip!
 

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TMartin & his group have good info here

Rafting Grand Canyon

Things would have to be pretty f'ed up not to have a good time in that place. Having a Drysuit is recommended but, maybe your group includes ppl who are really hearty?

The people rowing/paddling the boats must have "on water" experience. That's the part that would concern me.

BA
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great responses,thanks, that's what I'm looking for. I have read the recent threads and read the rrfw,gcpba,fb page, and all other sources I can find. The TL has GC river experience but I don't know how much. I am interested in knowing what the others in the group have regarding river experience. Thanks for defining a hikers persona, helps out.
 

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Actually it doean't take much for f'd up trips to suck. Who you are going with and how experienced and prepared they are is as important as anything. I'd bag it and go with boaters. Work hard to network, there are lots of trips out there.

Stuck in the ditch i jan with freezing knuckleheads? No thanks

If you are already having reservations , take that seriously. Wait for the right trip assuming it's not something you will get to do a lot. Why take off 4 weeks now vs work it and wait for a better group?
 

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Hi,

A frank talk with the TL/PH seems indicated.

Riding a raft all day in cool temperatures. Metabolism slow from just sitting. Wet from rapids. Not much sun. Everyone but the person running the boat is going to be cold if they're not properly clothed.

After that talk, you've got to make up your own mind about how much of a risk you want to take when there is a probility of your trip quality -- and group safety -- being diminished by what could turn out to be marginally equipped folks.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

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Been on a hiking based trip. if you are a boater and not a big hiker i would suggest looking for another trip. crappy camps weird layovers and some really long days to be expected. everything will probably be scheduled around hikes and will not make much sense to a normal boater. by the time i ended my HIKER trip the word hike made me wanna puke! But still had a great time two of my best friends on the trip we just hungout and did our own thing. Bad dynamics we did not speak to the TL PH for the last week or so.









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Being responsible to, but not for each other means that everyone on the trip must be honest about their Class 4-5 experiences; if they are just planning to follow the TL, please consider another trip, when trip expectations, experience and safety are being honestly communicated.
 

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I did a trip last December and was grateful to have a drysuit even though I was rowing my own boat. Everyone on the trip had one in fact. Some non boaters on the trip bought drysuits off of ebay or from Kayak Academy and then resold them afterwards for almost same price. I think a drysuit is a must while I have some friends who swear you do need them even in January.
 

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Hikers

I think it comes down to how well your friend knows these folks, just as it would with any group. I wouldn't discount a trip just because they are "hikers." My best GC trip was with a group comprised mostly of climbers. Fun, hardy outdoor folk.
 

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If you skip this trip for a "better" one, the better one might not come? I have been on a few trips in the Ditch with people I didn't know. They where great. Wet suit would be a good idea. It is only mandatory if you go into the water. Get you palm read to see into the future so if you flipped get the drysuit :)
If your trip turns out to be weird, just be ready to do your own thing at camp.
The one thing that can f up a trip is if you run short on food. So if you are going w/ a co. that handles the food on you trip, you should be good.
 

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Hi,

I'd have to respectfully (yeah, I know this is the Buzz and I don't have to be polite) disagree with Liquidphoto on needing a wet suit only if you go in the water.

The risk of hypothermia is real in the GC even in the summer -- and it's far greater in the winter. I suppose persistent shade, cool baseline temperatures, and huge waves of cold water from the rapids might be tolerable with splash gear for some people. Maybe sitting largely immobile on a raft hour after hour, day after day, soaked by rapids would be fun for a few folks. But taking a chance on getting thrown into the water (you don't have to flip to wind up in the drink) in those conditions without some kind of full body thermal protection is folly.

In all probability, none of this will personally impact the origional poster. But not insisting on life-preserving gear does cast some doubt about the basic decision-making going into the trip. Which can ripple down to enjoyment and safety for every member.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

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Yeah Rich, but its all part of a bigger plan. If people start dying off there will be more food to eat :x.
Maybe I shouldn't be sarcastic in my post? Some can't read thru it. I would recommend not a wet suit but a dry suit.
Keep the harry side up.
 

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liquidphoto said:
Yeah Rich, but its all part of a bigger plan. If people start dying off there will be more food to eat :x.
Maybe I shouldn't be sarcastic in my post? Some can't read thru it. I would recommend not a wet suit but a dry suit.
Keep the harry side up.
Maybe mountain buzz needs a font to help convey your tone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-WU0pV2AXE&sns=em

(About 1:30 in)
 

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Dry suit could save someones life down there in Jan.

On our trip we had two flips in hermit and reflipping required people to stand in deep water for hours with no sun. If we didnt have drysuits we would have been in big trouble
 

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When I boat with people- I expect that if something happens I will need to do everything in my power to help them and I expect the same of them. If I have no idea about the level of experience of the people I'm going with-then who is going to help me if I get into trouble?

I've had first aid situations where I was the who was prepared and gave aid but then if I had been the one who had gotten injured- not sure who would have helped me. Not something I'd like to leave to chance for a month long trip.

Then again- I tend to err on the more conservative side of crazy....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks to all the great responses. I am still on the fence about this trip. Going to hold off on a decision until I get more information....

The medical was a concern but I did find out an ER nurse will be along.

I am not sure about the groups understanding of limited sun, warmth, ability to flips boats, how to handle water situations.....big concerns still

Keep 'em coming!
 

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Be Careful

You dont want to end up on a shitty trip. Dynamics are VERY important. I was on trip last fall with a chick ( psycho) who wanted to cook and load everything on her boat, an old 16'. Bitch/**** couldn't cook. She would hold it agianst you that she had cooked shitty meals and had community gear on her boat. Well, to keep a long story short; no one wanted to talk to/be around her after day 2. A small trip= hard to get away from such a bitch. 16 peeps you may be able to escape people you dont gel with. BUT... Maybe not ( you don't know them), I would wait for a comfortable trip, at times I wished I hadn't gone. PM for more specifics, but all it takes is one bad apple to fuck it up for everyone. Good luck and enjCUNtoy what you choose, but a good trip would be a better wait for, better dynamic 21 days with people you dont like/know/trust... fuck that.
 

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Communication is key to any long trip such as this. I would either discuss your questions/concerns with the TL because it only gets harder when the environmental and group stresses kick in on the river. Many groups can handle it but preparation and accountability are key.

I am doubtful I would go with a group that is not mandating dry suits for everyone. Sounds harsh but hypothermia is a group issue and can easily be fatal. An injured member is the responsibility of everyone on the trip. We had 6 days straight of rain on our Jan GC trip and drysuits saved us from the worst possible of outcomes. Those waves are huge and likely to inundate even the best boater so getting wet is almost a certainty.

I also wouldn't go without knowing the skill set of each boater. With such a long trip I would also recommend having at least one peep who is an oarsperson as well; that way if there is an injury they can be rotated in.

Just some thoughts. Its an amazing place but its not guaranteed to be a great trip despite the location.

Phillip
 
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