GC2015 Trip Report [Day 15 | 4 December 2015]

Lava Day!!

Everyone seemed slightly apprehensive in the morning knowing Lava was just a few miles downstream. I already knew I was going to walk, but I had a small fear that no one would catch the eddy below the rapid and I would be stranded.

“As we approached Lava the roar of the river was louder than anything I’ve heard on this trip. It was ominous. If I would have still been on the fence about running it, the sound and sight would have make my decision pretty quickly. I could not believe how large and loud the rapid was.” -AK’s River Journal

Charlie ran the rapid first in his kayak while we were scouting so we could see his line. The rest of the lineup– Kelby, Cody [in the IK], JB, Nick, Kyle, and Duff.


The calm before the chaos.


Surprisingly, the walk around Lava Falls was no stroll in the park. It was steep with a lot of crumbly rock. After Kelby made it through, he caught the eddy and I was able to hop in his boat to watch the show!

I swear my heart was racing just watching! Every one disappeared in the last wave for a few seconds before bursting through. It was insane to watch.

I missed Kelby and JB’s runs as I was hiking down. Nick had a near flip, but miraculously stayed in the boat. Kyle had a clean line, and Duff came down naked [yep– you read that right.].

I’ll let the next sequence of photos speak for themselves. The shortest and wildest ride through the Grand Canyon.

Right below Lower Lava we celebrated at Tequila Beach. Spirits were high.



River Miles: 10.7 miles

Camp: Lower Witmore [mile 188.7]

Lava Falls [class 9]
Lower Lava [class 4]
Hundred and Eighty-Five Mile [class 2]

Whitmore [class 3]