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Little Colorado

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Anton Solovyev, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I am gathering information for a hike in Little Colorado gorge. Would like to do a 3 day backpack and see the Blue Spring, Sipapu and terraces and blue water.

    Thinking to enter the gorge via the "Horse trail" and exit via Walter Powell route.

    Some questions:

    1. What is the distance from the Blue Spring to the confluence? Time required? Not planning on flotation other than packs with dry bags.

    2. Is the water in Little Colorado really drinkable? Some mixed messages on that account.

    3. What is it about flash floods in that area that makes them apparently so sudden (read about George Mancuso incident)? Are there places to wait out a flood?

    Thanks!

    --

    Anton Solovyev
  2. rich_rudow

    rich_rudow Guest

    Hi Anton, I'm not sure when you plan to go (right now would be REALLY hot), but I heard a rumor of a new book coming out next week that would answer all of your questions about that hike and many more :)

    Walter Powell is much more difficult than Horse trail. Horse trail is a real trail. Walter Powell is not and it involves difficult class 4 climbing, scrambling, and route finding. Some people do fine on those types of routes but many don't. And during the summer you'll fry your hands on the climbing parts. I would instead suggest an exit out Salt Trail Canyon. It's more of a route than Horse Trail but it's easy to follow and you won't need to use your hands except for a short distance right near the rim. You can hike from Salt Trail 5 miles to the confluence (past the Sipapu) and back as a day hike. There is a hidden spot under the trees at the Salt Trail junction with the LCR that affords nice shady camping. It's used by the wildlife biologists that study the humpback chub. An alternate is to exit into Grand Canyon on the Beamer Trail then exit up Tanner trail to the rim. Todd Martin, Todd Seliga and I once left the Salt Trail camp and exited up Tanner to the rim in one day. But that was in November, not during the hot summer.

    It's about 12 miles from Blue Springs to the confluence. The hiking below Blue Springs is refreshing but very slow. The LCR runs through the Redwall limestone gorge wall to wall and you'll be in the water, up to chest deep, much of the time. About 3 miles below Blue Spring on canyon left is a "flat spot" on a debris fan that is a heli-pad for the wildlife biologists. Once you hit this spot, stay on canyon left following trails that the biologists conveniently created. After Atomizer Falls you'll cross the LCR to canyon right and stay right until you hit Salt Trail Canyon. I would plan 5 hours, at least, to get from Blue Spring to Salt Trail, and another 3 hours to hit the confluence. Below Salt Trail you'll stay on canyon right for about one mile until the trail through the reeds peters out, then cross on one of the terraces to canyon left for a trail the remaining way to the confluence. It's easy to walk past the Sipapu without noticing (I once did!). But please respect the Hopi beliefs and don't get on it or in the sulfury water. I would take your time to enjoy the Blue Springs to Salt Trail stretch. It's especially scenic.

    Water: yuck! It's terrible and won't fulfill your thirst, but it won't kill you either. It's better to drink it than to get dehydrated. Truth be told, we cached water at Waterhole and Big Canyons on our thru-hike so we didn't need to drink the LCR water. But I know a lot of people that have drank it and they're still alive today!

    Flash Floods: I wouldn't do the hike you're suggesting in Monsoon season. The LCR drainage is well over 200 miles long originating in the White Mountains of AZ which have been getting plenty of monsoon storms lately. On my drive through Cameron on Aug 7 the LCR was running. You can expect quicksand right now. It's best to wait until early Oct for this hike to avoid the heat anyway. There are many places below Blue Spring where you could not escape a flood. By the time you hit Salt Trail you wouldn't need to worry about getting out of the flood path, but you might need to worry about being stranded in a crappy place for a day or two while the flood subsides.

    For a canyoneer to hike thru the LCR and not descend some of the finest slot canyons in the area would be a travesty. I would highly recommend that you have some technical canyoneering fun along the way. Pick up Todd Martin's book next week and you'll see what I mean.

    BTW - Mancuso and Brehmer died at Emerald Pool in Big Canyon, not in the main LCR. Big Canyon is also a huge drainage extending 15 miles or more. It's one of those that can shine sun on your head while a thundering flood builds many miles away. Big Canyon is also a stunning five star slot. When you get down it you'll realize why Mancusco and Brehmer died. They might have had a warning on the order of 15 seconds and the head pressure coming down on then from the slot above would have been incredible. They had no chance. Mancuso's body was found 6 miles away near the confluence.

    Regards,

    Rich

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Hi,
    I am gathering information for a hike in Little Colorado gorge. Would like to do > a 3 day backpack and see the Blue Spring, Sipapu and terraces and blue water.
    Thinking to enter the gorge via the "Horse trail" and exit via Walter Powell route.
    Some questions:
    1. What is the distance from the Blue Spring to the confluence? Time required? > Not planning on flotation other than packs with dry bags.
    2. Is the water in Little Colorado really drinkable? Some mixed messages on that > account.
    3. What is it about flash floods in that area that makes them apparently so > sudden (read about George Mancuso incident)? Are there places to wait out a flood?
    Thanks!
    --
    Anton Solovyev >
  3. nat_smale

    nat_smale Guest

    Hi Anton,

    Rich gave a lot of good info; I'll just add a couple of words. I entered at the Navajo jewelry market ( a couple of mile below the start of the coconino narrows), and took 2 days to get to Blue Springs. From Blue Springs it took most of a day to get to the Walter Powell Route. The Walter Powell route is spectacular, and if you are up for it, I highly recommend it. It took me about 5-6 hours round trip on a layover day. The following day I hiked down to the Tanner trail and up to the rim. It was in mid-June and was quite hot (108 at Phantom Ranch) but doable because of all the hiking in the water. I never actually had to swim, but did have frequent waist deep water and neck deep once. I drank the water from the LCR for 2 days. It's pretty awful, but it works.

    Nat

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Hi,
    I am gathering information for a hike in Little Colorado gorge. Would like to do > a 3 day backpack and see the Blue Spring, Sipapu and terraces and blue water.
    Thinking to enter the gorge via the "Horse trail" and exit via Walter Powell route.
    Some questions:
    1. What is the distance from the Blue Spring to the confluence? Time required? > Not planning on flotation other than packs with dry bags.
    2. Is the water in Little Colorado really drinkable? Some mixed messages on that > account.
    3. What is it about flash floods in that area that makes them apparently so > sudden (read about George Mancuso incident)? Are there places to wait out a flood?
    Thanks!
    --
    Anton Solovyev >
  4. Rich,

    Thanks for the great and detailed info. I was wondering about the book, thought it would be out.

    Yes, I was thinking early October or after. I would like to catch blue water in LCR, so have to make sure there's been no recent floods. BTW, found this cool tool on the Internet:

    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/az/nwis/uv?dd_cd=01&dd_cd=02&format=gif&period=31&site_no=09402300

    Monsoon events are readily visible on the graph.

    I did the Tanner/Beamer hike to the confluence in March (very good!) and it's definitely an option. Doing it in one day -- wow, that's a big day, 20 miles? 5000&#43;+ feet? However, it seems entry/exit via Powell/Salt Trail/Horse Trail makes for much easier car shuttle.

    rich_rudow wrote:

    > Hi Anton, I'm not sure when you plan to go (right now would be REALLY hot), but I heard a rumor of a new book coming out next week that would answer all of your questions about that hike and many more :)
    Walter Powell is much more difficult than Horse trail. Horse trail is a real trail. Walter Powell is not and it involves difficult class 4 climbing, scrambling, and route finding. Some people do fine on those types of routes but many don't. And during the summer you'll fry your hands on the climbing parts. I would instead suggest an exit out Salt Trail Canyon. It's more of a route than Horse Trail but it's easy to follow and you won't need to use your hands except for a short distance right near the rim. You can hike from Salt Trail 5 miles to the confluence (past the Sipapu) and back as a day hike. There is a hidden spot under the trees at the Salt Trail junction with the LCR that affords nice shady camping. It's used by the wildlife biologists that study the humpback chub. An alternate is to exit into Grand Canyon on the Beamer Trail then exit up Tanner trail to the rim. Todd Martin, Todd Seliga and I once left the Salt Trail camp and exited up Tanner to the ri m in one day. But that was in November, not during the hot summer.
    It's about 12 miles from Blue Springs to the confluence. The hiking below Blue Springs is refreshing but very slow. The LCR runs through the Redwall limestone gorge wall to wall and you'll be in the water, up to chest deep, much of the time. About 3 miles below Blue Spring on canyon left is a "flat spot" on a debris fan that is a heli-pad for the wildlife biologists. Once you hit this spot, stay on canyon left following trails that the biologists conveniently created. After Atomizer Falls you'll cross the LCR to canyon right and stay right until you hit Salt Trail Canyon. I would plan 5 hours, at least, to get from Blue Spring to Salt Trail, and another 3 hours to hit the confluence. Below Salt Trail you'll stay on canyon right for about one mile until the trail through the reeds peters out, then cross on one of the terraces to canyon left for a trail the remaining way to the confluence. It's easy to walk past the Sipapu without noticing (I once did!). But please r espect the Hopi beliefs and don't get on it or in the sulfury water. I would take your time to enjoy the Blue Springs to Salt Trail stretch. It's especially scenic.
    Water: yuck! It's terrible and won't fulfill your thirst, but it won't kill you either. It's better to drink it than to get dehydrated. Truth be told, we cached water at Waterhole and Big Canyons on our thru-hike so we didn't need to drink the LCR water. But I know a lot of people that have drank it and they're still alive today!
    Flash Floods: I wouldn't do the hike you're suggesting in Monsoon season. The LCR drainage is well over 200 miles long originating in the White Mountains of AZ which have been getting plenty of monsoon storms lately. On my drive through Cameron on Aug 7 the LCR was running. You can expect quicksand right now. It's best to wait until early Oct for this hike to avoid the heat anyway. There are many places below Blue Spring where you could not escape a flood. By the time you hit Salt Trail you wouldn't need to worry about getting out of the flood path, but you might need to worry about being stranded in a crappy place for a day or two while the flood subsides.
    For a canyoneer to hike thru the LCR and not descend some of the finest slot canyons in the area would be a travesty. I would highly recommend that you have some technical canyoneering fun along the way. Pick up Todd Martin's book next week and you'll see what I mean.
    BTW - Mancuso and Brehmer died at Emerald Pool in Big Canyon, not in the main LCR. Big Canyon is also a huge drainage extending 15 miles or more. It's one of those that can shine sun on your head while a thundering flood builds many miles away. Big Canyon is also a stunning five star slot. When you get down it you'll realize why Mancusco and Brehmer died. They might have had a warning on the order of 15 seconds and the head pressure coming down on then from the slot above would have been incredible. They had no chance. Mancuso's body was found 6 miles away near the confluence.
    Regards,
    Rich

    --

    Anton Solovyev
  5. Nat,

    Very helpful, thank you!

    nat_smale wrote:

    > Hi Anton,
    Rich gave a lot of good info; I'll just add a couple of words. I entered at the Navajo jewelry market ( a couple of mile below the start of the coconino narrows), and took 2 days to get to Blue Springs. From Blue Springs it took most of a day to get to the Walter Powell Route. The Walter Powell route is spectacular, and if you are up for it, I highly recommend it. It took me about 5-6 hours round trip on a layover day. The following day I hiked down to the Tanner trail and up to the rim. It was in mid-June and was quite hot (108 at Phantom Ranch) but doable because of all the hiking in the water. I never actually had to swim, but did have frequent waist deep water and neck deep once. I drank the water from the LCR for 2 days. It's pretty awful, but it works.
    Nat

    --

    Anton Solovyev
  6. rich_rudow

    rich_rudow Guest

    Anton, that's a revealing graph. There are plenty of places I wouldn't want to be in the LCR at 1,000 CFS! That gauge is located just below the entry Nat that used on his hike on canyon left. In Oct you could try the Walter Powell route as Nat did as a day hike. Then you could at least retreat if you didn't like the route.

    If you enter from the south side of the LCR at the Navajo overlook, where Nat did, then it's natural to exit on Beamer/Tanner to keep the car shuttle short. On that approach the car shuttle is only about 30 minutes. If you come in from Horse Trail then an exit at Salt Trail or Walter Powell makes the most sense. I've been in the LCR many times and it's just not the same under muddy flood conditions. Definitely wait for the Caribbean blue water!

    Rich

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Rich,
    Thanks for the great and detailed info. I was wondering about the book, thought > it would be out.
    Yes, I was thinking early October or after. I would like to catch blue water in > LCR, so have to make sure there's been no recent floods. BTW, found this cool > tool on the Internet:
    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/az/nwis/uv?dd_cd=01&dd_cd=02&format=gif&period=31&site_no=09402300
    > Monsoon events are readily visible on the graph.
    I did the Tanner/Beamer hike to the confluence in March (very good!) and it's > definitely an option. Doing it in one day -- wow, that's a big day, 20 miles? > 5000&#43;+ feet? However, it seems entry/exit via Powell/Salt Trail/Horse Trail > makes for much easier car shuttle.
    rich_rudow wrote:
    > Hi Anton, I'm not sure when you plan to go (right now would be REALLY hot), but I heard a rumor of a new book coming out next week that would answer all of your questions about that hike and many more :)

    Walter Powell is much more difficult than Horse trail. Horse trail is a real trail. Walter Powell is not and it involves difficult class 4 climbing, scrambling, and route finding. Some people do fine on those types of routes but many don't. And during the summer you'll fry your hands on the climbing parts. I would instead suggest an exit out Salt Trail Canyon. It's more of a route than Horse Trail but it's easy to follow and you won't need to use your hands except for a short distance right near the rim. You can hike from Salt Trail 5 miles to the confluence (past the Sipapu) and back as a day hike. There is a hidden spot under the trees at the Salt Trail junction with the LCR that affords nice shady camping. It's used by the wildlife biologists that study the humpback chub. An alternate is to exit into Grand Canyon on the Beamer Trail then exit up Tanner trail to the rim. Todd Martin, Todd Seliga and I once left the Salt Trail camp and exited up Tanner to the ri > m in one day. But that was in November, not during the hot summer.

    It's about 12 miles from Blue Springs to the confluence. The hiking below Blue Springs is refreshing but very slow. The LCR runs through the Redwall limestone gorge wall to wall and you'll be in the water, up to chest deep, much of the time. About 3 miles below Blue Spring on canyon left is a "flat spot" on a debris fan that is a heli-pad for the wildlife biologists. Once you hit this spot, stay on canyon left following trails that the biologists conveniently created. After Atomizer Falls you'll cross the LCR to canyon right and stay right until you hit Salt Trail Canyon. I would plan 5 hours, at least, to get from Blue Spring to Salt Trail, and another 3 hours to hit the confluence. Below Salt Trail you'll stay on canyon right for about one mile until the trail through the reeds peters out, then cross on one of the terraces to canyon left for a trail the remaining way to the confluence. It's easy to walk past the Sipapu without noticing (I once did!). But please r > espect the Hopi beliefs and don't get on it or in the sulfury water. I would take your time to enjoy the Blue Springs to Salt Trail stretch. It's especially scenic.

    Water: yuck! It's terrible and won't fulfill your thirst, but it won't kill you either. It's better to drink it than to get dehydrated. Truth be told, we cached water at Waterhole and Big Canyons on our thru-hike so we didn't need to drink the LCR water. But I know a lot of people that have drank it and they're still alive today!

    Flash Floods: I wouldn't do the hike you're suggesting in Monsoon season. The LCR drainage is well over 200 miles long originating in the White Mountains of AZ which have been getting plenty of monsoon storms lately. On my drive through Cameron on Aug 7 the LCR was running. You can expect quicksand right now. It's best to wait until early Oct for this hike to avoid the heat anyway. There are many places below Blue Spring where you could not escape a flood. By the time you hit Salt Trail you wouldn't need to worry about getting out of the flood path, but you might need to worry about being stranded in a crappy place for a day or two while the flood subsides.

    For a canyoneer to hike thru the LCR and not descend some of the finest slot canyons in the area would be a travesty. I would highly recommend that you have some technical canyoneering fun along the way. Pick up Todd Martin's book next week and you'll see what I mean.

    BTW - Mancuso and Brehmer died at Emerald Pool in Big Canyon, not in the main LCR. Big Canyon is also a huge drainage extending 15 miles or more. It's one of those that can shine sun on your head while a thundering flood builds many miles away. Big Canyon is also a stunning five star slot. When you get down it you'll realize why Mancusco and Brehmer died. They might have had a warning on the order of 15 seconds and the head pressure coming down on then from the slot above would have been incredible. They had no chance. Mancuso's body was found 6 miles away near the confluence.

    Regards,

    Rich
    --
    Anton Solovyev >
  7. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    Just e-chatted with Todd and Steph. It has cleared customs and is in transit to Phoenix. Should be about a week until it is available.

    Tom

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Rich,
    Thanks for the great and detailed info. I was wondering about the book, thought > it would be out. >
  8. Last weekend a group of us six hiked the Little Colorado gorge and descended Big Canyon.

    Beautiful weather and many natural wonders. Big Canyon is unique and wonderful. The river and the blue water are amazing. Sipapu is probably one of the most unique features of the whole Plateau (and holds a dangerous secret).

    Pictures:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/109605876067630099332/LittleColoradoRiver

    I'd like to revisit the river sometime in the future and float down using an inner tube. Late October is actually fine time for that since the water is quite warm. May be June as well?

    P.S. Speaking of water situation. We were lucky in that the biologists and their helicopter delivered our 3 gallons for us. The water from the springs is just quite salty. We used some water we brought from pools in Salt and Big and that was fine.

    --

    Anton Solovyev
  9. RAM

    RAM Guest

    Thanks Anton. I am really glad that folks are getting out doing some of Todd and Rich's routes from the Grand Canyon. It is quite exciting entering the top of the Redwall, is it not? Quite the crew too.Carol, AJ and is that Rom? Love to hear AJ's and/or Carol's take on this adventure too.

    Couple of questions.....the Redwall layer often lends itself to knot chocks, using so little webbing as to be hard to find the webbing. Those type anchors and pinches are common. What did you folks encounter anchor wise? Old or the original webbing?

    Recently I descended a new slot with lots of travatine and/or moss on the walls. There was no evidence of past descents and in places it was impossible not to flake off bits of the stuff. Felt really badly. Looked like the first falls maybe one could get right of the travatine LDC if an anchor would cooperate? The others look harder to avoid. Is this build up more resistant to traffic than what I recently encountered? Hate to see that stuff chewed up.

    I am guessing that this canyon and overnight was on the Navajo Land and that Cameron would be the closest permit office. How was the experience of getting the permit? I don't think you need a GC Park permit, do you?

    Looks really great. Thanks for sharing R

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Last weekend a group of us six hiked the Little Colorado gorge and descended Big > Canyon.
    Beautiful weather and many natural wonders. Big Canyon is unique and wonderful. > The river and the blue water are amazing. Sipapu is probably one of the most > unique features of the whole Plateau (and holds a dangerous secret).
    Pictures:
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109605876067630099332/LittleColoradoRiver">https://picasaweb.google.com/109605876067630099332/LittleColoradoRiver</a
    > I'd like to revisit the river sometime in the future and float down using an > inner tube. Late October is actually fine time for that since the water is quite > warm. May be June as well?
    P.S. Speaking of water situation. We were lucky in that the biologists and their > helicopter delivered our 3 gallons for us. The water from the springs is just > quite salty. We used some water we brought from pools in Salt and Big and that > was fine.
    --
    Anton Solovyev >
  10. Ram,

    You guessed correctly on the group members :) Still waiting for AJ to get back to hear their stories about other canyons this week.

    ***

    Anchors were somewhat unusual to me. The very first one was "normal", a loop of narrow black webbing around a pinch between two rocks. Looked fairly old. Probably an original by Tom and Rich?

    The second one I did not inspect trusting Rom and his backup, apparently a knot chocked in a crack.

    The third one was funny. A chockstone(s) in a small crack. I expected it to be natural and hence solid and started wiggling on it and... to my surprise it just came apart with no effort. A loop of the same black webbing. "Interesting". Eventually AJ rebuilt it, but we all just downclimbed the travertine slope. I was proposing removing this anchor all together to force the next party to build their own (?)

    The last anchor was something: a fist-sized rock in a horizontal parallel slightly flared out crack. Seemed solid, but I could not really tell what held it. Same black webbing. Instead we rapped of a big rock slung with a loop of webbing, it seemed installed by a different party than the rest of anchors.

    So, in summary I would say it's very different from what we used to in Utah and do watch out. *Very impressed* by the anchor building skills of the Grand canyoneers.

    ***

    On damaging the travertine. I think the wet and new stuff is quite delicate. I would guess people are doing some damage. It seems it grows out of the mix of algae and calcium deposits; feels like corals; very fragile.

    You are exactly right, the top travertine slope could be downclimbed on the right, LDC. The stuff there is fortunately a completely dry solid limestone, with a lot of large pockets and features. Quite easy, but steep and exposed.

    ***

    I'll respond via e-mail about the permits.

    RAM wrote:

    > Thanks Anton. I am really glad that folks are getting out doing some of Todd and Rich's routes from the Grand Canyon. It is quite exciting entering the top of the Redwall, is it not? Quite the crew too.Carol, AJ and is that Rom? Love to hear AJ's and/or Carol's take on this adventure too.
    Couple of questions.....the Redwall layer often lends itself to knot chocks, using so little webbing as to be hard to find the webbing. Those type anchors and pinches are common. What did you folks encounter anchor wise? Old or the original webbing?
    Recently I descended a new slot with lots of travatine and/or moss on the walls. There was no evidence of past descents and in places it was impossible not to flake off bits of the stuff. Felt really badly. Looked like the first falls maybe one could get right of the travatine LDC if an anchor would cooperate? The others look harder to avoid. Is this build up more resistant to traffic than what I recently encountered? Hate to see that stuff chewed up.
    I am guessing that this canyon and overnight was on the Navajo Land and that Cameron would be the closest permit office. How was the experience of getting the permit? I don't think you need a GC Park permit, do you?
    Looks really great. Thanks for sharing > R --

    Anton Solovyev
  11. Jenny

    Jenny Guest

    Anton, I've enjoyed your photos and the comments back and forth about your trip. I had to smile at some of your reflections on the anchors. It spurs me to offer a verbal bow-down to Rich Rudow. I have NEVER seen anyone more creative with anchors. He is masterful and beyond creative with natural and insanely inobvious configurations that work! Then, with an abundance of humility, he'll credit others with such skills. Quite the experience, eh? Thanks for sharing.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:

    > Anchors were somewhat unusual to me. <snip?
    The last anchor was something: <snip
    So, in summary I would say it's very different from what we used to in Utah and > do watch out. *Very impressed* by the anchor building skills of the Grand > canyoneers.

    > Anton Solovyev
  12. Thank you, Jenny!

    Jenny wrote:

    > Anton, > I've enjoyed your photos and the comments back and forth about your trip. I had to smile at some of your reflections on the anchors. It spurs me to offer a verbal bow-down to Rich Rudow. I have NEVER seen anyone more creative with anchors. He is masterful and beyond creative with natural and insanely inobvious configurations that work! Then, with an abundance of humility, he'll credit others with such skills. Quite the experience, eh? > Thanks for sharing.

    --

    Anton Solovyev
  13. rich_rudow

    rich_rudow Guest

    Hi Jenny, I'm blushing from the kind words :) After building 500 anchors in GC (between Todd and I) you tend to get good at it. And bolts are really not a practical option. They take a very long time in the hard rock causing emergency bivvy risks in the big drainages (beside being illegal now). It also helps to have Tom, Sonny, and you along at times to bring a fresh perspective. But we often get looks of disbelief in our anchors from people who haven't done much GC stuff. The rock is harder and more reliable where the slots are located than Navajo sandstone. And you can take advantage of the many cracks and holes in the rock.

    With that said, I'm glad to hear that Anton was thinking on his feet. Many of our anchors will make people uncomfortable and they should check them and replace them if they aren't satisfied (and please take the old webbing out). When Todd and I first did those canyons we went light on gear and took many shortcuts along the way. We did not think about the people coming behind us. We were worried about getting out and rationing gear to be sure we could get out. When you build the anchor you know what to do and what not to do. I remember many instances of load testing in very particular directions and very careful weighting and rappelling very smoothly. And we would back them up often until the last guy. You don't get that view when you come upon and anchor later. Finally, GC has epic flash floods which require careful inspection of any existing anchors. What once was good could now be bad (or gone).

    The 3rd rap in Big Canyon is a good example of us not thinking about those coming behind us. It was designed to be weighted down only. The rock used as an anchor would move, but was secure if weighted down. If someone jumped on the anchor and leaned out .... YIKES!

    So nice job Anton on catching that one! And I'm glad you guys had a great and safe time. BTW - the last anchor with the black webbing was ours. I know of four parties that have been down that slot since we did the first so it sounds like there is an alternate for the last rap.

    Regards,

    Rich

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Jenny" <jenny.carverbc@...> wrote:
    Anton, > I've enjoyed your photos and the comments back and forth about your trip. I had to smile at some of your reflections on the anchors. It spurs me to offer a verbal bow-down to Rich Rudow. I have NEVER seen anyone more creative with anchors. He is masterful and beyond creative with natural and insanely inobvious configurations that work! Then, with an abundance of humility, he'll credit others with such skills. Quite the experience, eh? > Thanks for sharing.
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@> wrote:
    > Anchors were somewhat unusual to me. <snip?
    > The last anchor was something: <snip
    > So, in summary I would say it's very different from what we used to in Utah and
    do watch out. *Very impressed* by the anchor building skills of the Grand
    canyoneers.

    Anton Solovyev >
  14. chris

    chris Guest

    Hi Anton,

    Really enjoyed your report and photos.

    The fifth anchor, on canyon right, was actually mine from a descent 2 weeks earlier. I actually didn't spot the one under the ledge until I had started the rap. I was a little embarrassed at the amount of webbing I ended up using, but I ended up having to deal with a nasty rope-a-ghetti snarl about halfway down, and was glad I was hanging from something a little less dependent on alignment. At least it wasn't visible from the pool at the base!

    I actually found that third anchor to be fairly mobile as well. I played with it a bit, directionally weighted it as best I could, and ended up doing more of a rope-assisted downclimb for that drop. I'm really glad that it wasn't at the fourth rap, where there was the little free-hang in the scallop.

    I did cut away some tan webbing from the 1st, 4th and 5th anchors-all looking a little worse for wear. The one at the fifth was on the anchor I ended up using.

    Rich, I'll have to echo the comments on the overall nature of the anchors. Very creative! I was really impressed with the second one, which required a bit of bouldering to access. I will note that there is a small arch about 10-15' below the lip of the drop-possibly a spot to re-rig if there is a concern about the pull on shushing falls. Seemed solid, although I didn't do a really hard test..

    Chris H.



    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@...> wrote:
    Ram,
    You guessed correctly on the group members :) Still waiting for AJ to get back > to hear their stories about other canyons this week.
    ***
    Anchors were somewhat unusual to me. The very first one was "normal", a loop of > narrow black webbing around a pinch between two rocks. Looked fairly old. > Probably an original by Tom and Rich?
    The second one I did not inspect trusting Rom and his backup, apparently a knot > chocked in a crack.
    The third one was funny. A chockstone(s) in a small crack. I expected it to be > natural and hence solid and started wiggling on it and... to my surprise it just > came apart with no effort. A loop of the same black webbing. "Interesting". > Eventually AJ rebuilt it, but we all just downclimbed the travertine slope. I > was proposing removing this anchor all together to force the next party to build > their own (?)
    The last anchor was something: a fist-sized rock in a horizontal parallel > slightly flared out crack. Seemed solid, but I could not really tell what held > it. Same black webbing. Instead we rapped of a big rock slung with a loop of > webbing, it seemed installed by a different party than the rest of anchors.
    So, in summary I would say it's very different from what we used to in Utah and > do watch out. *Very impressed* by the anchor building skills of the Grand > canyoneers.
    ***
    On damaging the travertine. I think the wet and new stuff is quite delicate. I > would guess people are doing some damage. It seems it grows out of the mix of > algae and calcium deposits; feels like corals; very fragile.
    You are exactly right, the top travertine slope could be downclimbed on the > right, LDC. The stuff there is fortunately a completely dry solid limestone, > with a lot of large pockets and features. Quite easy, but steep and exposed.
    ***
    I'll respond via e-mail about the permits.
    RAM wrote:
    > Thanks Anton. I am really glad that folks are getting out doing some of Todd and Rich's routes from the Grand Canyon. It is quite exciting entering the top of the Redwall, is it not? Quite the crew too.Carol, AJ and is that Rom? Love to hear AJ's and/or Carol's take on this adventure too.

    Couple of questions.....the Redwall layer often lends itself to knot chocks, using so little webbing as to be hard to find the webbing. Those type anchors and pinches are common. What did you folks encounter anchor wise? Old or the original webbing?

    Recently I descended a new slot with lots of travatine and/or moss on the walls. There was no evidence of past descents and in places it was impossible not to flake off bits of the stuff. Felt really badly. Looked like the first falls maybe one could get right of the travatine LDC if an anchor would cooperate? The others look harder to avoid. Is this build up more resistant to traffic than what I recently encountered? Hate to see that stuff chewed up.

    I am guessing that this canyon and overnight was on the Navajo Land and that Cameron would be the closest permit office. How was the experience of getting the permit? I don't think you need a GC Park permit, do you?

    Looks really great. Thanks for sharing
    R > --
    Anton Solovyev >
  15. aj.outdoors

    aj.outdoors Guest

    Hello all,

    We are back.

    I agree to what was said; however adding, that the hiking and anchors in the Grand Canyon are how I expected them to be. Some of the trails are more like "suggestions", and anchors are advanced. I found the ones in the Grand Canyon area to be more akin to mountaineering (rock chocks in solid rock.) Fun stuff. A bit different than the usual, so come prepared. Know your anchor types, and load them in the right manner. I knew Todd and Rich were very capable and talented, and this trip just strengthened that. ;)

    Just a word of caution, all the canyons we did in AZ were very full, and usually very cold. For instance, North Badger is stated in Todd's book as having one knee deep spot; and there were some chest deep spots. The pothole in Salt was full, making it quite easy; as was the one in Bear. It rained our last day out as well, so be prepared for lots of water.

    Take care, A.J.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "chris" <chraud@...> wrote:
    Hi Anton,
    Really enjoyed your report and photos.
    The fifth anchor, on canyon right, was actually mine from a descent 2 weeks earlier. I actually didn't spot the one under the ledge until I had started the rap. I was a little embarrassed at the amount of webbing I ended up using, but I ended up having to deal with a nasty rope-a-ghetti snarl about halfway down, and was glad I was hanging from something a little less dependent on alignment. At least it wasn't visible from the pool at the base!
    I actually found that third anchor to be fairly mobile as well. I played with it a bit, directionally weighted it as best I could, and ended up doing more of a rope-assisted downclimb for that drop. I'm really glad that it wasn't at the fourth rap, where there was the little free-hang in the scallop.
    I did cut away some tan webbing from the 1st, 4th and 5th anchors-all looking a little worse for wear. The one at the fifth was on the anchor I ended up using.
    Rich, I'll have to echo the comments on the overall nature of the anchors. Very creative! I was really impressed with the second one, which required a bit of bouldering to access. I will note that there is a small arch about 10-15' below the lip of the drop-possibly a spot to re-rig if there is a concern about the pull on shushing falls. Seemed solid, although I didn't do a really hard test..
    Chris H.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Anton Solovyev <anton@> wrote:

    Ram,

    You guessed correctly on the group members :) Still waiting for AJ to get back
    to hear their stories about other canyons this week.

    ***

    Anchors were somewhat unusual to me. The very first one was "normal", a loop of
    narrow black webbing around a pinch between two rocks. Looked fairly old.
    Probably an original by Tom and Rich?

    The second one I did not inspect trusting Rom and his backup, apparently a knot
    chocked in a crack.

    The third one was funny. A chockstone(s) in a small crack. I expected it to be
    natural and hence solid and started wiggling on it and... to my surprise it just
    came apart with no effort. A loop of the same black webbing. "Interesting".
    Eventually AJ rebuilt it, but we all just downclimbed the travertine slope. I
    was proposing removing this anchor all together to force the next party to build
    their own (?)

    The last anchor was something: a fist-sized rock in a horizontal parallel
    slightly flared out crack. Seemed solid, but I could not really tell what held
    it. Same black webbing. Instead we rapped of a big rock slung with a loop of
    webbing, it seemed installed by a different party than the rest of anchors.

    So, in summary I would say it's very different from what we used to in Utah and
    do watch out. *Very impressed* by the anchor building skills of the Grand
    canyoneers.

    ***

    On damaging the travertine. I think the wet and new stuff is quite delicate. I
    would guess people are doing some damage. It seems it grows out of the mix of
    algae and calcium deposits; feels like corals; very fragile.

    You are exactly right, the top travertine slope could be downclimbed on the
    right, LDC. The stuff there is fortunately a completely dry solid limestone,
    with a lot of large pockets and features. Quite easy, but steep and exposed.

    ***

    I'll respond via e-mail about the permits.

    RAM wrote:

    > Thanks Anton. I am really glad that folks are getting out doing some of Todd and Rich's routes from the Grand Canyon. It is quite exciting entering the top of the Redwall, is it not? Quite the crew too.Carol, AJ and is that Rom? Love to hear AJ's and/or Carol's take on this adventure too.


    Couple of questions.....the Redwall layer often lends itself to knot chocks, using so little webbing as to be hard to find the webbing. Those type anchors and pinches are common. What did you folks encounter anchor wise? Old or the original webbing?


    Recently I descended a new slot with lots of travatine and/or moss on the walls. There was no evidence of past descents and in places it was impossible not to flake off bits of the stuff. Felt really badly. Looked like the first falls maybe one could get right of the travatine LDC if an anchor would cooperate? The others look harder to avoid. Is this build up more resistant to traffic than what I recently encountered? Hate to see that stuff chewed up.


    I am guessing that this canyon and overnight was on the Navajo Land and that Cameron would be the closest permit office. How was the experience of getting the permit? I don't think you need a GC Park permit, do you?


    Looks really great. Thanks for sharing
    > R
    --

    Anton Solovyev
    >
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