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Body Hilleke will be the youngest kayaker to navigate the Grand Canyon according to family heritage – Colorado Sun – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2020-10-30 06:20:00 –

Originally from Glenwood Springs, 10-year-old Body Hilleke is the youngest person in history to kayak the entire Grand Canyon and navigate a mile-deep canyon over the 280-mile range of the Colorado River. Here he is rowing the lava waterfall, the most challenging torrent in the Grand Canyon. (Special to Polly Hilleke and Colorado Sun)

Body Hilleke did not have to run the Piercing Ferry Rapid on the Colorado River. He has already successfully rowed the entire river 280 miles from Leeds Ferry and has become the youngest person to kayak the length of the Grand Canyon. But when the Grand Canyon faded into Lake Mead, he paddled and was rarely navigated with his father and brothers in danger.

“I think the piercing ferry was probably the scariest,” says a 10-year-old kid from Glenwood Springs. “But I thought I wouldn’t come back for a long time, so I thought I should do it only then, rather than regret it on my way home.”

The youngest paddler in the Hilleke family, including legendary kayakers Tommy Papa, Polly Mom, Dax brother Dax, 11, Daniel, 13 and 14, Kelly, will kayak the Grand Canyon in 18 days this month. did. World record as the youngest kayaker to navigate a 1-mile-deep canyon. (Family and friends have submitted documents to the Guinness World Records.) But they didn’t do it for glory. Body and his family because that’s what Hirequez is doing. They are pursuing adventure in every situation.

“We always did what Tommy and I liked and brought them,” Polly said, recalling carrying the boy in his backpack on hiking and ski trips. Two expert paddlers easily kayaked the river with the boy while the baby was being pushed into the boat.

“We were playing with the kids, but they never stopped,” says Polly.

Body began kayaking at the age of five and spent hours kayaking chasing his brother during the descent of the main fork of salmon in Idaho. Last summer he started sticking his roll. Paddle sweep operation was needed to correct the upside down boat. “He just decided he wasn’t going to swim anymore,” says Polly, after missing a roll and swimming out of the boat at the bottom of the raging Warm Springs rapids on the Yampa River earlier this summer.

“He hasn’t swam since then,” she says.

In that non-swimming summer, three trips to Idaho, a few laps of Numbers and Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River, a run down the Westwater Stretch on the Lorado River, and the waves of Glenwood Springs near my home. Included some major river adventures, such as time.

The 10-year-old Body Hireke will see the Grand Canyon for the first time in early October. This month, Glenwood Springs’ fifth grader has become the youngest person in history to kayak across the 280-mile range of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Hilleques completed a two-week trip to Salmon’s Main Fork, Idaho earlier this summer, and after a 17-hour drive, collapsed into Glenwood Springs’ home late Saturday night. Two days later, Polly left Thursday after being informed that the salmon middle fork permit had been revoked.

“I got home from work on Monday, and she laid out all the gear and backpacking food, Jetboil, and all the dry bags with sleeping bags,” he travels as he just got back to work. Tommy couldn’t say the snowmass ski area after a 10-day vacation. “I was a little jealous, but at the same time I was very happy because she was able to do it.”

Polly and the boys stayed home for two more days when they embarked on an additional six-day river trip in Idaho. It was the first independent trip of four paddlers. I mean, the squid didn’t pull their gear. All their food and essentials were packed behind the kayak.

A poly-packed snack bag for each of her boys and two lyophilized backpacker meals for each dinner. They did little feast. Kelly burned his snack bag two days later. Body continued him for four days.

“Then I’m really hungry,” says a fifth grader at Carbondale Community School.

At 65 miles, just over half the middle fork, the Backcountry Flying B Ranch offered hope to replenish those depleted snack bags. However, the ranch was wiped out.

“I spent $ 60 on peanuts,” says Polly. “Everyone got two packs. We made it work.”

Making it work is part of Hilleke’s mantra. The boys pushed each other with every effort. All four are members of the Aspen Valley Ski Club, Kelly and Body focus on big mountain skiing, and Dax and Daniel are pipe skiers and park skiers. Over the past few years, each year the whole family has hiked and skied Mount Sopris at 12,966 feet.

And, of course, the youngest in the group is growing with the fastest clips. This is a scenario found in outdoor sports, where some of the best athletes grew up chasing older siblings.

Tommy and Polly wondered about the Grand Canyon when the body strengthened their kayak this summer. He had the skills, so if they managed to get permission, the body could be the youngest person to navigate a range of 280 miles. That wasn’t the only reason to get off the canyon, but it certainly sparked a quest to see if it was possible.

Polly has had her name in the Grand Canyon permit lottery for 20 years since high school. Hillekes attempted to revoke the permit from August to September, when he was unlucky. They emailed and called the Grand Canyon Ranger weekly to check for cancellations. Then, on Friday, in late September, the Park Service Ranger, which manages the permit system, announced that it had a rare fall permit available in October. The first person to arrive at the office on Monday at 8am may have it.

Read more about Colorado Sun’s outdoor stories.

On Monday morning, all the phones at Hilleke’s house were redialing in an attempt to get through. So did my friends and family all over the country. Tommy’s mom in Alabama happened to arrive at the Grand Canyon Ranger office.

“My mom was talking to Ranger and Polly was emailing a guy about trying to get permission, and he asked my mom,” Is your daughter Polly? ” “That’s what Tommy says. “My mother just gave him Polly’s number, and he immediately called us.”

And Hirequez had their golden ticket. They recruited Tommy’s sister and her family. His parents. Some expert guides. They were 16 people on an 18-day trip. Eight of the 16 were children aged 8 to 14, and four of them were kayaking.

The Hireke boys scout Hans Rapid in the Grand Canyon. (Special to Polly Hilleke and Colorado Sun)

The body was a little timid for the first few days, but “eventually the game definitely started,” says Tommy, a pioneering kayak superstar in his teens and twenties.

Carbondale’s friend Ian Anderson joined the trip. He was last in the Grand Canyon in January, but he was sitting backwards and it was almost dark. And his efforts (more than 30 hours of constant rowing) did not set a speed record for the US rafting team.

This time I brought my 10-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter and rowed my raft.

“It was really, really inspirational to be with my kids and see all those finke boys sitting paddling in some of the biggest holes and waves in the Grand Canyon.” Anderson says.

The Hireke boys ran the hardest and most violent line of any rapid. There, Polly, a seasoned kayaker, but playing a little more conservative than her husband and boy, was rowing around a large hole.

“The joke of the trip was that the boy ran meat and poli, she ran vegetables,” Anderson says.

Anderson says it was “great” to see eight kids experience the Grand Canyon.

“They had such positive energy, this awe and wonder, and this true enthusiasm for life. They sprinted every hike to every little side canyon,” he says. .. “It made the trip very special as a parent.”

(This may be a good place to note that the body wasn’t the first 10 years old to set a record in the outdoor territory from Glenwood Springs. June 2019, 10 year old Sera Schneiter 3,000 Became the youngest person to climb-step into El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.)

Body Hilleke said his favorite moment in the Grand Canyon was this longest surf ever. (Special to Ian Anderson and Colorado Sun)

It’s hard to row nearly 300 miles in 18 days. Especially on flat areas between rapids. The body flagged a bit in those slow sections and he fell back behind the group.

Hillekes is not the parent of the helicopter. They will make sure their boys are safe in the big torrents, but in those flat spans they just let the kids do so.

When he was late, his parents cheated his body with a light meal.

“He was really impressed by the rush and hard work, but I’m sure there was a moment when he was motivated by just a snack,” Anderson says. “I sometimes hang out and say I have a Swedish fish in my body, which will be a few more miles away from him.”

Tommy and Polly have always confirmed that the body is not suffering just to set a record. They told him he could crawl on the raft at any time.

“I said I would unplug it when it wasn’t interesting, but he never stopped,” Tommy says. He admits that there were tears in the lasting flat mile under the last major rapid.

After taking the raft on the official end of the Grand Canyon, the Pierce Ferry, and leaving everyone else, Tommy took the boys to check out the infamous Pierce Ferry Rapid, about a mile downstream of takeaway. Rarely flowing rapids are the most difficult in a canyon, just as a river makes a sharp turn to Lake Mead.

Kelly was fired to do it. When Kelly tried to do it, so did Daniel. Tommy, Dax, and Body have installed safety devices over scary holes, ready to throw ropes if Kelly or Daniel gets stuck. The brothers rowed cleanly. And it influenced Dax. And because the body wasn’t the only brother who didn’t row it, they chased their dad through what’s in the most challenging torrents across the Colorado River.

“I was very confident, the line was completely legal and I believed in their ability to do that,” says Tommy. “But I had a little trouble wondering if this was a loose decision for parents. I don’t know where they are trying to believe in their level of competence and keep it safe, but then. I think it was pretty close. ”

Anderson said seeing the athletic performance of the Hireke family was “something special.”

“We are confident that we will read and see what the Hireke boys are doing great in the future,” he says. “This is just the beginning of the family.”


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