The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Fall 2016 – #2


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.

Day 8

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 on the left-hand of the two tongues that give access to the right side of the rapid

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, when we scouted left because we usually ran left. But, a flood in 2012 eliminated that run.

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.

On river left, just after completing Son of Hance Rapid, a few yards of the Hotauta Conglomerate camn be seen

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

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

Upstream view below Sockdolager Rapid

Next up was Grapevine Rapid.

Upstream view below Grapevine Rapid

Upstream view below Grapevine Rapid

Downstream view at Mile 84. The small butte sits downstream of Clear Creek.

Downstream view at Mile 84. The small butte sits downstream of Clear Creek, which enters from the right.

Downstream view at Mile 86

Downstream view at Mile 86

At Upper Cremation Camp, Mile 87

At Upper Cremation Camp (camp #8), Mile 87, 9-24

The Tether Baby shrine, at Cremation Camp

The Tether Baby shrine, at Cremation Camp

Heather and Bobby left the trip the following morning, to hike out via the Bright Angel Trail.

Day 9

Kaibab Bridge, at Bright Angel Creek

Kaibab Bridge, at Bright Angel Creek, Mile 88

Bright Angel Bridge

Bright Angel Bridge, Mile 88

Movement on the Bright Angel Fault down-dropped this hunk of the Supergroup, and thus protected it from erosion

Movement on the Bright Angel Fault preserved this hunk of the Supergroup, Mile 89

Upstream view to Zoroaster Temple, from Pipe Creek, Mile 89.5

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. The so-called "horns" bracket the tongue. Photo taken in 2003

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

Downstream view at Trinity Creek, Mile 92

The wave in Salt Creek Rapid, Mile 93

The wave in Salt Creek Rapid, Mile 93

Fisheries motorized aluminum boat, down-running Granite 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 zodiac-type boat, down-running Granite Rapid, Mile 93

Fisheries motorized BIG boat, at Granite Rapid, Mile 93

Fisheries motorized BIG boat, at Granite Rapid, Mile 93

Kathy runs Granite

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.

096schistcampmesquitedscn6447

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 99

The top hole in Crystal Rapid, Mile 98.8

The boulder island of Lower Crystal Rapid

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

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

Approaching Tuna Creek Rapid, Mile 99.7. The far wall is mica schist veined with granite.

Sapphire Rapid, Mile 101

Sapphire Rapid, Mile 101. Just past this wave is the hole that tossed me out of the boat in 2012.

Emerald Rapid, Mile 104

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 markings

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

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

Bass Rapid, Mile 108. The North Bass Trail is seen ahead, ascending a hillside.

The Parkins Inscription Camp, Mile 108, as we approach Bass Camp

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

Bass Camp reading material

Tyndall Dome and Wallace Butte, from Bass Camp, Mile 109

Tyndall Dome and Wallace Butte, from Bass Camp

Fishhook cactus, Bass Camp

Fishhook cactus, Bass Camp

Bass Camp, with Brittlebush. Photo taken in March, 2007

Bass Camp, with brittlebush. Photo taken in March, 2007

The falls on Shinumo Creek

The falls on Shinumo Creek. Photo taken in 2008.

Day 12

On Day #12 we first filled up with water at the mouth of Shinumo Creek.

The mouth of Shinumo Creek, Mile 109.3

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

Downstream view of Wheeler Point, on the North Rim, from Mile 110

Kathy on the beautiful top waves of Hakatai Raid, Mile 111

Kathy, on the beautiful top waves of Hakatai Raid, Mile 111

Hakatai Rapid

Hakatai Rapid

A small barrel cactus, with fishhook cactus behind. Walthenberg Canyon, Mile 112

A small barrel cactus, with fishhook cactus behind, Walthenberg Canyon, Mile 112

The mouth of Walthenberg Canyon, with datura plants

The mouth of Walthenberg Canyon, with datura plants

Walthenberg Rapid, Mile 112

Mark, in Walthenberg Rapid, Mile 112

113flutingsdscn6485

Flutings, Mile 113

113 Rock, CJ

113 Rock, CJ

Upstream view of the mouth of Garnet Canyon, Mile 115

Upstream view of the mouth of Garnet Canyon, Mile 115

The Monument Fold and Explorers Monument, Mile 116

The Monument Fold and Explorers Monument, Mile 116

Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Monkey-flowers, Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Monkey-flowers, Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Falls, at the first pool. Elves Chasm, Mile 117

Travertine boulder, Elves Chasm

Travertine boulder, Elves Chasm

The extension of 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 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.

And the fault continues across the river and through the Redwall

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

Stephen Aisle runs through the Tapeats, Mile 118

The river runs alongside the Tapeats, Mile 118

The river runs alongside the Tapeats, Mile 118

119 Mile Rapid

119 Mile Rapid

Lisle and James, at the mouth of Blacktail Canyon, Mile 120

Lisle and James, at the mouth of Blacktail Canyon, Mile 120

Blacktail Canyon, Mile 120, where the Great Unconformity is put on display. Here, the horizontally-stratified Tapeats sits on the schist

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

Quartz veins in the schist

Quartz veins in the schist

The pool at the chockstone

The pool at the chockstone displays the Great Unconformity

At the pool, Lisle climbs the wall beside the chockstone

At the pool, Lisle climbs the wall beside the chockstone

Playing music

Playing music

Looking out the mouth of Blacktail Canyon

Looking toward the mouth of Blacktail Canyon

Looking out the mouth of Blacktail Canyon

Looking out the mouth of Blacktail Canyon

Below Blacktail Canyon, view back upstream, Mile 121

Below Blacktail Canyon, view back upstream, Mile 121

Downstream view in Conquistador Aisle, as rain moves in, Mile 121

Downstream view in Conquistador Aisle, as rain moves in, Mile 121

Then the rainbow. Upstream view at Mile 121

Then the rainbow. Upstream view at Mile 121

We made camp #12 at Below Forster Camp, Mile 123.

Upstream view with rainbow, at Below Forster Camp, Mile 123

Upstream view with double rainbow, at Below Forster Camp, Mile 123

Day 13

High and dry in the morning. Below Forster Camp, Mile 123

High and dry in the morning. Below Forster Camp, Mile 123

Lisle, after cleaning the fire pan, Below Forster Camp

Lisle, after cleaning-out the fire pan, Below Forster Camp

Kathy, small rapid at Mile 125

Kathy, small rapid at Mile 125

Into the Middle Granite Gorge, in the rain, Mile 127

Into the Middle Granite Gorge, in the rain, Mile 127

Downstream view of Steamboat Mountain, Mile 130

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

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

Mark, in Bedrock Rapid, making James and Lisle paddle for their lives

Kathy, in Bedrock Rapid

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:

https://believesteve.org/2016/10/20/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-1/

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

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, Family, Personal history, Photography, River-running (USA&Mexico) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Fall 2016 – #2

  1. Pingback: The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Fall 2016 – #3 | BelieveSteve (StevenRichardMiller)

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