October 23, 2000
River Mile 30.2 to 32.6 (on Top of Redwall)
Today's route stats:Distance: 2.8 miles Elevation Gain: 800 feet Elevation Loss: 500 feet
After a long night in our tents, we awoke to wet and cloudy conditions, but no rain. We decided to hike only as far as Steck's "Emergency Descent Ravine" at Mile 32.6. It took us about 4 hours to cover the 2.8 miles -- slow going despite the rather good trail. Along the way we had wonderful views of Vasey's Paradise on the opposite side of the River, as well as Redwall Cavern.
Although we didn't need to go down for water (plenty of water on top), the weather had improved (partly sunny), so we decided to camp on top and spend the afternoon checking out the descent ravine. The route starts out following a steep ravine, then contours out onto a steep face of Redwall on a diminishing ledge. From there we could see the row of 1-inch diameter iron rods, two or three feet long, that had been imbedded into the Redwall about every 30 or 40 feet most of the way down the steep face. We used half-inch webbing as a handline. Marcey and Leslie could hardly believe that they had done this route years ago without using a rope. I think it would have been quite challenging to climb up with a full load of water. But we all made it down and back up safely before it started raining again. We had wonderful views from our camp, including views into Redwall Cavern.
|Bob at the Top of Iron-Rod Route.||Vasey's Paradise.|