Upset Rapid

About Upset Rapid

Scout Upset on river right. The pull-in for the scout is along the rocky shoreline, a few hundred feet above the start of the rapid. The name Upset comes from Emery Kolb turning his wooden boat over here in 1923 on a USGS survey trip, called the Birdseye Expedition. This was the group that left their inscription way upriver at mile 16.

How to run Upset Rapid

Upset rapid’s main feature is a large hole at the bottom center of the rapid. Many rafts have flipped in this hole. It is possible to run left or right of the hole. A left run starts with center-to-left momentum at the top and works down the left side of the rapid, staying off of the left cliff. There is a left lateral right above the center hole that can surf boats into the hole if it is not either passed on the left or hit with sufficient momentum. Make sure to keep pushing as you run the left side.

A right run is a dry run and is done by entering center-right and pulling right to stay close to the shore and pass by the hole. It is a tight line so make sure to maintain your angle. The current tractor beams into the hole so a lost angle at the top of the rapid can be devastating.

Video of the left line

left line at the top of upset rapid on the grand canyon

Entering Upset. This boater is going for the left line. Note the slight left angle. He is entering with plenty of right-to-left momentum.

right line at upset rapid in the grand canyon

Entering upset. This boater is going for the right line and is holding his angle as he pulls towards the right shore.

The left line is the more exciting run at upset rapid

Punching through the bottom of the rapid just to the left of the big hole. Perfect line!

the easier and drier right line at upset rapid

A clean right line. The boater straightened out his angle at the bottom once he knew he was clear of the hole.