Posts tagged: grand canyon
NATIONAL PARKS — They waited years to draw a permit and planned for months for their big float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon — one of the greatest whitewater trips in the world.
RIVERS – Lynn and Stan Mrzygod will recount their recent 30-day, 300-mile, self-guided winter excursion through the wild rapids in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in a slide program sponsored by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club on Monday, 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear corporate offices, 6021 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley.
This ought to be an excellent way to chill out after a busy weekend.
TRAIL MAPPING — Soon you'll be able to look intimately at a trail on your computer or smartphone before launching out to hike, bike or ride a horse on it.
Google has begun applying it's Street View technology to the backcountry.
In its first official outing, the Street View team is using the Trekker—a wearable backpack with a camera system on top (see video above)—to traverse the Grand Canyon and capture 360-degree images of the breathtaking natural landscapes.
Google said the new imagery would soon be making its way to Google Maps.
See details on the project in this report from the Associated Press.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Two of three California condor chicks that hatched in the Grand Canyon of Arizona earlier this year are doing well, including one that recently took its first flight from the nest.
The other surviving chick is flapping its wings and hopping around its cliff-cave nest, indicating it's ready to fledge, too.
The third chick recently perished, possibly from a fall from the nest, but not before the three chicks and their parents set milestones for recovery of the endangered species:
“We remain hopeful that the two remaining chicks will join the ever-growing flock,” said Eddie Feltes, field manager for The Peregrine Fund, an Idaho-based conservation organization that oversees the condor recovery program in Arizona and southern Utah.
Read on for more details.
BACKPACKING — Two Gonzaga University students vacationing in May near Grand Canyon National Park Gonzaga played key roles in saving a man's life.
According to a story from the GU News Service, nursing student Maggie Clark and accounting student Julia Biemann saved a man from drowning after they'd hike in 11 miles to Havasu Campground.
The man had been swimming in whirlpools churning beneath 200-foot Mooney Falls on Havasu Creek, a Colorado River tributary in the Grand Canyon some 120 miles northwest of Flagstaff. The vortex caused by the falling water apparrently suck him back toward the falls where the currents forced him underwater for several minutes.
The story explains how a nursing student put her skills to work and how an accounting student with climbing skills honed in GU classes gave the story a happy ending.
RIVER RUNNING — We're just getting the first reports from a Spokane group that bagged their Grand Canyon rafter permit after 15 years on the waiting list. Sounds like it was a great reward for years of anticipation.
“Off the river and all is well!” reports Penny Stauffer Schwyn, known to Spokane outdoors enthusiasts for her Specialty Outdoors gear repair business.
“Temps did exceed 115 at times,” she said. “Great runs through Crystal, Hermit, and Lava.”
Great runs and no carnage through the biggies is whopper good news.
PADDLING — Typically the Grand Canyon is floated by raft because of the length of time it takes to boat the roadless stretch of the Colorado River.
Most trips take 12-21 days to negotiate big whitewater and long stretches of flatwater.
All the skills requirements are amplified for the few self-supported kayakers who attempt to carry all their gear – including the required “groover” and fire pan.
But Scott Sills and Mike Copeland proved it could be done in a 16-day December adventure they launched in creek boats stuffed with 250 pounds of gear.
They’ll present a program on the trip (and tell whether they could Eskimo roll a kayak that heavy in the canyon’s huge water) Monday, 7 p.m., at the Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland, sponsored by Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club.
RIVER RUNNING — Rafters who have the do-it-yourself skills for big water have until Feb. 23 to apply for a coveted permit to run the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.
The National Park Service is holding its annual lottery this month to assign launch dates for private river trips through the cayon.
The lottery system replaced a years-long waiting list in 2006.
The Park Service will award 436 permits for 12- to- 25-day noncommercial trips on the Colorado River. The permits are for specific launch dates in 2012.
Additional draws will be held for the self-guided trips that are canceled or left over after the Feb. 23 application deadline.
The main applicant must be 18 years or older, and at least one person on the trip must be experienced in whitewater rafting.
Check out the video above to see if you're ready to handle Lava Falls.
WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS?
A rafting trip on the Colorado River requires the luck of the draw or a hefty withdrawal from your savings account.
Not many years ago, rafting permit applicants got on a waiting list that ran as long as 20 years.
Since 2006, around 8,000 applicants vie for permits in a lottery system.
Chances of drawing a permit for a specified date are about 1 percent.
Therefore, most people who want to go on a Grand Canyon rafting trip before they die pay dearly for the privilege. An 18-day trip through 47 major rapids rated 5 or above on the Grand Canyon scale of 1-10 will cost around $4,800.