Hiker's Special GC River Trip

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Hakatai
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Joined: Jun 25 2006 12:57 pm
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Hiker's Special GC River Trip

Post by Hakatai »

I am leaving for a GC river trip on Sat., swamping a commercial trip. I used to guide and still like to work one every now and again. Swamping is so much better because I don't get the stress of taking the paying customers through the nasties (Hance, Crystal, and Lava).

I am wondering if there is interest from the HikeAz crowd for setting up a hiker's special. Basically doing a charter trip that focuses on doing significant hikes in the canyon. Utilizing the speed of the motor rafts to set up for some awesome hikes. It is something that has been on my mind for years. The trip would be 8-12 days and in April or Sep. April would be the best weather wise for hiking. The hikes would be tough with some class 3 and 3+ on occasion.

Before booking the dates I would like to get some feedback on the interest level. Figure a little less than $200 a day for the trip cost. I need a group of 12 or 24 or there abouts. So over the next couple of weeks please sound off and let me know if there is any interest in this type of thing.

Thank you.
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Hoffmaster
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Post by Hoffmaster »

I am interested and know of at least 3 or 4 other people who will probably be interested as well. I am good at influencing my friends! :D
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown
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Hakatai
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Post by Hakatai »

Great, I am hoping to gain some interest so that I can get the spots lined up. A standard commercial trip just doesn't have the time to do a lot of substantial hikes. Besides the typical river trip has such a wide variety of fitness and hiking experence levels that some of the more sporty hikes are just not feasible. A hiking based river trip would be a hoot.
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hddan
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Hikers river trip

Post by hddan »

I'd be interested. What time of year and what concessionaire are you looking at?

Dan
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Nature Nut
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Re: Hiker's Special GC River Trip

Post by Nature Nut »

I'm in! I should be able to get a few people to go as well. April is better for me.
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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Hiker's Special GC River Trip

Post by Al_HikesAZ »

In response to Hakatai's reply:
April after April 15th for me.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney
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Hoffmaster
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Post by Hoffmaster »

On second thought, I'm gonna sit back and watch this forum for a while till some details (like dates) are hammered out. I might have to pass, cause this might come awfully close to overlapping my trip to Alaska next year. Poor me. :lol:
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown
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AZHikr4444
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Post by AZHikr4444 »

200 bucks a day for 8 days. I'm sure thats par for commercial trips but...

I wish!
A true outdoorsman, when treed by a bear, sits back and enjoys the view.

Lost? Hell, I ain't never been lost. But I have been a mite confused for a week or two.
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hikeaz
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Post by hikeaz »

AZHikr4444 wrote:200 bucks a day for 8 days. I'm sure thats par for commercial trips but...

I wish!
I did a 21 day GC trip in '02, but it was a private (vs. commercial) trip. Out costs were $750. TOTAL (per person), including raft/gear rental, food, beer and shuttles.
It's just a shame that the commercial companies get 93% of the access, so much access that anyone can go at a moment's notice commercially and a private river-runner has to wait upwards of 15 YEARS for the same opportunity.
So much for the "all men are created equal" line..... (stepping down from the soap-box now)
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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PaleoRob
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Post by PaleoRob »

The new plan should (hopefully) help with some of that. I talked to a GC river ranger at Lee's. She said that the lottery system should help out with the wait (and that's more in line with other managed rivers here in the SW, like the San Juan). Plus, she said there will be longer private trips through the winter as well.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
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hikeaz
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Post by hikeaz »

PageRob wrote:The new plan should (hopefully) help with some of that. I talked to a GC river ranger at Lee's. She said that the lottery system should help out with the wait (and that's more in line with other managed rivers here in the SW, like the San Juan). Plus, she said there will be longer private trips through the winter as well.
Yes, a "lotto" will be instituted soon ('09?) And, yes, there will be a few more winter trips allocated. (Note: the commercial co's gave up ZERO, the "new" dates were merely added.)
Note: while backpacking in GC in the winter is great, rafting, conversly is COLD. Practically no sun reaches the river anywhere along the Canyon.
That's why there are NO commercial trips in winter. Zero.
What, IMO, happened is that a not-so-tasty bone (that the big dog, the commercial co's,didn't want anyway) was thrown to the non-commercial citizens is all. Why? Well, mostly because the NPS was sued for their mismanagemant of the resource and secondly, IMO, this bone got the non-commercial citizens to "sign off" on the lotto system without the commercial co's needing to give up one inch.
The waiting list (over 8500 at last count- when the commercial co's had/have almost NO wait), was an embarrassment to the GCNP. It also QUANTIFIED the number of unsatiasfied citizens. The "lotto" system serves to mask the "real" demand. (Note: the 8500 is merely the permit holders, up to 15 passengers/fellow boaters could be included on the one permit - so the pent-up demand was quite a bit higher than 8500 )
It's interesting to note that the BLM, on some permitted western rivers, just switched the OTHER way... from "lotto" to waiting list. Go figure.
http://www.blm.gov/utah/price/riverinf.htm#Effective

(Note: The San Juan is regulated by the BLM and has no where near the demand as the Colorado through Grand Canyon -
As an example:I have applied for, and RECEIVED a permit for the SJ the last five years. Whereas the folks that are headed into the GC now got on the waiting list (unless gleaning a cancellation) about 1994!
If the GCNP hadn't changed to the cloaked, lotto system, the wait would have swollen to over 22 years by next year.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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PaleoRob
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Post by PaleoRob »

Wow, lots of information there.
Anyway, to respond to "'09?", I think its actually (late)'07, based on what I remember the GC ranger telling me.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
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hikeaz
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Post by hikeaz »

PageRob wrote:Wow, lots of information there.
Anyway, to respond to "'09?", I think its actually (late)'07, based on what I remember the GC ranger telling me.
You are correct!
I just viewed a reply from Steve Sullivan @ the river permit office and, in fact, there will be a few (201) launch permits issued through the 2006 (newly initiated) lottery for 2007. Notes: 48 of these are "reduced size" trips with a maximum of 8 participants (down from the customary 16) AND, prior to this, there were approximately 450 (16 person) permits used yearly.

The NPS strong-armed a reduction in the waiting list by effectively forcing short-timers (folks with < 10 year wait on the list WHO WOULD LOSE THEIR SPOT UNDER THE NEW PLAN) to band together their waiting list numbers so as not be excluded under this new plan. These would be folks who waited 10-12 years for their "trip-of-a-lifetime" only to have the NPS "pull the rug from underneath them. So, now, you don't parcipate with your family & friends as originally planned, but, rather, you are now boating with folks who you may not know, just to get on the River. Moreover, you're not taking (up to) 15 other folks of your choosing, but rather, maybe 3, because you have had to share the spots with 4 or 5 other boaters & their loved ones.
So, the "missing" 250+ launch dates have been/are being assigned to these 'communal" trips through, I believe, 2011, while the lotto will run concurrenty.

The 64 thousand dollar question remains, though.... how does a change in the methodology of issuing permits correct the gross disparity in the allocation of the permits between commercial and non-commercial boaters?.

Allocation inequity aside, I firmly believe that everyone should see and hike the Grand Canyon from a boat; but not everyone has the needed skills and gear. So, a fall trip geared towards hiking is a terrific idea - I'd also say, though, that a hybrid trip, whereby one can, themselves, paddle through the rapids in a paddle-boat, but with motor-rig support would add some further excitement.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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