So yesterday (11/18/2015) was a good day for me. I wouldn't say that I styled Horn, Granite and Hermit Rapids. But I didn't flip and stayed in my boat, which is a massive success in my books.
Today was a different story. Horn is rated 7-9, Granite and Hermit are 7-8. Out of 10, the rapid rating scale is supposed to tell you how difficult it is supposed to be. The numbers fluctuate, because it depends on how much water is in the river when you hit the rapid. The one big rapid that we had today, Crystal, Alan asked me to cheat. Basically, you stay away from the big waves and skirt around anything dangerous. The last time that Alan was in the Grand Canyon they got a boat pinned on a rock after Crystal Rapid for several hours. You do not want to get your boat pinned. It means that part of your group is down river and another part of your group is upriver, stuck against a rock in the river. Crystal Rapid is gnarly in 1980 when the river was running at 100,000 cfs there was an explosion wave that was 30 feet high. People died. We were running at less than 15,000 cfs, but Crystal is not a place to mess around, so I skirted the rapid and made a video of them going through.
Unlike yesterday I did not stay in my boat the entire day. It was a rough day for me. After Crystal, none of the rapids were above a 6, they were 'easy'. Regardless, I got hit my waves, or flipped in weird currents. My success from yesterday was merely luck and today the Colorado had decided to remind me that I was not in control.
This first video will show you just how quickly the water can destroy you. After I get knocked out of the boat I flip it back over and start to self rescue, only to get knocked out again, immediately.
As the day went on I started to narrate my rides down the river. Sitting in silence and letting the water throw me to and fro was demoralization. The narration gave me a sense of calming, simply by speaking my actions out loud, I felt like I could do something, nevertheless I was still at the mercy of the river...