Trip ReportTwenty-one Days in the Grand Canyon – A Climbing et al. TR
The NPS email indicated that I’d won a Grand Canyon noncommercial river lottery launch date for March 2nd, 2017… a 0.84% probability or one in one-hundred nineteen…
We oared about eighty miles in the first week…
Notable acmes were: Lower Sheer Wall and North Canyon hikes, Fence Fault to Silver Grotto canyoneering and packraft to South, a brief hike at Nautiloid Canyon; Kwagunt Butte climb via Malgosa; the lower Vishnu Canyon narrows; and some fun climbing at Grapevine.
Tooth Rock, Vermilion Cliffs.
Give or take about twelve Penske trucks high.
Upstream of Sheer Wall Rapid.
Approaching Shinumo Wash from Fence Fault. Photo: L.Tomasi.
Packrafting into South Canyon. Photo: M.Hylland.
Downstream of Saddle Canyon after our fourteen hour sandstorm with ten minute rain burst bivy.
Keith and Marty on the morning approach.
Malgosa Crest, upstream Marble Canyon.
Saddle Mountain and Nankoweap.
Chuar Butte and Awatubi Crest.
Lower Malgosa Canyon.
Sixtymile Canyon Redwall route, Chuar Butte approach. I soloed this route four months before the river trip.
Zuni Point from Upper Rattlesnake.
Comanche Point from below Rattlesnake, morning of eighth day.
Vishnu Canyon. Photo: M.Hylland.
We interchanged on the ninth day and camped downstream at Lower Trinity, setting us up for Granite and a climb of MCP.
J.Idaho above the crux in his approach shoes.
It was cool to see Jeff & Mikey show up...
Granite Rapids and Tower of Set.
Highlights of this second leg also included: Ninety Four Mile to Tower of Set, brief climbing at Below One Hundredten, Explorers Monument, Lower Blacktail, the Deer to Tapeats Creek loop hike and bouldering at Pancho's Kitchen.
Day eleven, Tonto Plateau above Ninety Four Mile. Hermit Canyon and Yuma Point, S.Rim.
After this first significant Supai cliff, the three of us traversed west, then separated for a few hours, eventually finding different and similar routes through the red maze of cliffs.
I'd led the second band on a previous trip to Horus Temple. This second time free seemed easier. We'd have to find another way down.
Photo: T.Martin. April, 2005.
North of Set's summit, Horus stretches to Osiris and Shiva Temples, Dragonhead at the col right of Claude Birdseye Point and Confucious Temple far left. Photo: M.Frye.
West from summit over Ninety Four Mile and the first Redwall isthmus of the Tonto Crystal traverse.
Dana Butte, The Battleship, Bright Angel and Yavapai Point. Obvious Tonto trail of Salt Canyon at lower right.
Turnaround time for Crystal Rapid goal. Descending off the east side of Set.
I think this is about where I ran out of food and water (5pm). Photo: M.Frye.
It was a classic GC underestimation that even experienced hikers can still make. Six and a half hours later, we were eating dinner leftovers at Crystal. I inadvertently woke Johnny when unloading my gear from his boat. He swore he'd been checking for us every eight minutes since seeing our headlamps above Boucher Rapids. Sure you were buddy?!
It was about a twelve mile hike. We had missed Hermit and Boucher Rapids, but the river party had a new water pump battery. Thx Ceiba!
We floated ~twelve river miles on day twelve, arriving at One Hundredten before noon.
We chilled in the shade below One Hundredten and climbed some easy routes on this face and bouldered the narrow ledge above the river.
Some of the filthy monkeys overseeing the Canadian conquistador replusion?!
I think one of the Canucks apologized a few days later for trying to commander One Hundredten.
Day thirteen, from below One Hundredten, W.Ball early shuttled us through Hakatai & Walthenberg Rapids to the Monument fault...
...@ ~RM (116.2) where Marty and I cached the duckies. We'd meet them at Big Dune later.
The SSE Monument Fault.
There was about a hundred feet of roped climbing in the Muav and Temple Butte limestones. An exposed ledge hop beyond an existing bolt was the unprotected crux.
Explorers Monument summit, my 125th! Photo: M.Frye.
Mount Huethawali, South Bass; Darwin & Drummond Plateaus.
The Apache Plume.
Truffula tree. Photo: M.Frye.
Redwall bypass downclimb. Photo: M.Frye.
Since we'd only brought a hundred foot rope, we rapped the first bolt to an overhanging ledge, placed another sketchy bolt and rapped again.
Floating downstream, the start of Stephen Aisle near Elves Chasm.
De Vaca upstream of Dinosaur.
It's tough to see in this photo, but some of the fishers were trolling at Dinosaur when we arrived.
Big Dune. Larry Lindahl Photography.
N.Rehfeld at Lower Blacktail, morning of the fourteenth day.
I duckied after lunch, paddling clean runs of Specter (6), Bedrock (7) and Deubendorff (7) Rapids.
It reminded me of how fun it is... so I duckied most of the rest of the trip, but safely skipping Upset Rapid and Lava Falls.
We boated to Tapeats Creek on the fifteenth morning, dropping off thirteen hikers and three boats.
Johnny and Wayne oared a boat each and I duckied downstream to Deer Creek. The Helicopter Eddy ducky was somewhat stressful. Some serious circulation in that monster.
We'd cross paths with the others at Thunder River.
Deer Creek area.
Looking back west at Cogswell Butte and Surprise Valley.
Tapeats Creek overwhelmed by Great Thumb.
Downstream again for group pickup at Deer Creek.
Deer Creek Falls.
Day sixteen through twenty-one continued below as comment #23
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