Day 2

March 15, 2008

Supai Village to Esplanade via Carbonate Canyon

Click on photos to see larger image.

We got a fairly late start today because George was still recovering from a nasty cold.  We ate breakfast at the cafe and started hiking around 9:00.  We followed the "road" for a little over a mile before turning off onto the trail that heads up Carbonate Canyon.  The canyon continually steepens and presents increasingly difficult obstacles to deal with.  First some small pour-offs requiring short pack lifts.  Then larger pouroffs with steep bypasses.  And finally we reached the crux, which was much harder than I remembered.  

Lower End of Carbonate Canyon Carbonate Canyon George Taking a Break Above a Pouroff.


The crux is a 20-ft climb, which I would probably rate as 5.4 (Note:  My rating skills aren't much better than my climbing skills).  George, who is smaller than me, climbed up onto my shoulders and still couldn't quite get a good enough grip.  So we made a small foot loop (we brought 70 feet of webbing) that George could use to gain a little more height and get a good hand and foot hold.  Then he hauled up our backpacks and lowered the webbing back down to me.  I ended up making a daisy-chain of foot and hand loops to climb the lower 10 feet.  I made it up but it was not pretty. 

Pouroff in Carbonate Canyon The Crux Climb in Carbonate Canyon.  Mount Sinyella.

After about another hour, and a couple more pouroffs, we finally topped out onto the Esplanade.  We only had about two hours of light left, so we stopped for the night at the first pothole we found.

Back to Main Trip Index Back to Trip Index Back to Day 1 Forward to Day 3