Self Belief is Everything

All words and pictures copyright Alastair Rose 2011

Friday, February 20, 2009

Whats so Grand about this Canyon? (part 2)

Having now watched the Lava falls video many times I'm pretty sure the boat comes out without the oar frame which means for any of you tightfisted scottish people out there there must be a free raft frame (aout $600) in the bottom of lava if you want it - go and get it.

So "the canyon". I'm not too sure how I ended up knowing how to raft, or even if I actually know how but here I was accepting the fact that I was meant to know what I was doing on a river running between 9,000 and about 15,000 cfs (thats 3-4500 cumecs for you people who like decimal) somewhere in the US of A. The Colorado River is dammed above Lees ferry by the Glen Canyon Dam and below by the Lake Mead Dam. Inbetween it is 300miles of the Grand Canyon with one access point about 80miles down where you can hike to the rim in about 5 hours a possible take out at Diamond creek (@ about mile 220) and a whole lot of rapids. The rapids on the colorado work a little differently from normail with basically anything around a 2+ to 3+ on the normal scale given a rating from 1-10. This suprisingly seems to work though as ever the guidebooks seem to have not graded some things which were definitely rapids while others seemed fairly inoccous.

Our plan was to raft from Lees Ferry down to South Cove on Lake Mead, taking 25 days and all our food and gear in 4 oar rigs. We outsourced to an outfitting company for our food, transport and one boat and Outward Bound (who most of us do or have worked for) kindly supplied the other boats. The trip was way more of an exploration than I think I expected with a lot of layover days to drink cofffee, play guitar and time to go for a wander around. The canyon itself was amazing, I would continually find that I had got sucked into staring at some impressive scenery to suddenly find that if I turned round that there was something as equally amazing all around. For me one of the beauties of the trip was that no-one knew more than 2 or 3 people and therefore the whole first 10 days just really felt like getting to know people. Also with it being winter there were no guided trips and we really only saw a couple of other people in the whole 25 days. Yes we took beer. Yes we it ran out near the end.
The good news is I managed to retrieve the deleted photos and most survived. The bad news is no videos. Anyway heres some more photos.
The gear piles up next to the snow in Flagstaff (with Eric in the photo)Unkar rapid (6) from above (the weather is about to change...)Yes we had a couple of cans of beerAnazasi granaries in the wall above the classic view of the river.Yes Ryan really is a big enough geek to play chess against himself. (2nd last layover day)Redwall cavernScouting lava falls, late in the (9)Jeff and Kai get the stove going after a late pull into camp (night 2 or 3)Jeff gets the right line almost perfect.. until the end. (Peirce ferry rapid) Kai tries to find a way around in a side canyon.You shouldn't really be able to do this. The raft that popped (day11?)Rowing into the evening light, lower river (below specter rapid)

Jeff at warp speed in specter rapid (6)


TEEGS said...

Ali that photo of Pierce Ferry rapid is nuts! I was on it fall of 2007 and it was so different! Crazy. I will be back there this April, I hope I make it! I hope your doing well, wish we could have caught up with you when you were in AZ. Take care Ted Teegarden

Anna & Nick said...

Fantastic piccies Ali! What an amazing trip! Sorry you lost some of your pics - but the ones you have really are fantastic! Great to chat yesterday. Enjoy your next few weeks at home. A & N XX