Icebergs in Cataract Canyon

This slide show illustrates a Cataract Canyon trip over Christmas and New Years 1975-76. In December of 1974, Sarge Preston and I borrowed Drifter Smith's Rogue River raft and had a great trip through Cat, so I convinced seven other to join me on another trip the next winter. The big advantage of winter trips is that you can hike for days without carrying water because the potholes are full (on the other hand, you have to carry winter clothes and camping gear). Another advantage is that you don't need to worry about having frozen meat thaw - we just put it a metal box, and put the food we didn't want to freeze in insulated coolers (which didn't prevent anything from freezing, however). The spoons above were placed in a leaning position after being washed the evening before, and their appearance in this picture is an indication of what's to come.

Please accept my apologies for the condition of the pics - they are old and dirty, but the story they tell is unique. It took us three days of dodging icebergs to float from Potash on the Colorado side to Spanish Bottom, then we made a three day loop to the Doll's House, Fins, Maze, Beehive Arch and back around to the northwest side of Spanish Bottom before rafting the rapids Cat at about 7,000 cfs. The big surprise was that Lake Powell was frozen over, big time, and we had to find a way to climb out of the canyon and hike to our cars at Hite. Don't give up until you get to this point - these are outrageous pics. Each one is about 50 kb and there's minimal text so they upload to your computer quickly.

Photos and story by Pete Winn

Personal use of photos is OK. Please give me credit or cite this URL ( Please, no commercial use without prior written permission.

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