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pack rafting marble canyon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by robert kyslovsky, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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    I have crossed the Colorado in marble canyon on two occasions, and both times the conditions were perfect--mile temps, good sun, zero wind...BUT I wonder at what point wind becomes a nuisance, and at what point it becomes downright dangerous? I realize when floating downriver that canyon winds often seem to be blowing up river and thwarting efforts to gain distance on the river. A friend coming down from Waterholes spent many hours in the boat fighting such winds. But as far as simple crossings, at what point would you consider the winds to be nuisance and at what point do you hang it up and wait for a better day? I am thinking light variable winds, no problem. Ten to 15 miles per hour though probably equal nuisance winds, and more than 15 mph, better off waiting for a different day. Anyone had any experience performing a ferry in such conditions? Any thoughts here?
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The good news is that being only 2 feet off the water at the tip of your helmet, the pool-toy operator does not cut much of a wind profile. We did 2 miles downriver two days ago with a stiff up-canyon breeze, and it was annoying, but not troublesome. Difficult to paddle in any direction other than downriver, as the paddles threw spray into your face. Difficult to be close to another paddler for the same reason. Made control of the craft and care in waves even more tenuous than normal. We were blessed to be on a section of river where there was pretty good current almost the whole way (unlike that stretch from Waterholes down).

    But yes, there are times when going out on the water in windy conditions would be ill-advised. Hard to quantify with numbers, since it depends on the specifics of the river in that section, plus the desperation of the crew. Plus other factors.

    Tom
  3. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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    "...Plus the desperation of the crew"

    Agreed, many factors, desperation not the least of them in some situations I suppose.
    Sounds like you folks just had some hard paddling, fighting the wind whist trying to ride the current. Some spray from the blades. But otherwise, wind for you did not seem to be an issue.

    Tom you do mention going downriver was pretty much the only direction you could have gone under the circumstances...what would a simple ferry have been like in such conditions? On the one hand I am thinking the up canyon breeze would help one in the ferry process from drifting too far downstream (useful if obstacles or rapids are down stream a ways). Other than that seems it would be a pretty much regular ferry with additional paddling and a fair degree of spray, sounds like?
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    One of the points I was TRYING to make was that the pool toys are so close to the water that the wind is less of a factor than it is in a "real raft".

    One could certainly arrive at the river and find getting on the water untenable. The level of the river varies a lot. Normal now is (perhaps) 7000 to 14,000 CFS. But it would be a shock to come down and find a high flow experiment underway (30,000?). Or winds high enough to make it a huge struggle.

    Tom
  5. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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