BADGER CANYON & SEVEN MILE DRAW. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, ARIZONA

March 21, 2017

Laura on the Vista of Marble Canyon overlooking Soap Creek Canyon. Grand Canyon National park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon might be one of the best examples of a geological time capsule where the water erodes away a relieving past, not only for the exposure to the origin of this region, but a beautiful display of color and personality that demands respect and prestige when visiting the unforgiving lands. 
Laura and Adam on the Vista of Marble Canyon overlooking Soap Creek Canyon. Grand Canyon National park, Arizona
After the water leaves Lake Powell, the Colorado river pushes through the sandstone walls through Waterholes and Lee's Ferry and breaks through into a Plateau, where the canyon takes on a different name until passing the Little Colorado river.

Globe Mallows on the rim of Marble Canyon.  Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
Marble Canyon is the upper tributary for where the vast majority of water comes from.  Marble canyon has some beautiful vista overlooks that appear to not be well traveled which made for some great camping as we had the vista overlook to ourselves.

Marble Canyon overlooking Soap Creek Canyon. Grand Canyon National park, Arizona
We camped at the overlook where Soap Creek drains into the Colorado river. Soap Creek is another non technical canyon that has some short sections of narrows.  There is a self elected technical component to Soap Creek where a group can rap off a few dry falls and visit a few more short sections of narrows before meeting up with the main conduit of Soap Creek.
Laura in Badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
There are also a few more canyons including salt water wash and 12.5 mile canyon which I have understood to be " not worth the visit" but everyone has a preference and yours might be different than mine.

Laura in Badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Jackass Canyon is directly across the Colorado river from Badger canyon.  This canyon is a non technical canyon that has a short section of narrows using the south fork.  A lot of people use this area for fishing and camping so you might encounter more people when visiting Jackass Canyon.

Laura in Badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Badger Canyon is known to be a local favorite in the Marble Canyon area so Laura and I packed some ropes and packrafts and made our way out to the canyon.

Laura in Badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
After a super quiet night on the rim of Marble Canyon, we headed to the trailhead of the canyon and started our way down the canyon.  We noticed a lot of clay and mud stones at the top but when we meandered our way down the canyon, the walls started to rise and the sandstone layers appeared.

Laura in Badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
We encountered a dry fall that was easily down climbed by going down canyon right and made our way to the first drop.  This drop was only 20-25ft. but the webbing looked a bit dry with no mallion attached to the webbing.
last drop in badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The webbing should be replaced soon as of mid march 2017. There also needs to be a mallion or a rap ring left for the drop.  The drop itself was straightforward and was followed up with another drop of around 50ft. The second drop was a nice fluted chute with shelved sandstone upon the descent, really nice.

Laura at the last drop in badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
After the drop and the pull, we made our way down a couple down climbs and the canyon opened up with a massive corridor and towering walls to our side. This was interesting as it was not narrow but the personality of this canyon is unique to this canyon.
Laura at the last drop in badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Soon after the south fork connected to the main conduit of Badger and the last rap was encountered. This had a interesting lip, and was a free drop, but only for about 30ft. It was bright and the sun was reflecting off of the floor so the photos did not turn out the way we wanted them to.
last drop in badger Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
We could hear the Colorado river when we continued down the passage as we scrambled down a few dry down climbs and breakdown piles. We worked our way down further and the sound of the white noise that the water made when it tumbles over large boulders was more defined. All of a sudden we could see the rapids and the white water where raft companies where forging over the white water of the Colorado river, we made it.

Going down Badger Canyon in the Grand Canyon.
directly across the river, Jackass Canyon had a group of people camping and fishing as a tour company with 5 large yellow rafts packed with people came over the river rapids.  It was a bit busy out there as we ate lunch and doned our pack rafts for the venture down the river.

Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona
We inflated our rafts and made sure that we were secure and ready to tackle a half mile of river before we take out and ascend out of the canyon. The water was a bit cold but the sun was hot and it was a beautiful day to be on the river.  We casted off from a light eddy pool as we hugged the shore line and started floating down the Colorado river. shortly after we started, I recognized more rapids in front of us that appeared to be class II.  After a bit of thought we decided to take out early and just handle rail the shoreline past the rapids.  I think we could have avoided them there was another set of rapids that looked like they were poking through the class III realm so we would have taken out before that point but we made a good decision but taking out and playing it safe.
Jackass Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.
After deflating our rafts and ending that segment of the hike, we found our exit, which was a class 3 and 4 scramble over loose scree and boulders to a series of exposed shelves on a cliff.  We worked our way up and over these shelves and found a bolted hanger with webbing that was useful for the hand line climb over the ledge to the top of the wash.
checking out the map and how we are getting out of here.
woohoo, we made it.  Now we just had to route find our way a bit back to the car and try to avoid any of the canyon drainage washes along the way. We cut across the plateau passing by some flowers and prickly pear cactus. to a small hill where we could see the car in site.

Badger Canyon
Upon our approach we encountered some arroyos and slopped washes that were not too bad to get around until we got right to the road where there was narrow canyon that had to be climbed down and up before finally placing boots on concrete. That last narrow canyon was a quality check of endurance which made the concrete more enjoyable once we were able to walk back to the Jeep and head back to civilization.  I give this canyon a 3AIII and I highly recommend this one if you are looking for a great down in the marble canyon area with some drops and route finding. 

Vista of Marble Canyon overlooking Soap Creek Canyon. Grand Canyon National park, Arizona









COFFIN CANYON 3AII, DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

February 21, 2017

Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
 Finally the rain started to clear out a bit and it was enough to make the drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley to get at least one of the classics in the Black range.

Mike Green Descending the bonus drop in Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
 Our original plan was to camp out with a group of canyoneers at Slabby for a weekend of Death Valley Canyoneering but the risk of flooding appeared to be a bit much for our threshold even though that we were told that we will be fine with the threat of rain. we decided to run a canyon in Vegas on Saturday and drive out to Coffin Canyon for Sunday.

Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
The roads had a few signs of washout from water running out of the mountains and there was a look of a storm on top of the black range but when we made it over to coffin canyon, the clouds were breaking on the windward side and we had some pretty good conditions.

Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California

 We started our approach up the mountain which was a steep but easy approach to follow the spur up to the top of the mountain.
Heidi Schindel descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 There was a moment where we had a small mis-orientation but that was quickly solved and we made our way up and around the range to the head of the canyon.
Heidi Schindel descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California

The views were spectacular as we made our approach to the head of the canyon.  Clouds were rolling over the mountain tops and rays of sunlight were peaking through the clouds over the playa.  It was quite spectacular to see.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 We continued on and finally made it down to the wash that took us to the first drop in the canyon.

Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 It was only a 40ft drop, I thought were were coming up on a 190ft drop right away but instead, we had a 40ft drop to work down.
Heidi Schindel descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 Along the way we passed blocks of mud stone and sandstone with hoodoo structures and other strata within the wall which was very interesting to see.
 Descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 After we got around the 40ft drop we came up to another 20ft drop.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 Pretty easy stuff so far.  we continued to work around a couple of small down climbs and than we saw a big vista with a nice vertical pour over at the bottom.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 We made it to the big drop. It was pretty impressive and it appeared that it was more than 190ft.  It looked like it was over 225ft.  we rigged a pull cord and rapped down while enjoying this drop.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 It always nice to know we still got it when all of us had just a bit of fear going through our blood. It felt great.
Descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 We continued to work our way around a few more down climbs and we noticed that bad water basin was starting to flatten out a bit so we were making our approach to the bottom.
Heidi Schindel in Coffin Canyon, Death Valley
 Not exactly, we had a couple of 20ft drops to get around and a few washes to walk through.  We even passed a recent rock fall area where the wall appeared to just fall into the canyon itself.

Laura Sangaila hiking up to Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
  Thankfully we were not here when that happened. 

Coffin Canyon
 I thought we were making our final descent out of the canyon into badwater basin but we were rewarded with another bonus 100ft rap which was surprising.
Mike and Heidi approaching Coffin Canyon.
 I knew I saw this drop walking up the mountain.
Heidi Schindel, Mike green, Laura Sangaila, and Adam Haydock hiking up to Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
head of coffin canyon
 After 5 1/2 hours, we came out of the canyon and enjoyed the hike down to the car.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
 I have grabbed around 10 other Death Valley Canyons but this was the first time for everyone else on a technical canyon in death valley and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
Approaching Coffin Canyon
 I was happy with this route and it worked out perfectly with our schedule as I had to make it back to vegas and drop off, Mike and Heidi at the airport in time for their flights.
Mike and Heidi approachign Coffin Canyon
 The Canyon itself is a Death Valley Classic and I believe just about everyone that has been death valley Canyoneering has been here before, at least it seems.
Mike Green Descending Coffin Canyon. Death valley, California
I am looking forward to coming back to the black range to grab some more routes and enjoy the low altitude mountain hiking and, usually dry canyoneering that Death Valley has to offer.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California
I hope that these canyons continue to remain open as they are beautiful to enjoy with friends and see the worlds pastime with the assistance of ancient waterways that have cut through the mountains of Death valley.
Coffin canyon Death Valley California
 I recommend this canyon for a half day trek if you have some time for a technical 3AII.
Laura Sangaila descending into Coffin Canyon, Death valley, California

MOTORCYCLE CANYON, LAKE MEAD, NEVADA

February 21, 2017

Mike green in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
Finally I was able to meet up with Mike and Heidi for the weekend and celebrate Mike's birthday in style with a weekend packed of canyoneering. Unfortunately, we were not able to get out to Death Valley due to the potential for flash floods and after some extensive debate, we decided to stick around Vegas and head over to motorcycle canyon.

Mike green in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada

Motorcycle canyon is a 3AIII and is located in the Black range, just south of Hoover dam in Nevada.  There are a series of technical and non-technical routes down this section of the colorado which can make for a great week of canyoneering, some of which require a packraft, and kayaking.
Mike Green and Heidi Schindel in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
This route pours into Goldstrike Canyon which is a bit more of a touristy route and a non-technical approach to the Colorado river and to some nice hot springs.
Mike descending the second drop in motorcycle canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
We parked the car at the trail head and headed up the 4x4 road which took us into the clouds since the weather was still lingering in the southwest region and the threat of rain was a reasonable assumption with a possibility of accumulating rain.  The clouds were breaking up a bit more once we got to the trail head so we headed down to the first 90ft drop and rigged in.

Heidi at the top of the second drop. Motorcycle canyon, Lake mead, Nevada
This was Heidi's first technical canyon and it was Mike's birthday, I tried to find something that would be the best option for the conditions that we had to deal with and I think it worked out pretty well.
Heidi Schindel comign down the second drop in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
The first drop was a 90ft drop and the next drop was a 60 footer which dropped us off on a rolling plateau of sorts that continued to descend down some breakdown falls and into another set of narrows.

Mike is giving me the sharu martin in motorcycle canyon. Lake mead, Nevada
The rock of the black range and the hot springs made this canyon almost volcanic like in nature with the dark colors that we passed around.  I bet that this canyon lights up with color in the sun.
Mike and Heidi in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
Eventually we came up on a section of narrow that had two 40ft sloping descents and another small drop before the canyon opened up again into a series of downclimbs.
Mike Green in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
I was surprised to see how narrow this canyon got for the area and I found this canyon to be more interesting than I thought it would be, which was a nice surprise.
Mike Green in Motorcycle Canyon. Lake Mead, Nevada
We poured into gold strike canyon and walked back to the car without any issues at all except for all of the helicopters that kept flying in circles.
Heidi Schindel in Motorcycle Canyon
MOTORCYCLE CANYON https://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/sets/72157680451543716/

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