Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 10 in the Grand Canyon: Lava Day!

Nervous Scouting Lava
 It's day 10 in the canyon and that means one thing, it's Lava day!  The stress started the night before at camp, especially for those who have been challenged by the big volume whitewater thus far.  Every conversation focused on the rapid and its main features, the Burble Line that lines you up to start the rapid, the stompy V-Wave, the ledge hole Hole that eats huge motor rigs, and the Eddie at the bottom that can keep the best kayaker missing rolls.  As the fire turned to coals that evening some were still trying to decide whether to go with their skegs up or down.  In the morning breakfast was hushed and we packed our boats with just a little more care, just in case.

Woody Dropping In
Lava has several different lines.  Our group usually runs down the main tongue, breaking hard to the left just behind the ledge hole, and hopefully missing the deceptively powerful V-wave and then bobbing down through the lower waves.  Our success varied from a perfect line to beat downs and a swimmer.  If you miss the charge left or have a little angle to the right you will find yourself quickly in the maw of the V-wave.  It seems to me that getting thrown there serves a harsher line than going for the v-wave directly.  A few of us decided to run the meat of the rapid.  We also had varying levels of success.

The Eye of Odin shot while paddling in by Chuck Joy!
Over the years we have developed a series of traditions with regards to running Lava Falls.  We check our skirts, line up on the burble line, and look for the Eye of Odin.  Recently I added another tradition, inspired by our pal Kasi from Switzerland.  He yodels while dropping into big rapids and it sounds awesome, when he does it.

Lava Day in the Grand Canyon from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.

Treasure was found!
Here is a link to all the photos from Day 10 in the Grand Canyon.

That was a fun day!

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