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Any River Running Climbers Floating Around On MP? : )
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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 13, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Hi all!

I'm just curious to see if there are many river runner climbers floating around here on MP. I've developed a love, and an appreciation for rivers, inspired by the stories of John Wesley Powell, and other early explorers of the American West. I would love to hear from fellow climbers who are also river runners on their favorite sections of rivers to paddle in the west, and why. I'd better mention that I'm a rookie, just starting to learn how to whitewater kayak, so if I don't understand river lingo, please bare with me.

Edit to add: Yes, I could just post on a paddling website, but MP is my favorite site to surf. ;

Please feel free to PM if some areas are more secretive. I'll be sure to respect the privacy of those special, more remote areas.


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Aug 13, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks

I was a seasonal river rat for ten years, but gave it up for climbing. I used to guide all over Colorado, Utah and Idaho. Great rivers at all those locations. The Middle Fork of the Salmon is totally magical. But not for a beginner....
If you hit the flows right, many stretches of the Colorado are super friendly for noobs. A great rivet/climbing trip is the Moab area. Climb your heart out and on the rest days do the "Daily", which is the Corado river from Dewey Bridge to Moab. No permit needed and most is class I with a few riffles.
Have fun on the rivers!!! I highly recommend taking a swift water rescue class. That is some good stuff.


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Aug 13, 2012
rockerwaves

I got to do the entire Grand Canyon about 14 years ago with only one other person in my boat. It was a life changing experience!

Andrea and me in the Grand <br />Photo: Lerinzo
Andrea and me in the Grand
Photo: Lerinzo


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 13, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Awesome info. Mia, thanks! I'm learning the basics right now from a friend who is an experienced Class V paddler, but will check into a swift water rescue class. I'm excited!

PS, cool pic, Olaf- Glad you got to experience that! So lucky!


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By Tim McCabe
Aug 13, 2012

Paddle sports are great fun. And just like climbing there are lots of ways to get after it.

When I first got into it play boating, surfing mostly, and I was mostly into day runs. Now a days I mostly look for multi day canoe tripping style runs.

Spent a few years guiding in Kernville, CA met a few boaters from the Vegas area not too far of a drive for them. The area is kind of a zoo with the LA crowd but there are lots of boaters and it's easy to link up for shuttles.

The Forks of the Kern is a beautiful class V wilderness run starts right below the Sequoia Needles. I mostly only ran it at lower flows when it's more of a IV. Still plenty exciting.

Here in AZ I mostly do canoe runs on the Verde, mostly low water winter trips. It's like backpacking with an unlimited beer and food supply. One of my buddies would give me shit for telling people how great it is to paddle. But the reality is there are few people willing to put the time in to learn the skills to put it together. Not that they don't try but once they suffer thru one trip they never come back.

Have fun and be safe.


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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Aug 13, 2012
old 1/4" bolt.

Dirty Gri Gri......I've had the awesome experience of rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on three occasions and it is truly a life altering passage, as Olaf Mitchell indicated. There are dry traverses, bouldering, and magnificent walls to be climbed. I had gazed longingly at many of the lines that Caldwell, Rodden, and McNamara climbed and wrote up in Rock & Ice maybe 8 years ago. The Redwall Cavern is awesome, an overhanging ampitheater with endless overlaps above a football-sized sandy landing zone. Perfect for rainy/stormy days. It would be great to have a permit and the time to raft, climb, and explore the many facets of the 270+ miles of the Grand Canyon portion of the Colorado River, again.


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 13, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

My friend who is teaching me, and who is willing to take me out is mostly into hard core playboating (park, and play) but my goal is to work up to the fun, and beautifully scenic, multi- day river runs. I figure if I do enough park and play stuff in a playboat successfully, I'll be able to develop the skills needed to be able to read water , which can help on the multi-day river trips. Does my plan sound sensible? : |

Edit to add: Cool stuff, Benjamin, and Tim! : )


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By Dustin Drake
Aug 13, 2012

Unfortunately I don't live out west, but I am an avid whitewater kayaker. If you can follow your friend into playboating I think that would pay off a lot for you. The boat handling skills will pay off a lot if your ultimate goal is to do hard difficulty river running.


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By Steve Powell
From Alhambra, California
Aug 13, 2012

I am also a noob when it comes to kayaking. I've had a lot of fun with the trips I've been on.
Just wondering, anyone familiar with the Alpacka rafts? super lightweight, and you can float rivers with lower cfs levels.
I also recommend the Liquid Logic brand of kayaks(XP 9 or 10).


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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Aug 13, 2012
Cool snow formation at the base.

Here's some sick whitewater right by your house Gigi.


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By Tim McCabe
Aug 13, 2012

Doing the park and play thing will certainly help build you boat handling skills.

A big part of mutliday stuff is basic camping/outdoor skills you likely already have.

I got to a Grand trip back in 08 it was definitely a trip of a life time. Tho it can take a life time to get a permit. Maybe not as bad as it used to be. The trip we went on the permit holder had been on the list for over 10 years.

Sqwirll nice dry wash running vid. I'll have to dig up the pic of me running the Santa Cruz river/dry wash near my house. Everybody tells me I was lucky not to get busted. Local LEO's just wouldn't be able to comprehend that I was perfectly safe out there. Too many rescues of people who go in/drive in without a clue.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Aug 13, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!

Yeah, worked as a river guide through college, and have done most sections of the Colorado system (including several trips with some MPers). Eastern rivers like the New and the Gauley are nice, too, but I really like the laid back, wilderness nature of Western river trips the best.


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By Tim McCabe
Aug 13, 2012

Steve Powell wrote:
Just wondering, anyone familiar with the Alpacka rafts? super lightweight, and you can float rivers with lower cfs levels.


I have only seen one once, but yeah people are doing some pretty cool stuff with them.

In combination with a snow/sand bike riding the Alaska coast line. Got cliff-ed out no problem blow up and boat load up and paddle around to the next beach.


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 14, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Here's some sick whitewater right by your house Gigi.

>.

Any burros or Sqwirlls floating in that there wash? : )

Thanks everyone for all the great info. thus far- Really appreciate it, as I'm pretty new to the sport.


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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Aug 14, 2012

You owe it to yourselves to plan a dream river/climbing trip down the Nahani river, stopping at the Cirque of the Unclimables. It makes me want to learn kayaking.








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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 14, 2012
Andrew Gram

I've been using a raft for access to unclimbed towers in the desert lately. Combining river running and climbing is great fun.

These are on Ruby/Horsethief, an easy overnight flatwater float on the Colorado:

Leading P3
Leading P3

Moon River

Surf and Turf tower from the east
Surf and Turf tower from the east

Tail Wagger

Besides these towers, there are a few climbed by others and some nice Wingate cragging lines.

In Desolation Canyon, a week long class III trip, we put up this:

The Siren. Climbers on the First Ascent Of "Shake Wait". <br />Photo by Dan Gambino.
The Siren. Climbers on the First Ascent Of "Shake Wait".
Photo by Dan Gambino.

Shake Wait

This is a really proud tower that really needs a second ascent.


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By sonvclimbing
From bolder city
Aug 14, 2012
cowboy over tower

Gigi,

I have always wanted to hike an inflatable kayak down one of the Black Canyon hotsprings, jump in and do an overnight trip to Willow beach.
Yesterday my friend gave me a new 1 person inflatable kayak due to he is moving up north to hop on a ship for a while. My girlfriend and her friend want to go with, so last night I reserved a two person kayak from Sports Chalet that we think we will like. Maybe they will let us test it out in the scuba pool in the back before we spend $500 bucks on it. We have never paddled an inflatable kayak before so this friday when the friend arrives we test them out on the lake hoping to fit all that is needed into them cuz I don't want to have to tow a dingy. Saturday morning we leave, hoping to make it back in time for work on monday. I will let you know how it goes.

PS I failed English class and what's spell check?


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By k. riemondy
From Boulder, Co
Aug 14, 2012

Start putting in for permits all over the west (Grand, San Juan, Deso canyon, 4 rivers in Idaho, etc). If you have a permit, it will be pretty easy to rope in some experienced river runners to take less experienced people.

You won't regret running these rivers.

::Putting in on the Grand, December 21, 2012, Wooooo!::


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By Tim McCabe
Aug 14, 2012

sonvclimbing wrote:
Gigi, I have always wanted to hike an inflatable kayak down one of the Black Canyon hotsprings, jump in and do an overnight trip to Willow beach. Yesterday my friend gave me a new 1 person inflatable kayak due to he is moving up north to hop on a ship for a while. My girlfriend and her friend want to go with, so last night I reserved a two person kayak


I've done the trip with the shuttle permit down below the dam. And I have hiked down to the upper pools of the hot springs canyon, we had hiked up there from the bottom. Carrying all of your gear and boats will be a bit tough I should think. Cool trip, tho I thought it was pretty lame that you have to go thru a bunch of nonsense, they make a big deal out of getting to the base of the dam and then people motor right on up from Willow Beach.

IK's are great for river tripping, easily carry all of your gear, but if the wind comes up they can suck. Lots of motor traffic, on that stretch, tho so if need be you should be able to get a tow.


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 15, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

  • Just read the most recent posts- cool stuff fellow MPs!

sonvclimbing wrote:
Gigi,I have always wanted to hike an inflatable kayak down one of the Black Canyon hotsprings, jump in and do an overnight trip to Willow beach. Yesterday my friend gave me a new 1 person inflatable kayak due to he is moving up north to hop on a ship for a while. My girlfriend and her friend want to go with, so last night I reserved a two person kayak from Sports Chalet that we think we will like. Maybe they will let us test it out in the scuba pool in the back before we spend $500 bucks on it. We have never paddled an inflatable kayak before so this friday when the friend arrives we test them out on the lake hoping to fit all that is needed into them cuz I don't want to have to tow a dingy. Saturday morning we leave, hoping to make it back in time for work on monday. I will let you know how it goes. PS I failed English class and what's spell check?


@ Sonvclimbing- I'd love to hear how your trip goes! Such a coincidence; I kayaked in my inflatable Advanced Elements Firefly today from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach (a mellow 11 miles downstream)It was beautiful. I've taken my inflatable out to Willow Beach quite a few times already, and several other bodies of water such as, choppy Lake Mead quite a bit, and even used it launching, and docking in the waves/surf at the beach (for practice) while ocean kayaking. My inflatable has suffered a lot of beatings, and has held up well, (only had to patch up one minor pinhole so far on the inner floorboard). My inflatable is stable, and is comfortable to sit in, but it doesn't track as well as other boats and I end up paddling hard on choppy lakes, or at sea, and when going upstream rivers, compared to the longer, and narrower hard plastic sit-on-tops I have used which perform so much better. My inflatable is the first kayak I've bought which was just a few months ago (had previously rented or borrowed various kayaks). The main reason I bought it is because it was on sale, and it's easy to store, and transport. I've used it heavily, but I recently bought a Jackson 2Fun (a playboat) for whitewater. I still have a lot to learn, but here's a pic of when I first tried on my 2Fun. Did Eskimo Rolls in it (that was fuc*in hard!) in my friend's pool yesterday, and just found some local Vegas folks to go out to do some whitewater with. The only problem is most whitewater is kinda far from Vegas. : ( . I'll drop you a PM when we head out to the fun stuff, in case you guys wanna join. There's recent talk about (just yesterday, in fact) of gathering up a playboating group on the Truckee River in Reno at some point. The VRG might be an option too. We'll see. I really want to start practicing (as soon as my rolls are more bomber, that is).

You can find great deals if you surf around.
I got one on Craigs list- this Jackson 2Fun set up s w/Werner Paddle for $300- It has never been "oil canned" (I was told to check for that when buying a used boat). : )

My new playboat (for forum post)
My new playboat (for forum post)


My inflatable's first day out at Lake Mead(bought on sale for around $150 at REI outlet-it was already a good deal at $180, but they were having a sale for REI members, so got it for $150).

Inflatable Kayak for forum post
Inflatable Kayak for forum post


At Hoover Dam 8/14/12

For forum post- Paddling from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach 8/14/2012. Excuse the disheveled look- the shuttle folks rushed us onto the water. :/
For forum post- Paddling from Hoover Dam to Willow Beach 8/14/2012. Excuse the disheveled look- the shuttle folks rushed us onto the water. :/


Chillin' in my Firefly at Black Canyon 8/14/12-

For Forum post- My Firefly next to my boyfriend's sit-on-top.
For Forum post- My Firefly next to my boyfriend's sit-on-top.



EDIT to add:

Combining paddling/rivertrips, and climbing like some of the previous posters do would be amazing. I have the camping/backpacking roughing it thing dialed in already, so just need to learn how to navigate rivers, and take a swift water rescue class as Mia suggested, woohoo!

k. riemondy wrote:
Start putting in for permits all over the west (Grand, San Juan, Deso canyon, 4 rivers in Idaho, etc). If you have a permit, it will be pretty easy to rope in some experienced river runners to take less experienced people. You won't regret running these rivers. ::Putting in on the Grand, December 21, 2012, Wooooo!::


That sounds like a great idea! As an inexperienced river noob, at least I'd have something to offer up to some experienced river rats to join me. : )


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 15, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Can any experienced MP river rats suggest any class 2 sections of rivers this time of year off the beaten path where a beginner like me can't get into too much trouble, and where to put in and take out. I'm just in a rush to see how it feels in my playboat. Having experience in canyoneering, I'm aware conditions can change, and it's hard to really say unless you're right there, but any typically class 2s? Have 4WD, will travel. : )

Or a good guide book? : )


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By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 15, 2012
Andrew Gram

Check out americanwhitewater.org for river suggestions.

Its a tough year for water most places. Ruby/Horsethief Canyon on the Colorado is a nice overnight class II. The Green below Flaming Gorge is a lovely class II with one easy class III that you can portage if necessary - you can do up to 2-3 days on that, and the fishing is awesome. Labyrinth on the Green is a nice 3 day flatwater float. The San Juan at low water like now is good in duckies if you can get a permit.

Also, it should be noted that roughing it is generally anathema on river trips. Obesity is a bigger problem than starvation - river people are awfully good cooks and rafts can carry nearly unlimited supplies of beer.


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 15, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Andrew Gram wrote:
Also, it should be noted that roughing it is generally anathema on river trips. Obesity is a bigger problem than starvation - river people are awfully good cooks and rafts can carry nearly unlimited supplies of beer.


What??! No one is into the rancid slabs of salt pork, dry biscuits, and dried apples that Powell, and his crew practically lived on, on the river? : ( I bet they had good booze, though.


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Aug 16, 2012
rockerwaves

Andrew Gram wrote:
rafts can carry nearly unlimited supplies of beer.


"An acceptable level of ecstasy." Lyle Luvett    <br />Photo from the Olaf Mitchell collection
"An acceptable level of ecstasy." Lyle Luvett
Photo from the Olaf Mitchell collection


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By Tim McCabe
Aug 16, 2012

Two day Forks of the Kern trip Needles in the background.
Two day Forks of the Kern trip Needles in the background.




When your local river only runs a couple of times a year you have to run it.
When your local river only runs a couple of times a year you have to run it.




Falls on Brush Creek Kern Valley, CA.
Falls on Brush Creek Kern Valley, CA.




Running the Verde tandem.
Running the Verde tandem.


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
Aug 16, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Awesome shots, Olaf, and Tim- Thanks for sharing! Takes me back on the water. : )


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