Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've been invited to join the second half of a GC trip at the end of the month and am super stoked. I'll be joining from Phantom ranch down.

On the trip I'll be cycling between rowing, hard-shell kayaking, inflatable kayaking, and paddle rafting (4 person mini), and I'm a bit stumped on what cold-water gear to bring given the cold water but hot air temps. My options are a dysuit, a semi-dry top that is wet enough that it's mostly a really good splash top, and a full body surfing wetsuit.

From earlier forum posts, the recommendations seem to be sun shirt and shorts for the oar raft and dry top for the hard-shell kayak. But I'm wondering if in the IK and paddle raft if I'll be getting splashed so much that I'll want something on bottom (either the drysuit or wetsuit). I'd prefer to bring just one of these three items for space, but open minded if folks think I really should bring 2 things.

Let me know what you think!
-Charlie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
If I wore a drysuit in August on the grand I would need an helicopter evacuation for my shriveled corpse for sure. I went in June and only used zippy pants or sun shirts for avoiding mass sunscreen. It's hot and sandy (and awesome) all day and night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
With the water temperature at lees ferry being 68 degrees and around 80 degrees at phantom right now it’s not going to be that bad on the body. my biggest concern would be how to keep your beer cold.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With the water temperature at lees ferry being 68 degrees and around 80 degrees at phantom right now it’s not going to be that bad on the body. my biggest concern would be how to keep your beer cold.

wow! Thanks for sharing that. I had read somewhere else that water temps were reliably 45* since it comes from the bottom of lake Powell. I guess with Lake Powell being so low it’s probably also warmer?

Ya definitely no drysuit or wetsuit in that case, and I share your concern for our beers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’m also curious if folks have a recommendation on a sleeping bag. I have a 30* bag or a fleece liner. I was planning to bring the fleece liner and a cotton sheet based on it being so hot, but wondering if anyone thinks I might regret not having an actual sleeping bag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
With the water temperature at lees ferry being 68 degrees and around 80 degrees at phantom right now it’s not going to be that bad on the body. my biggest concern would be how to keep your beer cold.

The water temp is not 80 degrees at phantom, that is the graph for the LCR. It will be a bit warmer than Lee's but not significantly warmer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,280 Posts
on a fall GC float I rowed a gear boat.

Plenty of drinking water, Tee shirt, shorts and big floppy hat that I could wet down, but at the big rapids
I slipped on a dry top and neoprene shorts. Kept them close at hand under a cooler strap.

Reason being no matter how hot you are setting in a raft
taking a long swim in that cold water can bring on hypothermia
The temperature difference shock alone can be a problem if you swim

better to have a bit of cold clothing gear close at hand and not need it
as opposed to needing it and not having it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Ok I’m wrong. Sorry. So what is the temperature at phantom right now? Can’t find the graph. What do you think it will be @ the end of the month? The graph I see shows it’s 68 at lees today (pretty warm above average with the dam) and you have some really warm side flows coming in. 74 degrees at phantom?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
someone can correct me, but I've heard a degree rise about every 10 miles. Of course, this depends on tons of things, and isn't totally accurate, but about 90 miles in, it'll start feeling warmer. It is shocking early in the trip, and a windy day can bring on temperature drops when you're wet. The semi dry top and some sun layers will probably do you fine. on the raft, you might not wear anything (or a rain coat if its shady and rapid). Bring a sleeping bag, don't be that guy haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Summer trip on the Grand a few years ago, we slept on the boats (a lot cooler than shore) and still just slept under a single cotton sheet... which we dipped in the river right before getting in bed. Hot nights in the summer! As for clothing, we were only on rafts (no kayaking) so during the day I wore only sun clothes, but like somebody else said: I had some "unintentional swim" clothing handy that I would put on before sections where an "unintentional swim" felt like a possibility worth considering. Unintentional swims in that water, particularly long-ish swims, can get real dangerous real fast... it seems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Hi everyone,

I've been invited to join the second half of a GC trip at the end of the month and am super stoked. I'll be joining from Phantom ranch down.

On the trip I'll be cycling between rowing, hard-shell kayaking, inflatable kayaking, and paddle rafting (4 person mini), and I'm a bit stumped on what cold-water gear to bring given the cold water but hot air temps. My options are a dysuit, a semi-dry top that is wet enough that it's mostly a really good splash top, and a full body surfing wetsuit.

From earlier forum posts, the recommendations seem to be sun shirt and shorts for the oar raft and dry top for the hard-shell kayak. But I'm wondering if in the IK and paddle raft if I'll be getting splashed so much that I'll want something on bottom (either the drysuit or wetsuit). I'd prefer to bring just one of these three items for space, but open minded if folks think I really should bring 2 things.

Let me know what you think!
-Charlie

Just returned from a July trip, 16 days in a paddle raft. The water is pretty warm even at Lee's Ferry; at Phantom it's warmer still. Long sleeve sun protection absolutely necessary, as is some kind of hat/hoodie for complete coverage. I'd suggest carrying a splash top/paddle jacket on every trip--it can get chilly even in the Grand during a monsoon rain. Paddling gloves are nice for long days on the river, and if you're loading and unloading a lot of gear. Gloves are especially important at the takeout when all the equipment is hot to the touch. Sheets, good pad, and a tarp will probably do, but as others have said, not a bad idea to have a small sleeping bag. If not rowing, it's good etiquette to go light, although most rowers don't complain about a little extra weight. I guess it depends on whether your gear is meeting you at Phantom or you're carrying it down. You might want to make sure you have plenty of triple antibiotic and anti-fungal cream in your first aid--foot rot has been a thing in the Canyon for the last few years. Ah! We met an AZRA group that had a passenger flown out at Blacktail with Covid. Have a great time on a great river.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I've only done it in May.

I never even put my drysuit on.
Mostly wore m'birthday suit. 😎
Did an April/May trip where I wore a drysuit in my raft for the big rapids and one day in the terrible teens or whatever they're called when it was raining. I always took it off after the rapids. The kayakers wore theirs all day. Not sure I'd do the same in August, but the water temperature is still going to be cold of course. You'll just warm up a lot faster when you get out of it.

Frankly, I'm not sure I EVER want to do a July-August Grand trip after seeing how hot it was in early May on the second half.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
829 Posts
I watched as everyone struggled into their wet or drysuits at the scout above all the big rapids, then struggle back out of them gasping, and sweating at the bottom. While I sat enjoying a beer(s).
I grew up boating on the Deschutes and it's 45-55° mid summer water.
I wasn't about to be bothered by that ~60° Colorado water. I think we only had a couple unplanned swims in the group. Uncle Terry was glad he had his on when the 4th wave in Lava got him...
I never left my boat unintentionally.

I never regretted leaving my 'suit in it's bag.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top