Ed Funk from Pagosa Springs, and his friends Ken and Mike from
Trail Description: click
before our Nankoweap Trail backpack trip in the Grand Canyon I
bought a new GoLite tent, weighing in at just a pound and a half.
It's one layer, just a fly with no floor, and uses your trekking
poles to hold it up. I do like to pack light, and wanted to
try it out in the fairly mild conditions we were expecting.
first day in we got 8 miles or so, and had to camp in the only flat
site available, a cleanly swept spot on a pretty thin ridge
extending way out from the rim. Below us on both sides of the
ridge was a series of small drops, 5 to maybe 30 feet each separated
by a few feet of steep slope, and then the really big drop below
that. It was breezy, so all four of us set up tents, piled
rocks on the stakes, and climbed in.
the wind started in earnest. Each gust got worse than the last
as the whole air mass was forced over our ridge through our
campsite. My tent blew apart about 2 am, my clothes
disappearing in the gale. I stuffed the fly into my backpack
while trying not to lose my sleeping bag and pad. The other
tents went down in quick succession, one with bent poles, another
one better tied down than mine actually starting to rip in half when
the guy in it pulled it down around him. The gusts kept
getting stronger, and we spent the night holding our sleeping bags
closed over our heads to keep from being rolled over the edge.
didn't let up till after sunrise. Two of our backpacks had
blown over the edge, along with both stoves and everything else that
was left out. My backpack apparently came open in the
tumbling, and I found my torn up tent flapping from the branches of
a tree overhanging one of the higher drops. We eventually
found both packs several ledges down, one stove still working, and
enough stuff to go on with the trip. The rest is now part of
remainder of the hike was uneventful but beautiful, with brilliant
flowers blooming everywhere, frogs singing in the creek, fresh green
of spring mixed with the red rocks. We didn't camp on that
ridge on the way back out!