GC2017 Trip Report [Day 13 | 27 January 2017]

Layover day!!

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The Crew Working on Breakfast

Loving these back-to-back layover days.

Upper Blacktail Camp was not an originally planned layover. However, for the canyoneers on the team, Blacktail Canyon was a must-do. Blacktail Canyon can only be accessed from the river so it is super special for the canyoneers to get the opportunity to go canyoneering in this canyon.

Upper Blacktail camp ended up being a very sunny camp.

While the experienced canyoneers took some of the newbies out to explore Blacktail Canyon via the canyoneering route, Nick, Evan, JB, and I went on a hike of our own.

It was another beautiful day– lots of sun, and a really nice hike.

Dare I say it again?? One of my favorite hikes on the trip!

After hiking up and around Blacktail Canyon, we came back down and hiked up the drainage of the Blacktail tapeats narrows to visit the Great Unconformity. The Great Unconformity is a location in the Grand Canyon where you’ll see roughly 550 million-year-old tapeats sandstone resting on top of the roughly 1.6 billion-year-old vishnu schist. You can touch both rock layers and span over one billion years of missing geologic time.

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What was really interesting about our visit to the Great Unconformity was the difference in the drainage from our GC2015 visit. During GC2015 I could barely reach the spot in the rock that marks the Great Unconformity. However, this time around it was basically right at shoulder level. What that tells me is that flash flooding changed the layout of the drainage, added sediment, etc.

A constant reminder of the ferocity of nature and how quickly things that seem so permanent can change.

“Starting to get angry today.”
– AK’s River Journal

Although– I have no clue now what I was angry about haha. I didn’t write down the details. Must not have been too important!

River Miles: 0 miles
Camp: Upper Blacktail [mile 120.6]

Water Flow: 11,000 – 18,000 cfs

Temperature: 28 – 39 deg F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Wind: 7 – 13 mph, gusting to 18 mph
Weather Event: N/A