Colorado River - Grand Canyon - Pearce Ferry to South Cove - Part I

We ran the lower part of the Grand Canyon from Diamond Creek (where most Grand Canyon trips take out) to Lake Mead, taking out at South Cove. It was an excellent trip, we had great weather, the rapids were a blast, the camps were really nice, and we saw no other campers once we left Diamond Creek. None of us had done this section before, and none of us had done a private trip on such big water with such challenging rapids. We had eight adults, an 18' cat, two 14' cats, a 14' paddle raft, a 16' SOAR canyon (set up with oars) and a Bandit single inflatable kayak, which was more than enough boats. We used two full size pickup trucks for shuttle, each with a trailer. On the first day (October 3), we left Phoenix at 5:15 am, met and picked up people along the way, moved gear into the shuttle vehicles, and launched at about 2:00 pm. We ran a few rapids and did a short hike at Travertine Canyon, which was fantastic, and camped at Travertine falls.

On the second day we ran the biggest natural rapids, scouting only 232 (Killer Fang Falls), with no swims, although I almost went over in the IK in 232 (rated 6 on the Grand Canyon scale from 1-10). I wore a hydroskin top and a splash jacket in the Bandit on the second day and was plenty warm enough even in a light rain, but we were not hot at all. On other days, and after the rapids, I just wore a shirt and pants, and was fine, even when wet. There were 6 or 8 really nice rapids in the first two days. This was more than twice the flow we have paddled on before and the waves were huge. On the second day, after the rapids, we floated and paddled some, camping at Spencer Canyon. One person got a 2-inch cut on his leg from his cat frame. We had a suture kit and a couple of people in the group in the medical field, including the injured paddler, put in a couple of stitches, but the needle that we had was too small and it broke after two stitches. Those two stitches held for a while, but then pulled apart. They taped plastic over the wound to try to keep it dry and it did not seem to get infected during the trip.
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