Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 7 in the Grand Canyon: The Hike to Hardy's Boys Crack

Just hanging out with the cactus.
The hike up to Hardy Boys Crack
We started from Black Tail Canyon (Mile 120) fairly early on Day 7 so we could cover the 12 miles of river to Stone Creek camp (Mile 132) before lunch, which gave us plenty of time to join Mike on another special adventure.  I will remember this hike for the rest of my life.  I also love the story about the people who found this crazy up-and-over loop hike from Stone Creek to Gallaway Creek and back to camp, which includes this awesome down climb through the tapeats sandstone known as The Hardy Boys' Crack.  The rumor that I heard goes that in the 80s, a couple old time river guides spent their winters on the longest permitted trips possible drifting through the canyon and wandering up onto the rocky shelves and crumbling talus slopes of the side canyons and peaks of the Canyon.  When their permit ended, they would take out, head back to Flagstaff to replenish their supplies, and then grab the next long term permit available, pretty much living off their guide wages from the summer season and remaining down in the gorge all the year round.

The hike started off like so many down there, scrambling up a rocky wash working around big boulders and along the eroding edges of the terrain.  At this moment we had our first "are you serious" moment.  We cleared our way out of the stream bed Mike pointed up at a huge red wall and said, now you want to work your way up this scree slope and along that wall and finish on top of that first level.  I thought to myself "are you serious"?  Up along the wall we went, under boulders, and scrambling.  A few calls of "ROCK!" came down from above but it was all good.
We made it.  Then an amazing traverse on top of the Tapeats Sandstone level.  All the while Mike is giving us the history of the world according to piles of rocks.  It was awesome.  Then I start thinking about how the hell are we going to get down off this cliff and I remember the name of the hike and start expecting a down climb (my favorite) chimney style and there it is! Nothing too crazy but cool none the less.  I thought to myself, "awesome we did the climb"! But there was another level of the same, and then yet another.  Mike walked along the edge of the cliff scoping out a line.  I looked over the edge and thought, "are you f-ing kidding me"?  It was 100 feet down.  Then he found a slot and said, "this is it".  One of the Dutchies said out loud what I was thinking, "ARE YOU SERIOUS"!?  It was a tight climb down a rock choked chimney.  There was a little exposure but the hand holds were plentiful.  The line worked beautifully and we all were sputtering with awesometude.  All that was left was a sketchy traverse to the next side canyon and back to camp.

WHAT AN AMAZING DAY!  Yes that is Mike laughing at us all.

Beaz's Cigars!

Here is a link to all the shots from Day 7 in the Canyon

def.  Awesometude- The attitude adjustment you receive when you get to do something awesome.

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