Forge and Shoestring Canyon, Death Valley National Park
Under threatening skies... Well, this one is different, because Mark, Randi, Rick, Courtney and DB were coming back and gifted us ANOTHER exploration. Such fine fellows and gals. Today's canyon would be called "Forge", though... well, can't give it all away at the beginning. Ram's Death Valley Diary of the day available HERE (on the Canyons Group).
The night before was super-windy, so we had cold dinner and went to be early. Good, because an early start was once again called for. The crew did the car spot the night before. We got up early, hiked up over the ridge and...
Here's the gang, at the crest of the pass, in the slanty dawn light: Mark Duttweiler, Randi Poer, Rick Kent, DB, Courtney, Ram, Ryan.
Randi in the early morning light.
Fairly soon, we came to an isolated 80 foot drop. Most rapped, Ram went around to stay warm.
Rock orders were a little different. Seemed like we hit this nice gneiss pretty early. Here Mark raps...
... while Ram and Ryan downclimb.
Some people just make it look TOO EASY!
Mid-canyon, we came upon a band of lovely white quartzite. Creamy.
Interesting rock. Bunch of rappels. We built a lot of cairns (surprise!).
And into the Pink Granite. Yeah, the rock is better than it looks, at least at the TOP of the raps.
A rappel, in context.
We found some interesting evidence of up-climbing on the last couple-a drops, then this 'plaque' at the top of the fan. Courtney playing puff-daddy!
Sittin' around the campfire.
Short version: "Then we went home".
Bonus Pic, with a little help from Astronomy Picture of the Day