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ehurrle
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

We have an April trip and a few folks are wondering which rapids have no options for passengers to hike around? My very limited research has led me to believe that Grapevine and Sockdolager cannot be avoided. What are the other bigger rapids in the Grand Canyon that have bad hiking or pickup options?
 

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You have to run all of them. It is the price, and the pleasure, of a trip down the Colorado.

Forgive me if I'm being ignorant or insensitive to a disabled person, therapy dog, child, war hero, or anyone that for some really good reason cannot ride along for the rapids; but I believe that the collective sentiment of those who have gone before you is this: don't be a pussy. Also, the misogynistically offensive term "pussy" is noted, but I chose to use it anyway. This is too important.
 

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You have to run all of them. It is the price, and the pleasure, of a trip down the Colorado.

Forgive me if I'm being ignorant or insensitive to a disabled person, therapy dog, child, war hero, or anyone that for some really good reason cannot ride along for the rapids; but I believe that the collective sentiment of those who have gone before you is this: don't be a pussy. Also, the misogynistically offensive term "pussy" is noted, but I chose to use it anyway. This is too important.
Absolutely Brilliant. What this man said.
 

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ehurrle
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am just trying to get as much information as possible so that everybody knows what their options are. Though I might feel the same as you on the subject, everybody in the group deserves to have their questions and concerns answered. Still a bit of time before we need to convince folks that it will be more fun to stay in the boat...
 

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Several of the Gems.

Several of the ones with "walking" options setup potential for botching pickup if the exact moves aren't hit. I would want to pick up passengers at the bottom of:

Horn (may not even be possible)
Hance, especially easy to get sucked way out to the middle since left run is gone
Crystal

Several of the "worst" rapids in the Grand are long, multiple move runs that don't really lend themselves to splitting your group on shore and boat. Where the is a will there is a way if its really desired.

Phillip
 

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What are the reasons for wanting to walk? I would not recommend that as a great option for a group. I have flipped a couple times and had to help recover boats a couple times on GC trips and trying to weigh getting over to pick up a passenger on shore and rescuing those in the water or get a flipped boat to the side would not be a decision that I would want to have to make or be put in the position of having to make. As others have said, sure you could walk a bunch of rapids, but why risk screwing it up and making for an epic or seriously problematic situation. None of the rapids are really dangerous even if you do flip. Since I don't know your particular situation I don't want to judge, but I don't know that I would want to go with people who aren't prepared to be in it all the way. A flip can happen at any time, not just the 'big ones'.
 

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Often the walks are a bit more dangerous than the run. I once heard there was an elderly woman that walked Lava on the left. She was bit twice by rattle snakes (two different snakes in two different locations on that same walk). I heard this prob 15+ years ago. Any old school GC boaters hear about this? I would not really worry about the snakes (they are abundant out there though) on your trip but my point is, you have a better chance twisting an ankle ect walking some of this stuff than just running it. Remember, it is a wilderness trip.
Enjoy
 

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Far more injuries occur to rafters in the Canyon hiking rather than on the water. That being said, most rapids not in the gorge (Sock and the gems have been mentioned) can be hiked around if you really wanted to, but you would want to be part goat to do so. The people who would want to hike around a rapid are probably not the most nimble and the disruption to the trip dynamics would be huge (think waiting probably up to an hour). I would advise against it.
 

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SarahofTheWaves
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You can flip just about anywhere if you aren't paying attention. Build some confidence in your crew, rig to flip, dress properly, and practice a swim or two. Hardest part can be getting the raft upright, but can be done with engineering or brute weight.

Sarah
 

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Hi, I registered just to post this:

Hiking around rapids is more dangerous to the hiker and to their group as a whole than running them in a boat. If you hike, just the risk of leg injuries to the hiker is far higher than running the rapid. Rocks and cobbles are very unstable near rapids and they tend to turn underfoot.

That's not the primary reason hiking is a bad idea though. The added stress of trying to hit your pickup zone below the rapid can put an entire boat in harm's way when they could have been focusing on sticking to the best run available to them. If another boat is having issues (flipped, lost a passenger, etc) they may need extra assistance and your boatman could have to choose between helping a hiker on the shore that is currently OK and a swimmer in the water that needs them right now. Or maybe they just missed their pull in and ended up 50 yards further down than anticipated.

Now you have a hiker in a situation where they're trying to navigate the rocks, boulders, and (frequently) impassable cliffs along the water's edge. This is never safer than riding in the boat would have been. If you're the trip leader, it's your responsibility to make these decisions. Don't let your people hike around rapids.
 

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Hi, I registered just to post this:

Hiking around rapids is more dangerous to the hiker and to their group as a whole than running them in a boat. If you hike, just the risk of leg injuries to the hiker is far higher than running the rapid. Rocks and cobbles are very unstable near rapids and they tend to turn underfoot.

That's not the primary reason hiking is a bad idea though. The added stress of trying to hit your pickup zone below the rapid can put an entire boat in harm's way when they could have been focusing on sticking to the best run available to them. If another boat is having issues (flipped, lost a passenger, etc) they may need extra assistance and your boatman could have to choose between helping a hiker on the shore that is currently OK and a swimmer in the water that needs them right now. Or maybe they just missed their pull in and ended up 50 yards further down than anticipated.

Now you have a hiker in a situation where they're trying to navigate the rocks, boulders, and (frequently) impassable cliffs along the water's edge. This is never safer than riding in the boat would have been. If you're the trip leader, it's your responsibility to make these decisions. Don't let your people hike around rapids.
Well said;-)
 

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Sanders said it perfectly.

My wife was very nervous about the whitewater her first time there. She wanted to walk rapids when we scouted, so she walked at House and 24-1/2. She got back in saying that the walks were worse than how the boats looked in the waves.
 

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It's so ridiculously fun in those rapids. No one should cheat themselves of such an experience! Lean forward, row hard.
 

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ehurrle
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the feedback folks, I very much agree with what you are all saying. One person in our groups isn't that into rapids and just wanted to see what kind of information people had. The spouse of this individual is one of our most experienced rowers and i'm sure when the time comes they will make the easy choice to run the rapids. Thanks Phillip for your answer, I appreciate and respect all the feedback it's a very valid point...
 
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