Back to the Grand, finally…
I was only a few days removed from the operating room table in early june when an email for this trip came from Slawa. Barely able to walk, I laughed it off. But in the back of my mind I thought “Man, how awesome would it be to make it back by then?”
“So, how about some hot, hot Kanab canyons on Aug 5,6 and 7? We’ll meet the night of Aug 4 on the Kanab Plateau. Rich is leading this one. It will be HOT, it will be MISERABLE – 4:00 AM departures to avoid the heat of the day, but it will be sooooooo AWESOME! Dan – honey – I will carry your stuff! And no need to make a decision now. Just keep this on your calendar and let me know when time arrives.”
Alas, I’ve been able to get out on a couple overnight adventures in the last two weeks, and figured my fitness to be a bit better than I thought, even if I’m about 10 pounds heavier than I was in the spring. My goal was to go ultra-light and skip a canyon if I didn’t feel up to it. I got a pass from the group on carrying any group gear, and was left with just the question of how to avoid the triple-digit temperatures we were sure to encounter. Rich swore there’d be water, and we’d stay cool. Promises of early starts, canyons with plenty of water, a couple mid-day siestas, and great company had me convinced.
The agenda outlined a plan for some fine canyons in the Kanab area, none of which I have seen yet. Friday, we descended a small but action-packed drainage with some goodies in the Supai and Redwall slots, which eventually dropped into Kanab Creek where we camped for the evening. Saturday we descended the Muav and Temple Butte sections of another nearby slot, and then headed back upcanyon and upclimbed yet another beautiful redwall slot back up to the Supai. Loaded with nearly two gallons of water each, we dry camped just below the esplanade, and left ourselves about 1500 feet of Grand Canyon sufferfest scree-scrambling back to the rim, hoping to top out early Sunday morning before the heat got to be too much.
Another worthy adventure in the big ditch.