Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2008 Day 6 - Sept 18 mile 122-133.5 Conquistador Aisle to Racetrack Camp

Day 6 - Sept 18 Conquistador Aisle to Racetrack Camp mile 122-133.5

What a GREAT place to wake up

Mile 122.6 (roughly) we see an ancient river channel exposure on river right (above the lower Tapeats)

It extends for a while

Mile 122.7 Forster Rapid (debris fan on left from Forster Canyon)

Mile 124.8 we see Fossil Canyon on river left

Mile 126.5 I missed getting a good photo of Randy's Rock (here is a link to a better photo online).
Below is a looking back crop of Randy's Rock taken at 08:27 from about mile 127.

Mile 125.6 08:33 Middle Granite Gorge rises out of the water

08:34 Yes, that is coal black granite

Mile 128 08:37 we see Steamboat Mount over Arrowhead Terrace
(actually a little earlier with zoom lens for perspective at that point - can someone ID the actual river mile)

Also around Mile 128 we observe a great Amphibolite exposure below the Tapeats

Mile 130.5 Bedrock Rapid is named for this large schist island in the middle of the river

Rob runs Bedrock Rapid at 08:58

Mile 133.5 we park at Racetrack Camp to get lunch and do Thunder River hike (which gets a separate report - lots of geology)

End of Part 1 - Day 6 to be continued

Everything is from camp at Mile 133.5 here so I post times photos were taken (local GC time) this is out-and-back hike and I selected images both ways as lighting changed - some items were better going up canyon and some returning

11:15 We cross the creek and start hike up creek right to steep climb thru a break with some scrambling over Bass Limestone and diabase debris

 11:29 looking across we see barrel cactus on top of cliffs of bass limestone - we are glad we are late in the season as this would be hot in summer

11:34 at top of climb from creek we take a route to a river overlook to see Tapeats Rapid - on our agenda first thing tomorrow morning

11:40 as we turn and hike up creek a few hundred yards (climbing gradually up canyon) we see how the creek cut into the diabase sill (black intrusion between layers of the bass limestone which is baked white at the contact point)

11:44 looking back at the hike up creek we are on top of a ledge in the mauve with the black diabase visible in the gorge below

11:46 we soon reach a riparian oasis and several of us take a quick ride in this nice stretch of the creek, cooling off and getting wet for the hike ahead.

11:50 We cross the creek in this area

12:02 and make our way up creek left

We climb briskly and soon reach a broad valley at 12:20 where we see Hakatai Shale

12:21 looking down valley we see how much we have climbed thru the Bass Limestone

12:23 We look more closely at a Hakatai Cliff with interesting boundary with Shinumo Quartzite and sandstone above note the erosion cut into the Hakatai with creek debris in it and .

12:29 in another five minutes we look back down valley but quickly proceed up to this view

12:54 we see the Tapeats Cliffs above

End of Part 2 - Day 6 to be continued

As we continue on the Thunder River hike at mile 133 I post times photos were taken (local GC time).  This is out-and-back hike and I selected images both ways as lighting changed - some items were better going up canyon and some returning

We break near the start of side canyon before the steep climb up to Thunder River and Gail/Gloria look at ripples in some of the large blocks

13:11 did I mention steep climb - up thru blocks of Shinumo Quartzite with riparian creek on right and desert on left as we climb

13:17 we climb more gradually thru the Bright Angel Shale

13:18 looking back at how much we have come up - nice Bright Angel exposure at mid right

13:25 Thunder River springs out of the Mauv at the Bright Angel Shale boundary - water flows thru Mauv but BA shale is impermeable so it can go no place but out

13:25 I could not resist including one arty image

And one of me at the falls

14:20 looking back across Tapeats Canyon and down the trail we see just how much we had come up

On our way back, with different lighting, I selected some more images

15:00 blocks we climb down thru - these have a nice texture and provide a home for lichen

Did I mention taking care around the cactus growing up thru the blocks

15:32 nice marblecake bedding

With very nice colour layering

15:34 great exposure of Hakatai Shale about a mile down the creek from TR trail

15:54 Looking upcanyon towards Tapeats with Redwall above it

15:57 great amphitheatre in Redwall

16:59 bighorn on OUR trail

End of Part 3 - Day 6 done with Thunder River

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