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Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
mini location map2017-04-10
33 by photographer avatarBarrett
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Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
Backpack27.00 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack27.00 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On April 10th the full moon rose 17 minutes before sunset, and set 5 minutes before dawn. Give or take a few minutes, this happens every spring and has become a tradition with me when trying to get a permit. Stars look the same anywhere dark, so I gladly trade the Milky Way for a Moonlit Canyon.
Day 1 - 10 miles
Arriving at Lipan Point, I made my way down into the wooded ravine for my first trip down Tanner, enjoying the cool breeze among the trees along this beautiful trail. I would say the first section is less exposed than Grandview, but more challenging than SK. Once I hit the redrock geology of the saddle and the views opened up I was on cloud nine. Finding a bit of shade, I set up my chair and had my PB and J burrito lunch and took it all in. From there it was on to the spur leading to the Redwall overlook, noting the killer campsite for next time, and then down the switchbacks to begin the relatively less amazing trip to the river. Having reached the wonderful white sand beach, I enjoyed another tradition - full immersion in the Colorado. I hate being cold for long periods, but short, sharp shocks can be quite enjoyable. Freshened, I continued on toward Dox Hill's ruins, amazed at how lush the flora was. I've never seen so many flowers blooming at every elevation here. Arriving at the ruins was even better than I expected, stunning views in every direction 30 minutes before Sunset and a Full Moon rise! :y:
I kicked back in my chair and could hear the rafters below and miles away in the stunning silence of the canyon as the last warm light left the walls above. I howled (terribly) as the moon rose, and heard a few below do the same. There's just enough room for one tent, and I had my first night with my new REI Flash inflatable mattress. I actually got tears in my eyes when I lay down - it's that good. Of course, having the canyon visible by full moon through my mesh tent wall didn't hurt much.
Day 2 - 13 miles
Followed the ridge south and down to meet back up with the Escalante Route, blown away by the hillsides of Brittlebush in full bloom. Morning light made the trip to Escalante Creek picture perfect, and when I reached Seventyfive Mile Creek, I ended up following the Shinumo all the way back to drop in, not even seeing the harder, shorter route down. I'm glad I did, because seeing more of the winding slot was awesome. Watered up again at the river, and headed toward Papago Creek, where I confronted the Papago Wall. It looked doable with my pack, so I headed up, using my GoPro bite mount for some video. I got stuck for a minute right at the top, before noticing a cairn to my left and down a bit that led me right up. I wouldn't want to down climb this, but coming up was a blast. The views from the short section before the Papago Slide are a fine reward for both the wall and the scramble down. The route along the river to Hance Rapids was the faintest yet, but by staying close to the river I was soon at the mouth of Red Canyon and back on familiar ground. It was only 4 pm, so I opted to shoot for the camp I saw last time up New Hance with 148 oz. water for the night and next day. Exactly 2 hours later I arrived at camp (33.017735 -111.929436), once again 30 minutes before sunset, leaving me time to explore a bit and find a small mine due north before settling down to dinner. The wind was pretty strong, so I lost my tent view to a heavily anchored fly, but otherwise a second perfect night.
Day 3 - 4 miles
The morning light, as usual, made the start up a feast for the eyes, and I was pleased to find the trail easier than I had remembered. I may have gone off trail somewhere in the final switchbacks last time, it really does get pretty wild. The Trailhead sign arrived and I was soon at my Taco, which I took to the first overlook parking west of Lipan Point. There is a perfect slab 100 yards east along the rim where I set up my Zero-gravity lounger, cracked a Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Beer Advocate 99 score, 11.3% ABV), and settled in for the best beer I have ever had, reflecting on a ridiculously perfect trip into the most amazing place on Earth.

P.S. Don't ever show your spouse GoPro footage of even an easy climb - it will look really dangerous and make it harder for you to get loving support for your next trip. :doh:

P.P.S Oh, and here's that video. [ youtube video ] I know about the glitches - I'll get around to it when I figure it out. DVD works fine, but YouTube sticks.

P.P.P.S. And one I have been putting off for the 25 years I have owned a video camera. [ youtube video ]
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Wildflowers Observation Extreme
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar.
It was tense.
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