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Almost Vishnu Temple, AZ
mini location map2017-05-26
21 by photographer avatarDave1
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Almost Vishnu Temple, AZ 
Almost Vishnu Temple, AZ
Backpack avatar May 26 2017
Backpack44.00 Miles 12,400 AEG
Backpack44.00 Miles3 Days         
12,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Almost. I made it to within about 150-200 feet below the summit.

Started out from Lipan Point loaded down with camping, packrafting and rappelling gear. Got a late start at 10am so it was quite warm when I reached the foot of Tanner Trail. Followed the Escalante route for about 4 miles and then cut off trail until I reached my river crossing spot, just before Unkar Creek. Aired-up my Buoyancy Operated Aquatic Transporter (BOAT), donned my wetsuit and PFD, said a prayer and got into the cool water. The crossing went well as it was on an outside turn and so centrifugal force basically deposited me right where I wanted to be. The return trip wasn't so pretty. Stashed my rafting gear under some brush then went and took a quick look at some of the ruins on Unkar Delta before starting up Unkar Creek. There's a marked trail that runs through the delta. I just did a short part of it. Most of the sites were re-burried by the park service after study. I followed Unkar Creek about 5 miles until I reached the side canyon I would need to reach Freya/Vishnu Saddle. By then the sun was gone so I found a big flat rock to camp on. Extremely windy all night. I probably slept 2 hours. There's running water in Unkar but from all the white residue around it it must be heavily mineralized. And in some sections it was running orange. So I only took water from the Colorado.

Once on the saddle the next morning, I followed the route description from Grand Canyon Summits Select towards Vishnu's summit. I spent about 2 hours hemming and hawing at what the Tomasis called the Supai crux. A 30 foot class 4 climb in the upper Supai. I must have put my backpack back on and walked away only to turn around again at least 5 times. The climb really isn't bad, its just that I hate downclimbing and this climb requires you to commit to finish once you start. Finally found the nerve to get up it and then headed up to the Coconino. All kinds of scrambling, route finding and some class 3 there that was easy but reminded me of Cathedral Rock on Lemmon with the exposure. Up into the Kaibab I got to the "tough boulder move" and that's where I called it. Again, not a difficult climb but I guess I was done at that point, for many reasons. Here's a short list: low on water, getting late and I still had to get back to my camping gear in Unkar, already had one rapel weighing heavy on me and didn't want another, too many moves to remember just to get back to the saddle, and I was higher than I expected I would get so was still satisfied. These temples never go down on the first attempt anyway.

Back down to Unkar, spent another night in the creek and then crossed the CO on the morning of my 3rd day. That crossing took two tries as the river really wanted me to stay on the north side. Long 5-hour slog up Tanner to finish off.

This hike put me just past 3,000 lifetime miles at the canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Unkar Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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