|Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry, UT|
|Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry, UT|| |
Wire Pass to Lee's Ferry, UT
|Backpack||52.40 Miles||4 Days |
|750 ft AEG|
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|A Trip that has been on my List for a long Time. I felt like I was finally in good enough shape to do it and was able to score a Permit earlier this Spring to do it now....I had never done anything in this Area before and this was quite the Introduction to an Amazing Group of Canyons... |
Having some Wonderful Routes and Waypoints from Previous Hikers including ddgrunning and chumley really helped a lot. I went ahead and used chumley's AEG Stat because somehow, my Track AEG of 13,000 feet of Gain didn't seem quite Right.... I guess a Point every 100 Feet has you going up to the Top of the Canyons and back down a lot. My Legs thought I'd done that kind of AEG though....
Even as decent as I am and feel, this Trip still took it's toll. I tweaked my Right Ankle really good a couple of weeks before this in a Technical Canyon. I came down Hard, Fast and Awkward on a Rock while Downclimbing and it hurt. I was able to walk it off after about 20 Steps and didn't really give it another thought and it didn't bother me after that. Until Day 3 of this Trip. With 28 Miles behind me, carrying a Heavy Pack, it told me in no small Pangs that it apparently wasn't 100% and I struggled most of that Day with it. I'm now on RICE for a few days with a bit of Swelling.... I had to dig deep a few Times to stay close to the others on that Day. By the last and Final Day 4, I think I was just flat out Numb and actually did pretty well...
The Weather Semi-Cooperated in that there was no Threat of Rain. Just a Heat Wave... I was almost thankful it was warmer, otherwise we might have gotten pretty chilled on the first Day....Day 3 and 4 were pretty hot, but we found ways to cope and it was fine.... Just a few Notes from our Trip by Day.
Day 1: Wire Pass to Buckskin/Paria Confluence
If you are used to Downclimbs, the Chock Stone in Wire Pass is fine, although much easier with Pack Removal. Only a couple of Pools in Buckskin were up to your Chest, most were Knee to Thigh Deep, with a couple of Crotch to Waist Deeps thrown in for good Measure. Lots of Mud still, they had some good Rain the Week before, and there was some Quicksand. The Cesspool is still a Cesspool and the Log Jam in the End kept it interesting in terms of Exiting the Pool. It was Best to force the Logs down under the Water and step on them, instead of pushing through them, they were just too thick and tight. Although the Ranger told us it wasn't, the Rabbit Hole was Open. It was hard to pass a couple of the Packs through it, but we fixed that by lowering them from another spot along the Top using the 25' of Webbing that I had brought with. The Downclimb through the Hole was fine. One Rattlesnake Encounter before the Confluence and he was not a Happy Camper, but ultimately yielded for us to get by...
Day 2: Buckskin/Paria Confluence to just beyond the Judd Hollow Pump
There were 4 of us in the Group. Two of the Photographers had already seen Slide Rock Arch upriver since they had done White House to Confluence before. I had not, so while the others chilled a little longer at Camp, I started a bit earlier, dropped my Pack at the Confluence and Hiked up the Paria to see it. Not really a "True" Arch, more like a Collapsed, Leaning Pillar, but the River flows underneath it and it was pretty cool. I was Amazed at the Mint Green Hue of the Water and Mud of the Paria as well. Met the others back at the Confluence and continued Downstream. I added the Springs and Seeps to the Water Report Data Base and have Attached Reports to this Log as well. The Walls of the Paria Canyon were just as Amazing as those of Buckskin and it was a Great Day.
Day 3: Judd Hollow Pump Area to Camp 3 between the Last Reliable Spring and Bush Head Canyon
I struggled a lot on this Day. The Legs were Guitar String Tight and the Ankle flared up and became pretty painful even with Advil on board. I was slow and had to take Break every couple of Miles to get the Weight off. We did the Side Trip up to Wrather Arch and it was well worth the Trip. Even before you make the Final Climb to the Arch, the Trail led you through a wonderful Riparian Environment and in one spot, I'm betting the Temp dropped 15 Degrees... It was Sweet. My Legs and Ankle did fine on the Side Trip with the Weight of the Backpack gone for a bit. But the Pain returned once the Pack was back on, as we headed for our next Stop.... We finally made the Last Reliable Spring and we already had a Plan to take a very long Break there and eat Dinner. We stayed in the Shade there for almost 3 Hours, ate Dinner, drank a lot of Water and just Chilled. It was a great Plan and it worked out well. I was able to get off the Ankle for an Extended Period of Time and when we got going again to do the last 2 or so Miles, it was almost 6:00 P.M. and the Temps had cooled significantly. The last Miles were pleasant and almost Pain Free...
Day 4: Camp 3 to Lee's Ferry
I hadn't slept well all Week due to Night Leg Pain and the last Night was no Exception. When I got started, I felt like I hadn't had any Rest at all. We started an Hour earlier to try to beat most of the Heat, as we knew it would be mostly Exposed with little Shade. Another Good Plan on our Part. Somehow, after about 2 Hours of struggling on what really was easy Trail, my Body found a 2nd Wind. Perhaps due to the Doubling of Advil, and an early start downing a 5 Hour Energy Shot. I think those contributed along with my Brain realizing that Pain signals weren't making me stop what I was doing, so it just made everything sorta Numb... Maybe a little "Horse Back to the Barn" Mentality as well... All I know, is that the Ankle didn't hurt nearly as bad, and after awhile, the Stiffness and Tightness eased up some and I was able to start Cruising. We took a short Break at Wilson Ranch and then a longer Break in the Shade just before the Cemetery, knowing we were VERY close to the Finish Line. We finished in good Time. Even with the Breaks, we managed 11 Miles in 5.5 Hours... After my Performance the Day before, I was really happy about that. And we were out of the Heat and probably beat the worst Heat of the Day....
We decided to take a Dip in the Colorado before departing for the Drive back to Wire Pass. Two of our Party had never been to Lee's Ferry before and had no Idea about the River and the Water Temp. We told them it would be Cold, but we didn't elaborate too much... I knew how cold it would be, but I also knew that it might feel damn good on my Legs and Ankle. I was right and I literally soaked for a while in that River. If I was Numb before, I was totally senseless when I crawled out of that Water.... We had an Amazing Meal at Strombolis in Page before getting back to our Vehicles at Wire Pass.
We had thought about doing a Paid Shuttle, but there were only 2 of us coming from AZ, the other two were coming from Salt Lake City, so it didn't make Sense for them to drive all the way around to do the Shuttle. So we left one Vehicle at Lee's and I drove us around for the start the next day. I had to pick up the Permit anyway at the Contact Station so it worked just fine and the Utah Couple met us at Wire Pass that Night.
What a Trip... I was long Overdue to do this one and I'm so glad I'm at the Point where Trips like this are Possible because there's just too much good stuff out there that I don't want to miss... And even with some Pain, this one was certainly worth it and I could actually see doing it again sometime...
Photos possible at some Point... I'm about a month behind on Photos from Trips, so it may be awhile yet.... I've been playing hard lately. Only been Home 16 Days of the last 45... I'm all about Canyons this Spring...
||Wildflowers Observation Light
Spotty Blooms in the Narrows of all the Canyons. Once Paria opened up, the Hedgehogs were Blooming nicely...
||Quart per minute
||Quart per minute
|Pools and Flow good enough to Filter from....|
|Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"|