Grand Canyon Speed Descent

On Friday January 13th, at 11pm, two of our own – Ian Anderson and Seth Mason – with six friends, many from Goat Gym, embarked on likely what is the journey of their lifetime, so far. A non-stop descent of the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon. 277 river miles through some of the most mind blowing stunning landscape and harrowing rapids. Most people spend weeks navigating this terrain, camping and spending time on the river. These men chose a different goal, do it in one push, through two nights, with a specialized boat, lighting systems, and months of focused training. The act of shoving off and committing to what was going to be 30+ hours of non-stop rowing, navigating day and night, is some what heroic in and of itself…Training and shooting for a movie - “The Time Travelers” –  a new speed descent record is the stuff dreams are made of.  The story, the team, the training, the goal were all kept under the radar until the team made their attempt.

The descent was a success, they made it through safely and were short of a record due to the most difficult variable: running complex rapids in huge water, in the dark, which is unavoidable in a single push effort.  A broken frame, and subsequently a punctured raft tube running Lava at night.  The tube was repaired and they were forced to limp it with a broken frame at slower pace the remainder of the journey. Their total time was 39 hours: they finished, happy, successful, a bond between these men was created like no other it will never be severed.

These men are fathers, husbands, run their own businesses, busy people, with busy lives. Yet here they are, they did the work, made the commitment and pulled off something so few have ever attempted. I couldn’t be more proud of Seth and Ian and the entire team.

A number of articles have been written about the team’s speed descent and are worth the read…Denver Post, Gear Junkie, and a wonderful write up by Jack’s Plastics, who supplied the tubes for the boat.  And, if you’d like to know more about the history of a single effort push down this pristine and protected national treasure, read the “Emerald Mile” by Kevin Fedarko.

There is also a film, created by Forest Woodward and Gnarly Bay Productions, sponsored by Chaco and others, which will be released nationwide at REI stores March 3-9, 2017.  If you’re in Seattle, Denver, Washington DC, Bloomington MN, or Atlanta GA, don’t miss it!   There will also be an opportunity to view the film for free, online, at REI.com and Chaco.com starting March 13th.  Finally, if you’re here in Carbondale, it will be shown during the FivePoint Film Festival in March.

We are incredibly proud of these men, fathers, husbands, teammates and friends.  Strong work lads!