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.

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The calm before the chaos.

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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.

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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]