Two miles after leaving Rattlesnake Canyon we would come to our biggest and longest rapid thus far, Hance Rapid, which is rated 8-10 on the Grand Canyon Scale. First though we would go through Escalante Rapid and Nevills Rapid, rated 4 and 6 respectively.
As the river is altered by changing conditions so too are the rapids. Debris carried in by side streams during flash floods can easily, and often does, change the character of the rapids. The level of the water changes daily with the releases from Glen Canyon Dam, and that too affects the rapids. Each rafting group that goes through the Grand Canyon experiences each rapid differently than the groups that have gone before and those that will come afterward.
On August 15, 2012 there was a flash flood that went through Red Canyon, which dumped a bunch of rocks and boulders into the Colorado River at the top of Hance Rapid. After we had made it through and were waiting for the other rafts, KJ related the story of how he was a witness to that once-in-a-lifetime event.
In the past few weeks I've looked at quite a few videos and photos of rafting in the Grand Canyon and came across this video taken on August 15, 2012 by Michael Mayer.
The caption added to the video states: "We tied up the rafts to scout this rapid before going through. It started [to] rain.... REALLY HARD.... then as we were about to get back in the rafts, the hail started... we were pummeled with rather large hail for about 10 minutes preventing us from getting in the rafts... and that is when the flash flood came out of the side canyon. Can't tell from the video, but it was probably 6-10 feet deep, 50-60 feet wide, and ran for about 1/2 hour at an amazing speed, and sounded like a freight train as it filled the left side of the river with rocks forever changing the rapid. According to the river guides, this was a once in a lifetime event to witness, especially one this large.... and we were the first ones to go through the newly formed Hance rapid."
The paddle boat crew making their run through Hance Rapid.
We take a few minutes to gather together and talk about the run through Hance.
A little further.
Everyone made it through safely.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Note: The page Grand Canyon Raft Trip lists all of my posts published about this Grand Adventure!
Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Day 6 - Part 2 :: Rattlesnake Canyon to Cremation Fault," Kinexxions, posted November 2, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/11/day-6-part-2-rattlesnake-canyon-to.html : accessed [access date])