The Wilderness Program, State of New Mexico, 1976 – 1977 – Grand Canyon


In 1976, I took a job with the State of New Mexico, creating and directing an Outward Bound-style wilderness program for the Forensic Treatment System. Also known as a “hoods in the woods” program, it was for “adjudicated” individuals – supposedly non-violent offenders (although that didn’t turn out to be the case). It was called “The Wilderness Program”. The Program started with a long winter expedition in the Grand Canyon. That trip started with a descent of the Salt Trail into the Little Colorado drainage, then downstream along the Colorado River on the Beamer Trail, then past Tanner Creek and along the shoreline for a section that we could find no information on. We succeeded in making it to Red Canyon, and onto the Tonto Trail. We climbed to the South Rim for a re-supply via the Grandview Trail, then returned to the Canyon via the Bright Angel Trail at night. One highlight of this descent was when I slipped on and did a belly glissade on a pool of frozen mule piss! We then continued up the North Kaibab Trail for a solo. One other incident of note occurred – a participant fell through a pile of driftwood near Cardenas Creek and broke his achilles tendon. This required an evac. I hiked up the Tanner Trail and then returned to the group and injured individual by helicopter, which then evacuated him. Fortunately, we had a staff member on the rim to look after him.

Wild.Prog#1 Wild.Prog#2

The Program started with a long winter expedition in the Grand Canyon. That trip started with a descent of the Salt Trail into the Little Colorado drainage, then downstream along the Colorado River on the Beamer Trail, then past Tanner Creek and along the shoreline for a section that we could find no information on. We succeeded in making it to Red Canyon, and onto the Tonto Trail. We climbed to the South Rim for a re-supply via the Grandview Trail, then returned to the Canyon via the Bright Angel Trail at night. One highlight of this descent was when I slipped on and did a belly glissade on a pool of frozen mule piss! We then continued up the North Kaibab Trail for a solo. One other incident of note occurred – a participant fell through a pile of driftwood near Cardenas Creek and broke his achilles tendon. This required an evac. I hiked up the Tanner Trail and then returned to the group and injured individual by helicopter, which then evacuated him. Fortunately, we had a staff member on the rim to look after him.Here’s my Flickr collection:

Papago Creek, rappel

 

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
This entry was posted in Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Hiking, Outward Bound and similar, Personal history, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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