Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Grand Start to 2014

On January 2nd, I put on the Colorado at Lee's Ferry with good (soon to be unforgettable) friends, many cumulative pounds of granola, and no idea what to expect beyond some whitewater and a lot of excellent scenery... and that pretty much nailed it!

We spent a couple days exploring Zion National Park before our launch. Zion is best seen from above; find your way to the top of Angels Rest or any of the other hikes climbing up the canyon walls to get a sense of the scale in this incredible place.

Launching at Lee's Ferry is a bit surreal. It looks like Mars, except with a river flowing down the middle. There are piles and piles of gear that somehow must fit in your boats, and the canyon doesn't seem very grand at all. More like a large valley with exceptionally steep sides. That changes quickly.

The crew "marbling" at the beauty of Marble Canyon

Harrison scouts North Canyon for the next flash flood...
Everyone says the grand is mostly flatwater. It's a trip for the scenery, not the whitewater.
They aren't lying.
Redwall Cavern
Just another day in the life...
 While the riverside views were no joke, the side hikes had much to offer.
The Little Colorado with its crazy blue water.
What the Grand lacks in consistency of whitewater, it makes up for with quality. Most rapids were some variation of "big wave train leads into/past a big hole, avoid the hole, continue down big wavetrain." Sometimes the hole was at the top, or at the bottom, but there was always a wave train, and, as they say "it's hard to have a bad time on a wavetrain..."
Katie, with one of the holes at the top
Ben and Claire, on the Granite, which throws a wall into the mix.
Scott catches some air at Hermit
Dan avoiding the holes in Lava
Getting some sick air in my new Pyranha Shiva. Even with 80+ pounds of gear in the back, the Shiva was awesome!
Scott Martin Photo
The Grand Canyon is a must do trip for anyone that loves river life. It was the longest time I had spent without going indoors, and I felt more at home than I do... well, at home.
Havasu Blue!
Scott Martin Photo

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I am a freelance writer and photographer, collector of experiences, adventure lover, and outdoor goer.