- Nov 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm #3502818
Matthew ReeseBPL Member
I posted this in pre-trip planning and got no responses, so I thought I’d try here. Thanks in advance.
A buddy and I got our permit for the Escalante Route in GC for mid-March. We’re experienced hikers, but mostly in the southeast. We’ve done weeks in Glacier and Yosemite in recent years, but are inexperienced in desert hiking. I’ve been reading blogs/posts and have gathered a good bit of info, but thought I’d throw out a few questions.
I’ve read the trails near the rim may be icy, and some sort of traction devices are recommended. I’ve got microspikes, but they are heavy and pointy, and I’d rather have something lighter and easier to pack when not needed. Any suggestions?
Our first two nights are at Tanner Beach, and we plan to day hike up the Colorado on day 2. Is it ok to leave our tent up? Or is the risk of critters chewing on too great. We’ll take our food with us, of course.
I’ve read so much about water issues, especially from the Colorado. We plan on taking a folding bucket and Floccing stuff, along with an MSR Guardian filter I picked up. Any other suggestions?
I’ve got a regular Ursack, but have read they don’t do well with the mice/ravens, etc. in the GC. I’m thinking of picking up one of the stainless mesh sacks available. What size would you recommend for a 5 night trip? I’ll be taking freeze-dried dinners. Any other food storage suggestions?
Long pants and shirt vs. shorts and a t-shirt? Other clothing suggestions?
I’ve got a couple of quilts, a 20 degree and a 30, (which is more 35 or 40). Of course I’d like to take the smaller, lighter one if I could get away with it. Which would you take?
Some of the articles I’ve read suggested taking 30 feet of cord or rope to lower and raise packs. Is this worth taking?
Any other suggestions for a couple of Grand Canyon newbies?
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Nov 19, 2017 at 12:20 am #3502824
- This topic was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by matthew k.
A couple of my friends did the Escalante Route last year in early December. They did lower bags via rope in a spot or two. Video here.
I have other friends that use instep crampons in the spring as they descend from the rim. I think the general consensus is that’s usually all that’s needed.
Im sorry I don’t have more specific information or experience.Nov 19, 2017 at 1:54 am #3502846
Greg MihalikBPL Member
“I’ve read the trails near the rim may be icy, and some sort of traction devices are recommended.”
Check with the Back Country Office on trail conditions. Take your micro spikes and leave them in the car if things look good. But if the trail up Grandview is icy you will need insteps at a minimum. I have walked up in 4″ of fresh snow with no problem, but the trail was Not icy underneath.
“Is it ok to leave our tent up? “
Depends on how solid you can pitch your tent. Fierce random canyon winds are the nemesis.
“Or is the risk of critters chewing on too great?
Usually not. But then again, I’ve had them chew into the tent while I was sleeping.
“I’ve got a couple of quilts, a 20 degree and a 30, (which is more 35 or 40). Of course I’d like to take the smaller, lighter one if I could get away with it. Which would you take?”
Temps at Hance Creek are the unknown. Make you decision the night before. I’d be OK with a 40° quilt.
“Some of the articles I’ve read suggested taking 30 feet of cord or rope to lower and raise packs. Is this worth taking?”
Papago Wall is like going up a ladder. No big deal. (YouTube “Papago Wall.) I find going down the scree chute more nerve-racking.Nov 19, 2017 at 2:45 am #3502851
Lee WBPL Member
@ltwLocale: Mojave Desert
I have a permit for the Escalante Route the first weekend of March. Shoot me a message or bump this up and I can update you with any current conditions when I get back.
As far as food storage, I’d definitely recommend and Outsak or something similar. Depending on how much food you take, the larger of the UL versions should work for 5 nights. They have the volume listed on their website.
I like long pants and long sleeved shirts in the desert to protect me from the sun and the abusive plant life. Was happy to be wearing them in the GC last weekend.
If you take some Alum to use as a flocculent, along with you’re normal filtration means, you should be fine for water.
Temps should be warming up pretty well by mid March, may even be pretty hot down at river level, so your lighter quilt will probably do the trick. There’s a weather station at Phantom Ranch, so you can get a good forecast there – http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?site=fgz&smap=1&textField1=36.1050&textField2=-112.0940#.WhDvPLbMxsN
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Lee W. Reason: activated link
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