The Grand Canyon Hikers and Back-packers Association, in conjunction with the Grand Canyon Field Institute, hosts the second Grand Canyon Hikers Symposium: Grand Switchbacks this Saturday. It will be from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages.
It is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required and attendees may stay for some or all of the presentations.
According to Tom Martin of the GCHBA, the 16 reports represent a diversity of Canyon experiences spanning 50 years and ranging from Lees Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs and rim to rim. They include forays into the backcountry, hikes on well-traveled corridor trails and an account of a rescue from a day hike gone wrong.
The first symposium was held in spring of 2006 drawing in more than 100 hiking enthusiasts and positive feedback, Martin said, no surprise considering the tradition of story telling among backpackers. For more information, visit http://www.gchba.org/hikers_symposium_2007.asp.
9 a.m.: Introduction and ground rules.
9:15 a.m.: How Do We Cross the River? - Chris Forsyth and Doug Nering. In this trip, taken last April, Forsyth and Nering hiked down the Tanner, crossing the river above Lava Chuar, exploring out to Butte Fault and recrossing at Carbon to take the Tanner back out.
9:40 a.m.: Thunder River/Deer Creek - Jeri Grandy. This September 2004 backpacking adventure with the Grand Canyon Field Institute was led by geologist Christa Sadler. The six-day, 22-mile hike started on the Bill Hall Trail along Tapeats Creek to Thunder River Falls, the Colorado River, Deer Creek, up to The Patio, across Surprise Valley back to the Esplanade and returning to the Bill Hall trailhead.
10:05 a.m.: Snake Gulch to Sowats Point - Kathleen and Rob Jones. This is a report about a cooperative 11-person backpack in the Kanab Creek Wilderness from April 29-May 8, 2006. These intrepid Sierra Clubbers backpacked to Kanab Creek and the Ranger Trail 41, Lower Jumpup Spring and then to Mountain Sheep Spring before hiking out of the wilderness to Sowats Point. Along the way, they encountered many pictos and lots of wilderness, seeing only people and no cows.
10:30 a.m. - Powell Route to Salt Trail - Bob Marley. This 1975 Labor Day hike with some Boy Scouts grew from three days to four following a series of unexpected turns that started with mothers, fathers and sisters wanting to join in.
10:55 a.m.: Nankoweap to Horse Trail - John Karpinski and Wayne Christensen. This trip started at the Nankoweap trailhead, along Nankoweap Creek to the Colorado River and down to the Little Colorado. There, they met and talked with researchers electrocuting trout and carp, then visited Emerald Pool and Blue Spring before finding their way out.
11:20 a.m.: East Side of Shivwits Plateau - Jeff Ingram. This covers a 19-day backpack in 1968 on the east side of Shivwits Plateau. Between Mt. Dellenbaugh and Indian Canyon, he explored every side canyon on the right bank up as far as he could safely go alone. He also spent a week camped opposite Granite Park so his hiking companion, Dave Bohn, could take photographs.
11:40 a.m.-1:10 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m.: Redwall Bench Hike in Kanab Canyon - Dave Mortenson. This presentation is about a hike from Chamberlain Canyon to Kanab Point along the Redwall Bench. This presentation will be photo intensive revealing all that was found, from unique views, forgotten cowboy activities, unknown springs and landscapes. Nobody hikes the Redwall Bench route and this presentation will likely change that.
1:40 p.m.: A Day Hike to Wotans Throne - Sean Peters. This 2006 day hike took longer and involved more route-finding than planned. The day started at 5:30 a.m. and ended up back on the rim at about 7:30 p.m. - a long day but worth every sweaty step!
2:05 p.m.: Grandview Rescue Adventure - Cindy George. In March 2002, George broke her ankle on a day hike to Horseshoe Mesa. It took over four hours for help to arrive - an eye-opener given that they weren't too far from the rim. This presentation will concentrate the wait to be rescued, the rescue procedure and a bit about being prepared.
2:30 p.m.: 150 Mile to Kanab - Arnie Richards. He will speak on the hike described in George Steck's "Loop Hikes II," chapter 3, which leads down Mile 150 Canyon to the river, upriver to Kanab Canyon, up Kanab to Scotty's Hollow, and up Scotty's Hollow to the rim - approximately 25 miles. In 1997, he and four others made this hike, which included an old cowboy trail, rappels through a redwall slot canyon, a difficult traverse along the Colorado, a sloggy walk up a swollen Kanab Creek and a rough hand-over-foot climb up the rim cliff.
2:55 p.m.: Exploring Powell Plateau - John Stark. Late Spring 2001, Stark and Jim Bush dry camped for one week on Powell Plateau. Reports by Euler, Butchart and Covington helped them navigate the place Zane Grey called "the most isolated, inaccessible and remarkable mesa of any size in canyon country." On Powell Plateau they found old growth Ponderosa Pine forest, archaeology sites littered with pottery, corrals left behind by Uncle Jim Owens, mountain lion runs, and the vista painted by Thomas Moran. They mapped the Plateau, explored the Blacktail Valley, and took an overnight trip to remote Ives Point.
3:20 p.m.: High Saddles Hike, Phantom to Tanner - Sally Underwood. She and her team went from the South Rim to BA and then over to Lava/Chuar, using all the high saddles in between (Wotan's/Angel's Gate, Vishnu/Unkar, Unkar/Lava/Chuar.) They se-cured a ride across the river and came out the Tanner. John Azar, Al Astorga and Debra Van Winegardener were her companions.
3:45 p.m.: Rim to Rim to Rim with Teens - Laurent "Maverick" Gaudreau. This presentation is on a five-day rim to rim to rim on the corridor trails, night one at the Bright Angel Campground, nights two and three at Cottonwood, night four back at Bright Angel and hike out on the fifth day. This was last spring with seniors from a Rhode Island high school.
4:10 p.m.: A Stroll to Redwall Cavern - Hank Schnieder. This presentation covers a hike to Redwall Cavern, going down the shortcut route via Bedrock Canyon into South Canyon, hiking down along the river until right across from Redwall Cavern, then paddling across the river in an inflatable and going back the same way.
4:35 p.m.: "Tanner to Grandview, Girls Week Out" - Angie Wesley and Annette Karpinski. Wesley and Karpinski spent five days hiking the Tanner to Grandview last May. Apart from the 50 mile-per-hour wind, the weather was perfect. They also came across fellow travelers who shared their dinner and whiskey and the cactus were in bloom.
5 p.m.: Vishnu Temple 60th Anniversary Summit - Tom Martin. In October of 2005, Andy Bates, Andy Martin and Tom Martin attempted to climb Vishnu Temple in a three-day backpack off Cape Royal - 60 years after the first summit of the butte by the father and son team of Merrel Dare Clubb and his son Roger in 1945. Bates and Martin made the summit, where they matched a photo taken on the first ascent. In a visit with Clubb's last surviving son, Martin was able to sort out a little more history and gather original Merrel Clubb photographs of Vishnu Temple that will be part of the presentation.