Day #15: Sunday, September 21-Lava Falls
The team rested yesterday for today, the big day of the expedition, Lava Falls Rapid. Today, will probably be the most physically and mentally demanding day for Erik, Lonnie, and the guides.
Lava Falls is one of the most difficult navigable rapids in the continental US and is the standard by which all other rapids in the Colorado River are judged for navigability. Lava Falls is 10 out of 10 for difficulty on the Colorado River. During Erik’s training trip last year, he decided not to run Lava Falls in order to leave some mystery to the rapid for his trip today.
The center of the rapid at the top has a wide, sharp drop called the Ledge Hole that easily flips oar boats…meaning extra easily flipping kayaks! The rapid is about 20 seconds long but as you can see in the photo below, the line is very hard to stay aligned with. They first punch through a class V wave and then get pushed to the right to rocks where they must miss the “Cheese Grater,” a big rock poking out at the end of the rapid that will be bad news if anyone hits it.
Remember, Erik and Lonnie are both doing this in single white water kayaks, blind! Today, is a true depiction of the No Barriers Mindset! The danger is real but the team has been training for this day for a very long time. Join us in giving Erik, Lonnie, and their guides a big Hoorah!
Lave Falls map by: Garry Hayes
We also searched for a video that would show the Lava Falls’ difficulty and significance.
We will update you as soon as we hear how it went. Stay Tuned!