Rafting Lava falls, Grand Canyon

The most famous section of rapids on the Colorado river is Lava falls. Depending on the flow rate of the water, it can be class V, or in Grand Canyon rating class 10. It looms as the mother of all rapids, and becomes the climax of success, or possibly disaster, depending on a few circumstances.

All five of our rafts went through it o.k., staying upright. However, one of the oarsmen, perhaps feeling a little hot that day, decided to fly out of the raft and swim a good portion of the rapids.

Lava falls, Colorado river, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Watch those two feet in the rear of the raft. Time for a swim.

Like a good oarsman, he never let go of that oar, even though it fell out of the oar socket, held on by safety chord. His raft mate, realizing his sudden absence, leaped over the frame to grab the remaining oar.

From the front to the center, grabbing the remaining oar and looking right into that big wave coming.

Meanwhile, I was sitting on a rock on the lower section of the rapids near a big hole, clicking away. Rather quickly, the oarsman crawled back in the raft and floated the last part of the whitewater. All in all, a pretty heroic oar rescue and swimming self-rescue to boot.