Update for White House to Lees Ferry:
Our group of four made it through.
Dates: 4/18 – 4/21
Day 1: 10 miles to Wall Spring.
Day 2: Wall Spring to mile 20.
Day 3: mile 20 to finish (finished around 1am on 4/21).
We chose to take Klymit Light Water Dinghy’s with us (about 5#), inflatable vests, and emergency paddles with the idea to float some sections if deep/slow enough.
Overall, lots of water in the Upper and Lower Narrows miles 4 – 16. Max depth encountered was about mid abdomen on a hiker 5’6″. Knee length Seal Skinz and waist high 2mm Neoprene used. Water is COLD but the neoprene and Seal Skinz made it so I barely noticed the temperature. Careful on the neoprene: it can dehydrate you easily when trekking in sun-exposed segments so be mindful of hydration.
There’s a fair amount of mud and quicksand all throughout the Upper and Lower Narrows. Use trekking poles to scout it.
Miles 16 (start of Boulder Alley) to mile 33 are, in my opinion, the most dangerous. The scrambles through this section are with fast flowing water and some scrambles with rock debris akin to chossy rock (very unstable and crumbly) that go right up to cliff edges (one had a ledge of only about a foot that went straight over a cliff). Lots of climbing/elevation gain. Change out of neoprene if hot (but it also cushions your bottom as you’ll be on it to slide down some of the embankments). Boulder fields in this section that are extensive and easy to lose the trail so watch for the cairns to help guide you in this section.
Wilson Ranch around mile 33 had a few decent ground springs flowing.
Easily the most beautiful, yet most dangerous hike I’ve done to date.
WATCH THE WEATHER. There was evidence strewn through the narrows of people who got caught up in flash floods recently. Sobering and a reminder to NOT GO in these canyons if rain is in the forecast (rain on snow creates a high likelihood of flash flood events with the current snowpack situation).
Bonus treat: stop at the bridge over the Colorado near the beginning of Lees Ferry Road (the visitor center/bathrooms)….17 California Condors are hanging out there thermal soaring. A rare and beautiful site.
I appreciate all the help and advice offered by the group.