Exploring the Rugged Gorges and Secret Slots of the Grand Canyon

The Los Alamos Mountaineers’ January meeting will feature adventures into the secret places of the Grand Canyon, like the narrow slot of Muav Canyon. Courtesy/LAM


Grand Canyon National Park is big, but not that big. It is almost exactly the size of Santa Fe County, and, with 5 million visitors per year, draws five times the crowds.

Many places in the southwestern desert are far more remote. How can there be places in the Park that are hardly visited from one year to the next?

There are indeed such places, remote slot tributaries protected from casual visit by sheer technical difficulty. Reaching them requires technical skill, careful navigation and amphibious travel.

At the next meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers, Todd Martin and Rich Rudow will tell of their adventures, and the secret places that they have uncovered.

A 23-minute video, “Last of the Great Unknown, will highlight their adventures. This film was a finalist at the 2012 Banff film festival, is on tour with both the Banff and Telluride Film World Tours this year and has been the topic of at least one article in Outside Magazine.

An avid hiker his entire life, Martin has through-hiked the Appalachian Trail and spent the better part of his free time during the last decade and a half exploring his adopted home state of Arizona.

He is the author of Grand Canyoneering, the only guide to the slot canyons of Grand Canyon National Park, which won the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for best Outdoor Adventure Guidebook. He maintains an online hiking guide: www.toddshikingguide.com.

Rudow became a Grand Canyon fanatic after his first river trip in 1989. In 22 years, he has spent 500 days below the rim, backpacking, rafting and canyoneering through some of the park’s most remote places.

Rudow has walked nearly 5,000 miles and descended 141 slot canyons including 60 or 70 first descents. He was named one of Outside Magazine’s 2012 Adventurers of the Year.

The Mountaineers Wednesday, Jan. 16 meeting will be held in the Great Room of Fuller Lodge, beginning with a business meeting at 7:30 p.m., with the feature presentation at 8 p.m. and the public is welcome.

The Mountaineers offers trips that range from easy hikes to technical mountaineering, and is committed to safe outdoor practices. Membership information and the schedule of activities can be found at http://www.lamountaineers.org/.




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