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After 13 years we have finally pulled a Grand Canyon permit for June 2020. I have gone down 20 years ago and we used Canyon REO and they were great. I expect we will do something similar for food and rent some 18 footers and get our shuttle all from the same place.


I am looking for some kind of a planning outline- I have searched the archives of mountainbuzz and found some information on river miles/camps/sun or shade but nothing from a higher level how to start thinking about planning for the trip.


We have all done multi-day trips but this is another level of complexity.
Any resources you might have or be able to point me to would be extremely helpful!
THANKS!!
 

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Grand Canyon Guide books

Thanks! This link is a wonderful resource!!


I have the standard Belknap, Stevens, Whitis/Martin guide books and have Linda Lou's on order.



There is one other book I am looking for that I remember seeing 20 years ago. This guide book had hand drawn pictures of the major rapids with preferred lines at different water lines. The pictures were great- they had waves, holes, eddies etc.



I only remember looking at it a few times and it seemed great, but I don't remember anything else about the book.



Anyone have any idea what this book is or if it is still around?
 

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I never saw it in book form, but I have a pdf of "How to Row the Grand Canyon Rapids" by Jim Michaud - sounds (and looks) like exactly what you're talking about! I've tried to attach it - hopefully it works??
Very nice! Thanks for putting this on the Site! I just downloaded and it looks like a great guide.

-AH
 

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You may actually be thinking of Linda Lou's guide. Her rapid "topos" get updated periodically I believe.

Long ago a GC boater drafted a guide with maps of rapid and notes such as "lift motor here". If the author is as I remember he was a legendary guide(RIP) going by a nickname of a large ocean mammal. It may be another person but I can't get to the guide now because it is buried in a box, buried in a garage while doing a major remodel. Besides, that 40+ year old guide is very out of date since many rapids have changed.
 

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The martin guide is awesome, and with a rite in the rain pen you can annotate it in advance, and on the fly.

I had a trip in 2017, and we used the heck out of google docs to share planning, gear, and potential itineraries, and it was very helpful. Of course, man plans and the gods laugh, by the end of the first day, we were changing our plan lots.

If you do a "deluxe" rental with any of the big outfits, they have really in-depth planning guides that are "free" with the modest fee of paying for 16 people x 18 days. It makes it a bit easier if you have folks coming in from many locations.
 

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Since 2020 is still a LONG way away, here's a suggestion for how to augment the info in the guidebooks for how to run specific rapids. Simply Google "Hance Rapid Grand Canyon," (for example) click on Google Maps, then click on the satellite view. Then zoom in for an exact view of what the rapid looks like from the sky. I call this technique "satellite scouting" and it works really well on large rivers like on the GC or Main Salmon.



I also use it to scout river sections that don't have guidebooks available, like the roadside section of the Main Salmon. You don't know WHEN the satellite photo was taken, but it's usually not too hard to figure out if the picture was taken at high water or low water just by looking at where wood is deposited. And on the Grand, this doesn't even matter since the only time the water level varies significantly is during a planned high water release.


I've got a late Feb 2020 permit myself and even though I've run the Grand twice before in recent years, I've been having fun exploring my favorite rapids from the sky and imagining myself running new lines. I even printed off black and white photos of the rapids so I can show a couple newbies on our trip what things look like from above.
 

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Get a copy of Colorado River briefs by Linda Lou Linderman, (RIP)
https://www.tuffriverstuff.com/ had some in stock last time I was in the store.



Just got off a 28 day trip in my dory, for the first time I took the left run @ Crystal, can't believe I never did it before, is THE way to run that rapid. Period :) Very helpful was the GPS waypoints that match the Whitis guidebook, very accurate and informative way to know just where you are on the river, beats trying to match the topography to the guidebook.
 

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Landslide. If you’re in 16-18ft rafts, a majority of the canyon rapids are straight forward follow the tongue kind of thing with flat water above and boiling swirly flatwater after. Stand up high on the cooler or gear pile to boat scout. Maybe enter center, enter left of center, enter right ..... After the roaring twenties you’ll have the hang of it. Best advice is to Square up.
The more technical rapids are pretty well described in just a few sentences in the guide books.
 

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teletoes,

that video is really neat
any way to slow that video down and maybe stop on rapids

good work

dave
Sadly, no. Even going frame by frame doesn't do much. Lava is over in about 7 frames.

I spent way too much time trying to put this together but the API into Street View is too week to get much out of it.

db
 

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Landslide. If you’re in 16-18ft rafts, a majority of the canyon rapids are straight forward follow the tongue kind of thing with flat water above and boiling swirly flatwater after. Stand up high on the cooler or gear pile to boat scout. Maybe enter center, enter left of center, enter right ..... After the roaring twenties you’ll have the hang of it. Best advice is to Square up.
The more technical rapids are pretty well described in just a few sentences in the guide books.
Did I not say that I've run the GC a couple times in recent years? Oh, right, I did!

I've got a late Feb 2020 permit myself and even though I've run the Grand twice before in recent years, I've been having fun exploring my favorite rapids from the sky and imagining myself running new lines.
Reading comprehension aside, I'm also a kayaker, not a rafter, so standing up in my boat to scout a rapid is probably not a good idea. :p



In the past I've taken your standard, basic lines as described in pretty much all the guidebooks and now I'm ready for something different. Maybe far right at Hance, left at Crystal, left at Bedrock, left at Walthenburg, and left at Lava. Who knows? It all depends on if I have to lead someone or can just do my own thing. And, yeah, those satellite photos can really help if you're interested in studying different options other than the same ole, same ole.
 

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I have found the files section of the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association to be a wealth of information. Kick in a few bucks for a membership while your there - they are very active in advocating for the private boaters.
 
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