The prior post chronicled the first week of our 2016 Grand Canyon trip, taking us from our launch, at Lees Ferry, on 9-17, to our camp at Papago Canyon, Mile 76.5, on 9-23. Here is the link to that post: https://believesteve.org/2016/10/20/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-1/
This part begins with Hance Rapid, Mile 77, and continues through the Upper and Middle Granite gorges, ending with Bedrock Rapid, Mile 131. This section lasted from 9-24 to mid-day of 9-29.
Hance Rapid is located immediately downstream of Papago Camp, and is the hardest rapid yet encountered. I flipped in Hance on our last trip, in 2012.
Kathy enters Hance Rapid, Mile 77.2. The rocks seen behind her create the large eddy known as the Duck Pond. Most of our runs went down the right side of the Duck Pond, with relatively clear sailing until the very bottom of the rapid, where two large back-to-back holes await.
Britt leads us in this run to the right of the Duck Pond. We hit the two big holes at the very end of the video.
Hance Rapid, from the left shoreline in 2007, when we scouted left because we usually ran left. A flood in 2012 eliminated the left run.
Back to geology and the Grand Canyon Supergroup. The above photo shows a slope of the red Hakatai Shale, overlain by a cliff of the Shinumo Quartzite. The remaining members of the Grand Canyon Supergroup – the Bass Limestone and the Hotauta Conglomerate – are seen briefly at the foot of the rapid.
Just after completing Son of Hance Rapid, a short stretch of the Hotauta Conglomerate appears on river left
The river then enters the Vishnu Schist, which constitutes the beginning of the Upper Granite Gorge.
Looking back upstream at Mile 78, as the Upper Granite Gorge begins. Photo taken in 2008.
We come to Sockdolager Rapid, at Mile 79, and hit the one big wave that sits at the apex of the tongue.
Upstream view below Sockdolager Rapid
Next up was Grapevine Rapid.
Upstream view below Grapevine Rapid
Downstream view at Mile 84. The small butte sits downstream of Clear Creek, which enters from the right.
Downstream view at Mile 86
At Upper Cremation Camp (camp #8), Mile 87, 9-24
The Tether Baby shrine, at Cremation Camp
Heather and Bobby left the trip the following morning, to hike out via the Bright Angel Trail.
Kaibab Bridge, at Bright Angel Creek, Mile 88
Bright Angel Bridge, Mile 88
Movement on the Bright Angel Fault preserved this hunk of the Supergroup, Mile 89
Upstream view of Zoroaster Temple, from Pipe Creek, Mile 89.5. The Temple is made of the Coconino Sandstone.
We ran Horn Creek without scouting. Jesse and I, and a few of the other boats split the “horns”, but Kathy hadn’t heard that we weren’t scouting and had moved toward the right shore. So, she and the boats behind her ran right … and lived to tell about it.
Kathy scouts Horn Creek Rapid, Mile 90.8. The so-called “horns” are the two holes that bracket the tongue. Photo taken in 2003
Downstream view at Trinity Creek, Mile 92
The wave in Salt Creek Rapid, Mile 93
Fisheries motorized aluminum boat, down-running Granite Rapid, Mile 93
Fisheries motorized zodiac-type boat, down-running Granite Rapid, Mile 93
Fisheries motorized BIG boat, at Granite Rapid, Mile 93
Kathy runs Granite
I rowed Hermit, Mile 95.5, going right down the middle! We were happy to get Schist Camp, Mile 96.5, for our camp #9.
Upstream, view of a mesquite and the Mojave Wall on the South Rim, from Schist Camp
Days 10 and 11
The next day started with Crystal, which I rowed! We scouted from the bench and then everyone ran to the left of the top hole.
The top hole in Crystal Rapid, Mile 98.8
Downstream view of the boulder island of Lower Crystal Rapid, Mile 98.9
Downstream view of Scorpion Ridge, which sits above the entry to the set of rapids known as the Gems, Mile 99
Approaching Tuna Creek Rapid, Mile 99.7. The far wall is mica schist veined with granite.
Sapphire Rapid, Mile 101. Just past this wave is the hole that tossed me out of the boat in 2012.
Emerald Rapid, Mile 104. The black prow I call the Ruby Buttress is seen downstream. It’s topped by pinnacles of the Tapeats Sandstone.
On the left, at Mile 107, are some boulders of Bass Limestone that display curious orange inclusions
Downstream view to the Shinumo Amphitheater, where, once again due to faulting, we encounter the Grand Canyon Supergroup. The tilted Shinumo Quartzite is seen straight ahead, with the North Rim on the horizon. Mile 107.
Bass Rapid, Mile 108. The North Bass Trail is seen ahead, ascending a hillside.
Approaching the Parkins Inscription Camp, Mile 108
Bass Camp, Mile 109, was our next lay-over camp (nights #10 & #11). This lay-over would provide time for hiking up Shinumo Creek on the North Bass Trail and/or an opportunity to visit the waterfall.
Bass Camp reading material
Tyndall Dome and Wallace Butte, from Bass Camp
Fishhook cactus, Bass Camp
Bass Camp, with brittlebush. Photo taken in March, 2007
The falls on Shinumo Creek. Photo taken in 2008.
On Day #12 we first filled up with water at the mouth of Shinumo Creek.
The mouth of Shinumo Creek, Mile 109.3. The waterfall is at the base of the pinnacle seen a short ways upstream. Photo taken in 2007.
Downstream view of Wheeler Point, on the North Rim, from Mile 110
Kathy, on the beautiful top waves of Hakatai Raid, Mile 111
A small barrel cactus, with fishhook cactus behind, Walthenberg Canyon, Mile 112
The mouth of Walthenberg Canyon, with datura plants
Mark, in Walthenberg Rapid, Mile 112
Flutings, Mile 113
113 Rock, CJ
Upstream view of the mouth of Garnet Canyon, Mile 115
The Monument Fold and Explorers Monument, Mile 116
Elves Chasm, Mile 117
Monkey-flowers, Elves Chasm, Mile 117
Falls, at the first pool. Elves Chasm, Mile 117
Travertine boulder, Elves Chasm
The fault that created the Monument Fold and cut past Explorers Monument appears at the river again, at Mile 118. Here, you can see that the Tapeats on the left has been dropped relative to that on the right, which sits on schist.
The fault continues across the river, putting a fold in the Tapeats. It then continues up and through the Redwall
Stephen Aisle runs through the Tapeats, Mile 118
The river runs alongside the Tapeats, Mile 118
119 Mile Rapid
Lisle and James, at the mouth of Blacktail Canyon, Mile 120
Blacktail Canyon, where the Great Unconformity is put on display. Here, the horizontally-stratified Tapeats sits on the schist
Quartz veins in the schist
Quartz veins in the schist
The pool at the chockstone displays the Great Unconformity
At the pool, Lisle climbs the wall beside the chockstone
Looking toward the mouth of Blacktail Canyon
Looking out the mouth of Blacktail Canyon
Below Blacktail Canyon, view back upstream, Mile 121
Downstream view in Conquistador Aisle, as rain moves in, Mile 121
Then the rainbow. Upstream view at Mile 121
We made camp #12 at Below Forster Camp, Mile 123.
Upstream view with double rainbow, at Below Forster Camp, Mile 123
High and dry in the morning. Below Forster Camp, Mile 123
Lisle, after cleaning-out the fire pan, Below Forster Camp
Kathy, small rapid at Mile 125
Into the Middle Granite Gorge, in the rain, Mile 127
Downstream view of Steamboat Mountain, Mile 130
Nobody wanted to end up going left at Bedrock – nobody! So, everyone started on the right and stayed on the right.
The party from Idaho, in Bedrock Rapid, Mile 131. The prow of the bedrock island is seen behind and to the right
Mark, in Bedrock Rapid, making James and Lisle paddle for their lives
Kathy, in Bedrock Rapid
CJ earned extra credit by venturing further left on the approach than anyone else.
This ends Part #2. Part #3 starts with Tapeats Creek.
Here is the link to Part #3: https://believesteve.org/2016/10/26/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-3/
And here is the link to Part #1:
If you want the whole story, buy my iBook (only $5.99):
Here is the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1