October 21, 2019

Passing through geologic time, time encapsulated within rock layers that tell stories of oceans, volcanic, life, death, and times of dry and wet conditions give a sense to our planets past and how all this has formed to the present time. 

Reading history books on ancient civilization has fascinated me for so many reasons but what if there was a place where you can
read the geologic past within a region of the planet? 

Photo by: Ben Lewis
A place where a painters palette of color accentuate the stories that are being told as we descend down into the the planets past, with passage granted through drainage's and water tributaries that have cut 2 billion years into the earths past. 

The Grand Canyon continues to impress me beyond expectations and beyond what I have ever thought I could experience in any destination.

with this kind of enlightenment will come with payment in blood, sweat, and an occasional tear or two ( enjoy or breakthrough ) that my teams have had, but in the end you will know you were in the grand canyon and you will know that you found an experience that may change you as you leave back to the rim.

The precarious and questionable decisions made to descend into such canyons requires attention to detail that includes multi day hiking, waterborne swift water river activities, technical canyoneering, and the effort similar to what someone could find participating in some sort of marathon event.

We started off with a "late" start, hiking down 1300 ft to the tail end of 150 mile canyon. 

The descent was a bit steep but there was a use trail that we were able to follow on down into 150 mile canyon.

We lost the trail half way down and switch backed through the scree / talus /boulder wash down to the cottonwood trees.

Just getting down into the canyon requires some effort and since we are carrying all of our weighted food for the trip.  The first day will always feel like one of the most difficult.

Once we were in the wash of 150, we hiked down through the coconino and supai layers until we got to the top of the redwall layer where the technical portion of the canyon begins.

The canyon itself took a couple hours of wash hiking and although it was a bit long, I did not find the hike to be all that bad.

There were only a few places where we had to walk around boulders and a couple small by-passes, but other than that, it was pretty straightforward and not too many obstructions.

I did find that on other approaches and exits, the hiking was a bit grueling, not 150 mile canyon.

150 mile canyon also appears to be a canyon that is a bit more traveled than others so there were places to camp along the way if needed and s a few places along a bypass where you could get water.

Once we got to the red wall we made it to the first rap.

This rap is 60 ft in length and had one bolt placement.

150 mile canyon is the trade route to access the river and many other canyons in the area but this also means that 150 mile canyon is where we will exit and our only point of escape so either people have to fix lines to ascend out or use para cord to thread rope.

We used the paracord method to thread the rope on the way out

Once in the canyon the beautiful red wall narrows appeared and a long stretch of red wall was encountered.

PC: Ben Lewis

I think this was some of the longest redwall narrows I have been through in the grand canyon.

We continued to encounter a few more raps that were basically over large boulders and the narrows continued.

The smooth limestone was polished in some places and also showed signs of instruction from the supai above where the red staining is derived. 

After some hiking the walls would widen out and narrow up from time to time.

A few more rappels were noted and than we made it to a couple by pass routes.

We choose to take these bypass routes instead of dropping into the narrows below but for what we missed below
we were able to see from above which was amazing.

The canyon continued to cut its way deeper into the earth as it appeared we were ascending up.

Eventually we found the break and descended down back to the canyon floor with the faint sound of upset rapids echoing like white noise through the canyon.

We move from the temple butte limestone down into the muav  my favorite layer) and work our way to the final rap sequence. 

We opted to go into the muav of 150 mile since it was short and took us right to the river.

We had one 50ft rap and a few downclimbs that got us to the beach of 150 mile canyon!  woot we made it!!

Next task was to hike the shoreline over to the put in where we would cross the river to get to matkat canyon.

It IS indeed possble to reach the river crossing put-in but it will take a bit more time boulder hopping and walking on sand than the bypass around the muav to the put in.

Once we got to the put in we inflated our rafts and one by one made our way across the river.

We had a few challenges making our way across the river as you want to be sure to take the eddy up to the cut and bolt across as fast as you can.

PC: Ben Lewis

I managed to snap my paddle crossing the river so bring quality equipment with you. 

after crossing the river we made it over to a muav bench just above matkat hotel to set up our campsite. 

The following day we ended up hiking up the wrong canyon and came back down to the campsite. With the information that we had, we decided to hike over to matkat canyon proper and hike through the canyon instead of going for OLO and panameta.

The hike over to Matkat was a beautiful bench hike above the river and around into the muav narrows of matkat.

We hung out in the lower section of matkat and enjoyed a casual hike up matkat canyon thinking about how we will accomplish gaining olo and panamata on the next trip.

We hiked back to camp and prepared for a exit out of 150 the following day.

The next day we pack rafted down to the takeout for 150 mile canyon and hiked over to the bypass of the 150 muav which proved to be quicker than going to the beach and up.

We than hiked up and ascended ropes using the paracord we put in place.  The last rap we raised packs and ascended the rope than made the somewhat long but straightforward hike out 150 mile canyon.

Eventually we made it to the final approach to the rim and took our last break and hiked at a good pace to the rim just in time for the sun to set.

PC: Ben Lewis

What an incredible place and once again, the grand canyon never disappoints to be one of the best places that I have ever visited.

Next time we go back we know exactly what to do to gain panameta and olo canyons as well as the other canyons that are in the area. 

This blog entry is for documentation and personal reflection to this trip and is not to be used as actual beta.

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