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of Guide to the Colorado River through Grand Canyon by Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis:

by National Oudoor Book Awards 2007 Winner for Outdoor Adventure Guidebook

For whitewater river runners, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is the pinnacle experience. Now there's a river map and guide to match that reputation. It's built upon a series of 7.5 minute topographic maps, correctly oriented and large enough to read easily from the seat of your boat. Outstanding cartographical work combined with accurate descriptions of rapids, camps and landmarks make this the state-of-the-art of river guides.

Email from Martin the Slovenian kayaker
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 4:02 AM

We also had along with us just about every guidebook we could find (it was our first time for everybody after all, and some very professional and experienced whitewater people had been telling us real horror stories, so we tried to get as much info as we possibly could for on the river. I have been asked by somebody to give my opinion of the guidebooks we had:

- the Belknap Guide is possibly visually the nicest guidebook to look at and it does give you an over all tourist information sort of knowledge of the canyon, but it generally doesn't really help one guide one's way down the canyon and decide where to camp and where to stop much at all. it generally lived inside an ammo box for the whole trip and was only taken out a couple of times more to alleviate the boredom of a dull patch rather than to actually get any information from it. it is a nice book for when you're trying to explain to people back home where you went and how it was though. Waterproof is good, but doesn't really need to be for this book. we found this to be more of a "sitting on a commercial raft with nothing better to do" sort of book.

- the Lindemann Guide does a good job of explaining the rapids, with nice sketches of the rapids with features etc (and quite funny sketches in amongst there as well), this is possibly the most useful book for deciding on what to do when you're thinking about your line at the scout point, and you can combine it with Jim Michaud's guide we found at to get an idea of different approaches to some lines. we thought it'd be really helpful, but then again, given that between half of the team we had some serious whitewater experience, we also didn't really need it that desperately, as we'd clamber up to the scout points and make up our own minds for the lines most of the time, which worked out quite well, but the guide still was a big help with noting and locating e.g. features that were hidden from the scout point and giving us a good idea of what to expect when we couldn't scout or couldn't decide. all in all, we'd heartily recommend taking this along, its not waterproof which is a bit of a downside as this is the book most likely to be pulled out in the gnarly bits. it is also our whitewater runners favourite souvenir book, we'd doodled in our own thoughts and lines in pencil on some of the sketches and its the best souvenir we've got now.

- the Martin/Whitis Guide to the Colorado river is the only one we had that has a serious approach to actually helping you make your way through the canyon. no sketches for individual rapids, but the brief descriptions usually work well enough and can sometimes be a source of much amusement (e.g. for Upset: ...and then there is a line down the middle which is not recommended... is a phrase we'll remember for a while). The serious contour maps are a big help to figuring out where you are, but even to the best orienteers in our group, the maps and outlines were sometimes much of a sameness, hard to figure out which bend of the river you're on. especially since some of the unnoted riffles were just as big as the noted rapids. but all in all, we always knew more or less where we were and if you want a book that will show you were the campsites and the rapids and the sights actually are AND help you find them AND decide which campsites and sights you might prefer, this is the only book that'll help. I'd say even if you needed help on deciding where to thread your way through a rapid, the textual descriptions of the rapids in this book will sometimes work better than pictures, they are sometimes less confusing. if you do need somebody to draw you a picture on how to run the rapid, i'd suggest getting the lindemann and the jim michaud as well, but I do reckon you should not leave river mile 0.0 without the Martin/Whitis guide.

Email from Gary Scovill
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 8:15 AM
I put my Rivermap to the test last year. I have the 1st edition and your 4th edition didn't come out in time to buy one so I figured I try to trash the one I had. I tied a small biner to a 1/8 rope tied to the raft and clipped to the spiral of the map. I left it laying out on the boat the whole trip. It was stepped on, slept on, rained on, (the red waterfall pictures you saw that Richard Johnson took) and all other kinds of abuse. When I got home I wiped down all the pages and it shows no sign of wear except a break in the spiral. I had smashed the spiral on a previous trip and except for some minor hangs ups flipping thru the pages, the spiral still works fine. Great product. Thanks Tom & Duwain. I also have and use the Deso & San Juan maps.

Email from Ruth DeBoard
Sent: Thu 11/29/2007 11:05 AM
...I purchased and used a copy of your newest guide on my August 2007 trip on the Grand and found it to be an outstanding trip essential. One of our trip participants lost his copy of the guide above Phantom Ranch. He was sad of course. The good news is it was found on a rock by a party travelling several days behind us. They contacted me when they got off the river, to return the book, but also made the comment that it was very useful to them as well since no one in their party had a guide as updated as yours....

Email from Gale Jenkins
Sent: Wed 4/19/2006 5:12 PM
As a foot note.....I was digging through the ruins of my house [in New Orleans post-Katrina] last weekend and unburied the first copy of Guide to the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. It looked pretty bad,but after we washed it you can hardly tell it from the new one!