Wow, what a burly long rock hop!
I had a 3-day weekend from a recent B-day and filled it up with more canyoneering.
I've done the non-technical rock hop & swim down to the Supai Pools a few times over the years, but this was my first shot at the technical loop that drops in via a side canyon below the Supai layer into middle Woods Canyon. My buddy got us along that bumpy FR80 fairly far before we hopped out, geared up and made the almost 3 mile rim walk to the drop-in point. That side canyon is rather bushy with loads of tree fall to push thru before hitting a few 'Todd down climbs'.
We manage to climb down most of them, but the top one had a good anchor already so we made a 50ft rappel out of it, and another we initially rappelled down but once we saw how easy it was my buddy climbed back up and dismantled the anchor. After we were done with all the down climbing, the canyon opens up with some nice angled Coconino sandstone slabs to descend and small pools to avoid before hitting the first of many drops in the Supai Sandstone layer . There was a good anchor there that we used for this 20ft drop but I suspect this is another 'Todd down climb'.
Right after this drop is a super sweet 80ft rap down a dryfall covered in desert varnish followed quickly by another 80ft rap but the first 40ft are gently sloping until you hit the quick 40ft drop. Thinking we hit the 3 rappels already, we were kinna surprised to hit the final 70ft rappel that was very overhung; it was like rappeling off the edge of a dinner plate.
The anchor is 30ft back so my 100ft rope barely made it down with only a few feet to spare... My friends isn't too experienced on overhanging rappel, so he butt slide off of it and got scraped up pretty good... After that is was some more down climbing and avoiding a Diamondback before hitting the rocky middle Woods Canyon around 2pm. I've yet to be this far down/up canyon, so it was kinna cool to finally see it and we started the long rock hop upstream before shortly running into yet another Diamondback.
The coolest part by far was navigating our way thru the Supai Pools area and trying to find the best way to make our way upstream. It would have been nice to play in the flowing pools a bit but we were already pushing to make it out before dusk. We eventually made it back up to the Coconino layer were the canyon narrows up and we encountered a few chilly swimmers and we thru on our 3mm full wetsuits to make them bearable.
After nearly freezing our rears off, we slowly made it further up the long rock up as the boulder got slowly bigger and tougher to navigate thru. We eventually reached the basalt layer where the boulders get even bigger until we hit the basalt falls with 3 pools above it that require a wade or swim to get across. Once across those, we quickly reached our exit canyon with a huge pool and falls in upper Woods Canyon were we dropped our wetsuits, hiked up that side canyon a bit before climbing back up to the rim, and making the final 1.5 miles of rim walking back to our vehicle making it back just after sunset.