Grand Canyon River Trip.... March 8th-24th 2016

Discussion in 'Canyoneering' started by ram, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. ram

    ram Member

    Messages:
    78
    Was not sure whether this should go "On the Water" forum or in the canyoneering section, as the trip was a hybrid between the two. I was given an invite to join a 30 day private trip with some old adventure partners and several folks I had not met before. I gladly accepted. I entered on the trips 9th day, hiking in to Phantom Ranch area via a fine canyon called Garden and left the trip 16 days later at Diamond Creek. I wrote up Garden as sort of a story, but most of the collection is some commentary and pictures. A long post with a lot of picture. Hope you enjoy.
    Ram

    The day had arrived. I was to join a Grand Canyon rafting-canyoneering hybrid trip. I had been on the first of these, 5 years earlier. After a day of scrambling in the Arches area, I met Hank at the outfitters, in Flagstaff. We were to hike down to Phantom Ranch the next day, from the South Rim. The trip had started at Lee's Ferry 9 days before. Hank and I were on board for 16 days in the middle

    We drove from Flag to the South Rim, in Dan and Lindsey's van and camped on National Forest land. We were set up well in the lap of luxury, by our friends. Good thing too as the temperature was 21 degree's that morning. We met Chris P. and Bill who were also joining the trip. I invited Sara and Chris G. to join us for the day. Somehow we missed connections with Sara, but Chris joined us for the canyon and hiked out the same day. His skill was helpful, as many on the river trip, while first rate backpackers and hikers, were not always experienced with technical canyons, let alone C rated (flowing water) canyons. He made several new friends on the day and I suspect he will find his way onto exploration trips in the canyon, in the future, with the prime Grand Canyon exploration group.

    Those leaving the trip, along with most of the folks staying on the trip, hiked up from the river to the top of the canyon, where our small group, met them coming down from the rim, before 10 AM. We had about 12 folks and split into two groups for the canyon. Hank, just on the trip for 3 hours was immediately promoted to leader of one of the groups.

    It turned out, that water was quite high and 'pushed" us around a bit. It took most of the day to make the descent. When it was over, Chris G. headed up, a few folks along went off on their own cross country trip, inside the canyon and us folks new to the trip, tried to integrate into the new routines....which was to hike down to the river, join a boat and ride through Horn Rapid, one of the canyon's larger rapids. Then to camp for our first night and help as we could with meal preparations.

    So many routines to grasp. So many new names to place with faces. For the next 15 days, I would have no contact with the outside world, privileged to join one of the premiere adventures in the world, with its most adventurous practitioners. Pictures?

    Tame elk on the rim
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    Hank and Chris G.
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    Long way down
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    Bandito Dan Ransom, sad to be headed out
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    Rich Rudow...superstar
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    Rickie Dee
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    Bill Church, plying his trade
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    Can you see Rich manning the anchor up and left of the rapper?
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    Chris F.
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    Doug
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    Chris P
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    Bill with the sharp eye
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    Down to the river
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    Dale, the permit holder. Thanks Dale
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    Felicia and I beg onto Rickie Dee's boat....decades a rafting guide
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    DNally and the P brothers
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    Sun going down
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    Horn Rapid (corrected)...game on
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    The full album of pictures?
    https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/GardenCreek3816#

    1. Now for the hike up Trinity and the river, including a flip in Crystal Rapid

      Felicia
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      Reflection in a pothole....liquid gold
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      The full album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/TrinityCrystal#

      A very long day, to do two short Tapeats slots. Life in the Grand...It better be "about the journey" too!

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      The rest of the pictures
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/WhiteAndRedwall#

      Shinumu Creek and Elves Chasm day

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      The rest of the picts
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/ShinumuCreekElvesChasm
    1. Randy's Rock, my favorite camp, sheltered us from the only rain on my 16 day part of the trip. Rather than rain, one could call it some sprinkles. The boats needed hauling back into the water, as they were high and dry. Lift, pour water under and push/slide down the sand. Some white water followed. The loop up Tapeats Creek to the Thunder River, over Surprise Valley and down to Deer Creek was all new, except the last 3/4 of a mile. A lovely camp at Deer Creek rounded out a full day

      Boats to the water
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      In the Grand canyon, they call this a trail
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      Now in Deer Creek
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      The full album of pictures from this section
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/ThunderRiverToDeerCreek#

      We woke to some light dew, the only time on my part of the trip. Rode the boats down to Olo Canyon, where some climbed the 5th class pitch and a 1.5 to 1 haul system was set up to get the rest of the folks up. Something similar for the 2nd drop was used. This allowed access to the beautiful Mauv section. There is a great Temple Butte section above, for those that do the whole canyon from the top, which is a bit of an expedition. Later, we rode the short distance to the Matkat hotel.

      The Boss Applesauce
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      fULL ALBUM HERE
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/OloCanyon#

      Next installment

      Panameta Canyon is one of the gems of Grand Canyon. It is an expedition from the rim, taking several days minimum. From the river, it can be a very long and physical day trip, involving jumbled boulders, miles on the bench in the sun and a substantial exit, to experience, the polished, cold heart of this beautiful canyon. Rick Demerest is an extraordinary fella. An owner of a river rafting company for I think it was 35 years, he had turned back from Panameta, having run out of time, in 2011. So it remained on his radar and last month was his opportunity for a return engagement. So, Rickee D., a week short of his 72nd birthday styled the long day and now has the canyon securely in his memories. A remarkable accomplishment for anyone....but 72? REALLY? KUDOS!!!

      Up thew hill from camp early AM
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      Up Matkat Canyon
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      Burro couple on the bench. heard they mate for life? True or rumor?
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      Dinner. With their numbers, the place is being stripped
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      Rickie and Rich...in the goods
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      Hey Rick! ....Yeah?....Click
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      Peek-a-boo
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      Smiling Chris
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      Patterns of rock intrigue me
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      Almost home...finished by headlamp
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      The rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/Panameta


    2. After the long day in Panameta, the group had a short river run to 150 Mile Canyon. 150 is about the longest slot in Grand Canyon, with great Redwall, Temple Butte and Mauv narrows all. But I had been up the slot 3 times and down it twice, so it was the logical day for me to do some recovery. I slept on the boat for hours. Then I wandered the beach, watched Upset Rapid for a time and went to the mouth of 15O Mile canyon when I heard the voices of my partners coming down. Then it was down to the Upper Ledges Camp, which was a very beautiful and aesthetic camp indeed.

      After i woke I did my only video...Upset Rapid. Hope you can access it
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/150MileCanyonToLedgesCamp#6268830629962690706

      Moss coated rock in the tidal pool
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      The end of 150 Mile
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      For 10 minutes about 1:15 PM the sun shone into the slot
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      Then some folks came down the way up
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      Others came down the slot...saying the bottom of this downclimb was quite hairy
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      Down the polished drop
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      And happy about it
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      Back on the river
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      To the Ledges Camp
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      Stuff on the boats....stuff off the boats....stuff, stuff, stuff
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      Folks passing through
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      dinner time
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      Fire reflection off water fluted Mauv rock
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      Rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/150MileCanyonToLedgesCamp


    3. The next day, we hit the river and stopped at a canyon called Paradise. Some stayed and saw all 4 falls. Most saw 1 falls and got back on the river to Havasu. I wanted to make it up to the Falls, the pictures I have seen for half a century, but alas, I would have been an hour late for the deadline. As much as I wanted to go, I didn't want to be "that guy" more. I made it up a bunch of miles to some nice spots, but then turned around
      leaving Ledges
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      Paradise
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      Havasu
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      The rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/ParadiseAndHavasu#

      I did Rocky Point Canyon 5 years ago. Time for a return engagement. A lovely 5 rap thing in polished Redwall limestone. What was unusual about the day was.....it didn't take all day. Just about all of it, but not all. I started long before the others...some exposed bypass moves got the blood flowing. Trailed everyone across the bench to the canyon head. Strolled home with Rickie Dee telling those type of stories.....the ones about your history, that bonds a friendship deeper.

      Lovely approach via Tuckup Canyon
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      The texture of Mauv
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      Peter thru the rabbit hole ;-)
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      Conglomerate Bridge
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      Mr. Church....In the canyon
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      Big Al
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      Mr. Dee
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      Rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/RockyPointCanyon#

      How do you know something is beautiful? I say...You know it when you see it. The technical section was short. The approach long and fortunately, the post tech section, a wonderful section, proved lovely, making the day a huge success. Also watching Mr. Rudow do a canyon that he had not done? Priceless! The canyon is called Micrometa

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      Rare sighting
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      Find Waldo
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      Soaking a sliver of sun
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      The rest of the album here
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/Micrometa#

      Next? Woke up in National Camp. Floated to a canyon called Fern Glen. The group went up. I stayed on the paco pad on the boat, exhausted from yesterday's efforts. Hank took my camera and snapped off some shots for me....and now you, so we can see what it looks like. later in the day....Lava Falls. Al in the pack raft got to swim. Others stayed upright. A lovely day

      Dale...ready to go
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      More liquid gold
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      Fern Glen...thanks Hank
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      Awesome shot Hank
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      Where they found me
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      On a past trip, Denali Mike climbed up there, I am told
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      We are first thru Lava, Rickie styling it, as far as I can tell. From here we watch others
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      Al??? Where is your boat?
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      There it is
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      Pete says he will get it...when he isn't so busy
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      Back in the saddle again
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      Safe landing. Alive below Lava (ABL)
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      Rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/FernGlenAndLavaFalls

      First the heat...some of us would hide up canyon and nap in the PM. Then the wind. More hiding. But more important, start early and row hard....finish early as the PM winds tend to be stronger. Then there is time for other diversions, so common on the river, but unusual for time to be found for such things as horseshoes, for this crew.

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      Selfie.
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      Tents hard to erect in the gale
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      Rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/WhitmoreToSpringCanyon#
      Ram, Yesterday at 12:04 PM Edit Report

    4. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures as much as I have sharing them. Thanks to Dale and crew for having me along. Pretty amazing place, huh? And these albums represent just 15 of the 30 day trip!! Double your pleasure for many of the folks featured in the albums.

    5. The last album includes Surprise Canyon followed by some river travel, a last night in the canyon and being dropped off at Diamond Creek

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      Transition instructions and a poem
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      The last mile for me
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      The rest of the album
      https://picasaweb.google.com/108034287150978265447/SpringCanyonToDiamond#

      Hope you enjoyed....
      Ram
     
    Curt, danger02ward, Parma and 16 others like this.
  2. Bryan Harwood

    Bryan Harwood Member

    Messages:
    26
    wow, thats my dream trip! F#@kin good on ya!
    sweet ass pix too
     
  3. Jackson

    Jackson I like to go outside.

    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Wow. What a beautiful bunch of pictures. Looks like a great time. I was mesmerized by the golden reflection in the potholes.
     
  4. River

    River Member

    Messages:
    403
    Location:
    Idaho
    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share! So good it probably belongs both places.
     
  5. AustinCronnelly

    AustinCronnelly Butte Rat

    Messages:
    110
    Wow, thank you for taking the time to post!
     
  6. Dan_85

    Dan_85 Member

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    London, UK
    Awesome pics, beyond jealous. If someone told me I could only ever do one more outdoor adventure in my life, this would probably be it.

    I wanna raft the GC so so bad. I came very close to booking a "Baloney Boat" trip for this summer but didn't do it. I figured that with it probably being a once in a lifetime thing, I would rather do it the "proper" way in a Dory, even if that meant taking an extra year to save the extra money to do it in 2017. Fingers crossed...
     
  7. BJett

    BJett Member

    Messages:
    421
    Location:
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Just awesome. Thanks for taking me back. Tuckup Canyon was my favorite layover camp in that giant playground. Great pics.
     
  8. powderglut

    powderglut In search of Fresh

    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Steamboat Spgs Co
    This is epic. Pics and TR are awesome!! Very few people do a Grand Canyon float and "canyoneer" all the side canyons. Rock star trip!!!!
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Post 'em if you got 'em!

    Messages:
    11,272
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Wow. Thanks, @ram.
     
  10. Vegan.Hiker

    Vegan.Hiker TR or it didn't happen

    Messages:
    1,763
    Location:
    Mahwah, NJ
    Wow, somehow missed this before. I'm speechless Ram! I'm going to have to spend some more time soaking all this in. The rapids at lava falls look like they lived up to their reputation.
     
  11. slc_dan

    slc_dan Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior

    Messages:
    1,266
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Great, Great, Great stuff @ram, thanks for posting and sharing with us.

    After reading the Emerald Mile, I thought the same. After thinking about it deeper, to me the best part of The Canyon won't be spent on the boat, but the days between. It's a little ways off till I can consider, but I've come to the realization that I'll take whatever will be offered to me, as long as it's a long trip. 30 days. I want to walk around the areas that take so long to get to without floating.
     
    Nick, Dan_85 and Vegan.Hiker like this.
  12. Parma

    Parma @parma26

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, Utah
    This trip is OK, if you like amazing whitewater, canyoneering, memories for a lifetime, hanging out with friends, and epic views in the Grand Canyon.
     
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