Smooth runs for all, except ... - Trip Report – Sept. 29, 2011
We got back a few days ago from our trip, it was fantastic. Loved the level, 16k at put-in, steady flows. During the first half we experienced incredible thunder storms and lots of rain. Some epic wind at night. On day eight at Phantom, I swear the river rose almost another 6", a rock that was previously exposed was covered when we launched. I didn't even recognize Hance from last April, and it seems like quite a few camp spots have seriously changed or are no longer there from the high flows previously.
Everyone on the river was amicable, with the exception of one old-salt Hatch motor guide who just declined to answer when the question of "where y'all thinking of camping" came up. One other private TL was trying to hand out his entire printed itinerary... I tried to explain that I really didn't want to keep track of anyone's set itinerary, and If we saw each other on the river we could just have a simple conversation... Whenever I saw him we just gave him the spot he was aiming for, he was so darned concerned...Hikes were unreal but silver grotto too exposed (slippery) to attempt with our crew and weather. My first time on the Carbon-Lava loop, fun. With the exception of two camps, we stayed in camps I've never been to before, they were all fantastic, a testament to the bounty down there and the joy of not having a set itinerary. Any winds during the day were downstream (!), had no forced layovers. Lots of time for hikes and chilling.
No injuries or Tolio... heard from an Oars guide at Havasu that he thought that the Havasu water might be the cause of some of the Tolio cases. We all rinsed thoroughly. Many of us wear wet socks in our Chacos to keep our feet wet when on the river. No one had issues with cracked feet. Smooth runs for all, except for a close call at house. Buddy couldn't straighten out when he hit the fun stuff and the boat almost flipped. Would have flipped if the passengers had managed to hang on. Left runs at Lava for all.
My hat goes off to Beth at Pro. We did the luxury cruise this time, flying in and out, renting everything. The gear was first-rate, rowing their 18' felt a lot like my 14', much more nimble getting going than I thought it would be. Food was great, organization was top-flight, I recommend them highly. Adjusting to life above the rim. It sure is easy up here, but I already miss the canyon.