CJR Escalante Adventure 2005 – Day 7

Synopsis: Hike from Camp III to Camp IV, i.e. over the ridge and down the Right Fork almost to the confluence with the main fork of Death Hollow. Backpacking; May 23. View Day 7 route map.

On Day 7, we started hiking with a pre-dawn start of 9:30. We had decided to retrace our previous day’s afternoon route to the top of the ridge, but avoid the slickrock slopes and descend into the bowl of the Right Fork via our morning route through the forest. We thought this was probably the easiest combination.


Last crossing of Sand Creek. Charles and I waded, and Charles was kind enough to carry John’s pack across so he could jump.

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Looking up Sand Creek from the top of the ridge. The white area is the upper slopes, but the steeper inner canyon is hidden.

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We were pleasantly surprised on beginning our descent to find that we avoided the steepest talus. Also, we were very pleased to be finally not lost.


Descending into the Right Fork. The furthest white cliffs are actually the far wall of the main fork.

Photo by Charles Yeamans.
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Once in the floor of the bowl, we traversed to where we had exited the inner canyon the day before. What had taken 45 minutes inside the canyon now took 15.


John and me descending the last few feet into the bottom of the Right Fork.

Photo by Charles Yeamans.
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I pumped a couple of liters of water out of this pool. Much of the water had a reddish tinge, but this was the most dramatic. We speculated that the cause might be iron from the rocks or tannin from the pine needles.

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We took a break for lunch. The rest of the hike down the Right Fork was hot, dry, very sandy, and exhausting. We bypassed a couple of falls, one of which with a very tiring, hilly rimwalk of a quarter mile or so. After some scouting, we finally found a nice, clean campsite. It was two slickrock benches overlooking a long, sculpted pool. We proceeded to lounge around.

[photos/rrp/p5230081.jpg] Charles lounging around.

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[photos/rrp/p5230080.jpg] John lounging around.

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Dinner was pasta with marinara sauce and beef, courtesy of John. John had simply dehydrated some ground beef and a jar of marinara, and it rehydrated excellently and was quite tasty.

I made a dipper out of John’s coffee pot by tying a rope to it. This enabled us to retrieve water from our pool without having to climb the 8 feet down to it. We were also entertained by the numerous swallows in camp and spent some time playing cards before bed.

Please continue reading on Day 8.

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