Saturday, October 23, 2010

2010 River Trip Day 4B - 9/15 from Carbon Camp to Clear Creek RM84.8 part 2

Day 4 part 2 - we started at Carbon Camp in part 1 and end at Clear Creek Camp

11:44 we rejoin the boat and are soon back on the river
11:44 upriver view

We saw many birds on this trip - here is a fly by action photo (from 9/15/2009)

11:45 tilted supergroup strata

 river right supergroup deposits 

And again

11:46 we see the canyon opening up around us and a wide open section ahead - this is supergroup and the widest part of the Grand Canyon - ahead is Unkar delta

11:55 after we proceed downriver into the wider section - looking back

12:02 Lava on left with supergroup sedimentary rock on right

12:09 river channel deposits

12:15 lots of greenery in this section - nice contrast with the red Dox

12:35 RM71.6 our lunch stop is Cardenas Camp - I run up to hilltop ruin - this is a view from part way up looking towards the boat

12:42 Hilltop Ruin
and the ruin in context with its incredible surrounding area - looking east
12:42 Here is a pan including portions of the supergroup exposures to the south of Hilltop Ruin

Boats at camp across river from Hilltop Ruin

12:53 looking to the left of the ruin towards Unkar delta (across river from our stop)
I run back down to the boat - stopping only to fall once - grab a quick sandwich and am told about a rattle snake I just had to see

13:15 we get back on the river and proceeding down we pass some fantastic scenery

13:35 Wayne points out Angles Gate on the north rim (a popular tourist spot) - here is an sx20 shot from the river

13:36 Here is an sx20 zoom of Angels Gate

Below are some 2002 photos of Angel Gate taken at north rim - the background visible thru the gate and to the left is the Unkar delta and some of the area where we stopped

Here is a 2002 photo of the area we stopped including Cardenas Camp, Unkar overlook and the (invisible in this photo) Hilltop Ruin

We proceed down the river - things were uneventful until a big bang going thru a rapid
15:32 The boat bucked - Ed got thrown against boat joint and banged up - but ice works wonders as you can see below

15:42 looking at canyon walls rising

15:46 we are well into the inner canyon area

we camp at Clear Creek and quickly pick camp sites
16:01 Jeff sets up

Beth, Jeff, Kevin and I decide to hike up and over from the camp into Clear Creek proper

16:49 starting up the creek

17:00 small frog on wall

17:08 Clear Creek fall ahead - bypass is on left (creek right)

17:08 notice we have a shower with two jets

17:11 I had been looking forward to this all day (hoping we would camp within reach of a waterfall and this is as good as it gets)

17:12 Beth agrees

17:13 so do Kevin and Jeff

17:24 all too soon we turn back - here is a view up a side chute that appears to make it out of Clear Creek (several do on this side - getting up the other requires climbing the waterfall)

Kevin Eorio photo of Jeff up Clear Creek

17:34 returning down Clear Creek canyon we notice this debris flow up high on creek left

Detail of another section of debris flow

17:58 groover photo - this one was REALLY not a trek for bare feet in the dark

17:58 view towards camp 

18:25 great location for the chair circle - flat beach was difficult to find but the view and companionship fantastic

dinner was brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, sauerkraut
desert was a very nice brownie cooked in the dutch oven

my camp was on downriver end with nice rock ledges for shelves steep slope

end of part 2

Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 River Trip Day 4 - 9/15 Carbon Camp to Clear Creek RM84.8 Part 1

Today we wake up in Carbon Camp, do the Carbon to Lava hike, and proceed downriver to RM84.8 Clear Creek.  This is a long day with lots of scenery.  It is split into two sections.

RM71.6 lunch stop is Cardenas Camp

We will start with a look at the classic grand canyon sedimentary rock layers.

Yesterday we finished the main Grand Canyon layers by seeing the Tapeats rise out of the river (around 15:12).  A quick photo recap of the mnemonic “Know The Canyons History, Study Rocks Made By Time” (including photos taken in 2008, 2009 and 2010)
K: Kaibab Limestone appears at base of point extending into river on river left

T: Toroweap rises at river edge

C: Coconino Sandstone first appears – cross bedding is apparent at right river edge which is downstream of beach on river left around mile 4.7

C: Coconino exposure with very nice cross bedding from 2008 river trip

H: Hermit Shale rises from river around RM 4.9
S: Supai Group appears around RM11.4
Redwall Limestone
Muav Limestone

B: Bright Angel Shale 

T: Tapeats Sandstone

Wayne has discussed in other forums (including a 2008 river trip) five criteria needed to form the Grand Canyon (I have a 25 minute recording of the whole talk and will provide links to an mp3 of the 22.6MB recording later as well as access to the 1.7GB avi video much later):

1.    Large expanse of stratified rock (the Grand Canyon are known to extend across a very large area – some strata from well east of the Grand Canyon to west of Las Vegas).

2.    Variably colored (pretty/brightly colored also in our case) – the different colors help make the strata obvious to non-geologists.

3.    Gently uplifted

4.    Eroded/Exposed by Big River(s)

5.    Dry Arid Environment near sea level (lacking the dry environment natural weathering would dominate and strip many layers completely; if well above sea level any deposits would almost certainly be eroded along with the mountains they lie upon; much of the grand canyon sedimentary rock was laid down in shallow seas or formed as part of near shore Aeolian deposits)

Wayne Ranney and Ron Blakey in Ancient Landscapes discuss and show on maps / images what the southwest US looked like when the various layers of the grand canyon were deposited (at sea level).  These support and elaborate on the five criteria discussed above.

With our Grand Canyon strata reprise done lets get back to the business of the 2010 river trip

We got up early as today was a hike up Carbon Creek to Chuar valley and over to Lava then down to the river.  Wayne had pointed out a stromatolite fossil on the beach and I took photos as soon as daylight allowed (starting around 06:20).
Notice the layered cabbage type structure - this is distinctive of a stromatolite 

07:39 After breakfast as we prepare to leave, here is the beach that is the start of our hike.
  and here is the Philomena - the boat will proceed down to Lava Camp - once we start, our only option is to continue to our destination.
Our bags piled on the beach ready to be loaded
07:46 Wayne starts hike with Peggy at front of the group
 Wayne leads the hike up Carbon Canyon

07:58 Hike is relatively flat and easy at the start but has several steep sections ahead before we leave Carbon Canyon

08:00 Wayne explains strata as we proceed
A serious "up" section in the hike

08:06 Spheroidal inclusion eroded flat results in the below

Here are whole spheroids

08:09 we reach a very pretty section

08:10 Jeff Eorio photo

08:18 Another serious up section with a little climb

08:21 Wayne leads the way up the toughest section

Jeff start photo

08:23 Jeff photo

This is less of a trail than a rock scramble but is not hard, just a little slow

08:29 looking back down on what I just climbed

08:32 we climbed up to bypass a fall, so what goes up must soon get back down to the canyon floor

Kevin, Jeff and I scouted a side route to look at the fall we bypassed and found several other dead ends

08:34 photo of Kevin on our side scout

08:47 Audrey and Ed

08:48 Laura Zambrano, Nancy Seaman, Delores Manburg

Wayne explains what we have hiked over

08:52 as we rest at a stop, Kevin demonstrates his juggling skills - he is good!

09:02 nearing the fault

09:07 Canyon opens up as we reach the Butte Fault

Chuar deposits visible in front of us

View of Temple Butte over Butte Fault

09:08 Wayne explains the Butte Fault which created the near vertical strata we just walked past and uplifted the Grand Canyon Supergroup that is exposed ahead of us.  Some of the strata we see are only found in a few places and this area is the most complete set anyplace in the Grand Canyon.  Altough you can see the area from the north rim, only by hiking to it can you appreciate just how big the Supergroup really is (more than 10 thousand feet thickness of sedimentary rock in the original)

09:11 vertical faulting

09:11 Wayne talks about this (Jeff Eorio photo)

09:17 group resting at Butte Fault

Wayne pointed out that the Butte Fault extends over 120 miles all the way thru Cottonwood Canyon where one sees strata standing on end – here is a photo I took during a drive thru Cottonwood Canyon in spring of 2007 of some of those tilted strata – along the same Butte Fault

Another section thru Cottonwood Canyon – almost vertical strata similar to area we rest in at Butte Fault up Carbon Canyon

A wider view also of part of Cottonwood Canyon with tilted section rising above valley

Back to our 2010 September Grand Canyon trip
09:22 Looking towards the north rim

09:26 Bill is VERY happy in this special spot

Temple Butte visible over Chuar deposits

We proceed to hike down to Lava Canyon - here is a view of the direction we will be hiking

09:37 here is Howard leading

09:47 on the hike towards Lava Canyon

09:47 North rim over Chuar deposits

09:48 Here is a fossil mudcrack - a real classic

Jeff Eorio photo at mudcrack

09:45 Jeff photo of Kevin with Chuar background

09:58 Brightly coloured carbonates in Galeros Formation

2008 photo of Galeros Formation brightly coloured carbonates - there are stromatolite bearing layers here

09:59 Cardenas Lava fills left side of frame

10:02 Above descent into Lava Canyon

10:06 Creek bed coloured by mineralized water

10:19 Trees in creek bed - hiked up looking for remains of old still - did not find it but had fun looking

11:07 Debris flow remnants in Lava Creek bed

Dox with creek conglomerate cemented into cut

Stream deposits at different levels in Dox

11:44 we rejoin the boat and are soon back on the river

end of part 1- we will continue downriver to Clear Creek Camp in part 2