Elves Chasm April 1997In April 1997 Daniel, Douglas, Tom and I went down the Bass trailand out to Elves Chasm. We were in for 10 nights and had an incredible trip...

trailhead.jpgThe view from the trailhead. (45.9KB)
steve_pack.jpgHere I am, carrying 70 lbs! I'd only been hiking for 20 minutes at this point so I was still smiling. (29.4KB)
daniel_pack.jpgHere's Daniel shortly before heran me over. Only kidding...he's my best buddy and has led all the wilderness trips I've taken into the canyon. He's also a wonderful trail cook. (28.6KB)
doc_1.jpgdoc_2.jpgWe spent the night about a third of the way down, at about 4800 feet. Here's a view accross the canyon of holy grail temple and Dox Castle. (44.5KB, 19.4KB)
bass_trail.jpgA view of the trail that we were to take the next day. Quite far down. (38.1KB)
dnd_cold.jpgDouglas (on L) and Daniel wearing everything they have asthe first day ends. Yes, that's snow on the rim in thebackground. (47.7KB)
sunset.jpgSunset on the tonto, second night. A storm had just moved around us but we stayed dry. (13.3KB)
sunrise.jpgSunrise the next morning. Still quite chilly. (20.1KB)
river_canyon.jpgA view accross the river. It was clearing but there was still enough moisture in the air to give the canyon a rare sense of depth. (51.7KB)
elves_route_2.jpgelves_route_1.jpgThe route from Garnet to Elves. Four days into the hike. Very rugged and tiring for about three miles. That's thetrail in the lower left corner of the second picture. We hadcached a lot of stuff in Garnet canyon. (18.3KB, 25.7KB)
lower_elves_falls.jpgThe required Elves chasm lower falls photo. (53.3KB)
afternoon_light.jpgAfternoon light at Elves. It was beginning to warm up but there was still a lot of moisture in the air.(39.6KB)
accross_from_elves.jpgExplorer's monumentaccross the river from Elves. (33.0KB)
beach.jpgYou're not allowed to camp at Elves, so we camped on thebeach about a quarter mile upriver.Daniel is cooking. Every morning I woke before dawn and sat by theriver as it got light. (10.8KB)
comet.jpgEvery night we got to watchcomet Hale-Bopp set over the moonlit canyon walls.This is a 1-minute exposure on 200-speed film. Very bright comet. (5.4KB)
daniel_pool_med.jpgElves chasm is a cascade of small waterfalls going upa good thousand feet. The highlight of the trip is the climb to upper Elves. You find beautiful pools and waterfalls, like this one with Daniel. (42.3KB)
steve_pool.jpgHere we are cavorting in one of the pools (this picture hasbeen censored). It had gotten quite hot by this time.(35.5KB)
elves_group.jpgThe crew. Left to right: me, Daniel, Douglas and Tom. (27.9KB)
frog.jpgSome of the native wildlife several hundred feet up elves. (13.1KB)
elves_wall.jpgA very special spot. (55.6KB)
pushd.jpgThe first few hundred feet up elves are not too hard. To go higher you have to be a very good climber. Douglas was the only one of us who could get that farwithout assistance, so he pushed us and came after. I am forever in his debt for getting meup there. (16.9KB)
upper_elves_vista.jpgUpper Elves is a wonderland of rocks, water and textures. We all felt that we had entered anotherrealm of creation. (43.9KB)
upper_elves_wall.jpgA wall encircled us, alive with water, color and shapes. We agreed that we had entered awomb... (59.1KB)
upper_elves_boulders.jpgWe felt so small there, but completely at peace. (20.2KB)
upper_elves_falls.jpg Water dripping down the wall. The water falls maybe 50 feet. (55.9KB)
snake.jpgWe stayed three nights at elves. Hiking back early in the morning, I was leading and found a small rattlesnake curled up on the trail. I saw it when I was about seven feet from it. The temperature was cold and the snake was very slow:it twice lifted its head to look at me then curled up again. We finallygot it to move off the trail by stomping our feet. It is a great honorto see a rattlesnake, since they run and hide from us whenever they can.This encounter didn't bother me at all. Of course I had just been seriously frightened by a bighorn sheep about thirty minutes before... (22.4KB)
steve_in_garnet.jpgRelaxing in Garnet canyon. It was now far too hot to hike during the day. (14.7KB)
garnet_reflection.jpgReflections in Garnet canyon. (32.2KB)
fall.jpgThe next day I left the campsite after the others had gone,and then fell hard onto lava rock. A good definition of lava rock is"rock that when you look at it you think 'I really don't want to fall down on that stuff!'". I learned several things in this incident: I can take care of myself in a crisis, that it really matterswhere you carry your first aid kit (I had it right), that fallingon lava rock isn't as bad as it looks (though it's pretty bad) and that I canfall and take a serious gash then hike and it's OK.This is what I looked like when I caught up with the guys two hours later. (33.3KB)
big_agave.jpgA very big agave plant. Daniel, 6'1" tall, is standing nextto it. (16.0KB)
climber_route_1.jpgclimber_route_2.jpgOn the hike out we took a shortcut known as the climber'sroute. For the most part it wasn't too bad so long as westayed together and were careful. There was one place wherewe had to take off our packs and do alittle climbing (36.0KB, 19.0KB)
end.jpgIn the end, a very happy group. (41.3KB)

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