Thursday, July 29, 2010
This week i got myself up to the Kaibab plateau. This is part of the Colorado plateau that is responsible for the Grand Canyon. the Kaibab is a 9000 foot mesa near the north rim and lies between lake Powell and lake Mead. My goal was to try the infamous Kaibab Monstercross. A 130 mile trek around the plateau. My plan was to do an overnight trip with 60 miles the first day and 80 the next. This was not to be. The only service on this route come at 80 miles. Unfortunately there is about 8000 foot of climbing to get to that point over the highest point on the plateau. There is also NO natural or man made water sources along the route. I took 6L of water with me. This will normally get me up to 100 miles. I figured this would be enough to get me to the store at 80 miles. I brought my filter because of reports of game waters i could use if i had to. It turns out that 6L is not near enough on the Kaibab, especially with a full bikepacking load. When i made camp at 40 miles at 8000 foot i had about 2L left. I was planning on having space dinner that uses 16 oz. This would not leave me much water for the next 40 miles that had 4-5000 foot of climbing. I made the decision to go back the way i came in the AM because there were a few large puddles in the trail i could draw from if need be. Lucky for me rain threatened that night so before bed i set up my rain coat as a water catch on my bike in the hopes of collecting some water. Lucky for me it sprinkled all night. In the morning i had collected 3/4 L of water from my jacket and another 1/4 L from my ground tarp. If i was careful this would be enough. But I knew i still had 41 miles and about 4K climbing ahead of me with 4-5 hours of riding. Lucky for me I ran into a forest service worker around 30 miles that gave me some H2o and a gatorade to get me home. It was a blast! Cant wait to get back.
For your entertainment..... some pictures from Kaibab