Cataract Canyon inscriptions - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-03-2010   #1
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 27
Cataract Canyon inscriptions

Will be on a Cat trip this year (4th time) and want to try to find a couple inscriptions that are in the canyon. One is the Denis Julian inscription river left near Lower Red Lake Canyon and the other is the 1891 Best expedition inscription "Camp #7, hell to pay, #1 sunk and down" that is near rapid 15 river right. Does anyone have GPS coordinates of their locations? Helpful hiking/search hints? I guess the Denis Julian one is getting real faint.


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Old 02-03-2010   #2
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
It'd be far more rewarding to do Labyrinth and see my name on the river registry(wall.)

I saw penis on the wall.
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Old 02-08-2010   #3
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Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 133
Hell to pay is right at 15 on river right. Also, they are under water at some level around the teens-high teens , I think. I am kind of hazy on the level they go under- could be much higher.
Easier to see at lower water. Also, there are other inscriptions around there- worth taking the time to wander around and see whats there.

I am curious about the D Julien inscription- I thought it was way downstream and under the lake.
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Old 02-08-2010   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 360
Cat inscriptions

D. Julien is not easy to find, many hours spent crawling through tammies and even going high to ledges/talus and scoping slowly and carefully, trying to spot likely location all produced naught - until I talked to someone who'd seen it, and this was back in the 70's... D Julien is on an overhang, south side of Red Lake, and not more than half mile up from confluence - you'll have to discover the exact whereabouts yourself!
"Hell to pay" is easier, but was getting pretty faint the last time I saw it - 2003. It's in the middle of Capsize, on a boulder probably 10 feet or so high and I want to say the face is oriented northwest to southeast, but that may be off.
Would take a lot of water - more than '83 flood or even 1957, probably - to cover Hell to pay. Canyon here is wide and the riverbed can absorb a lot of water, plus the boulder is a good 10 yards and base probably 5 feet above the 'riv at 20k flow. D. Julien wouldn't be covered without huge flow down Red Lake, pretty much impossible for main rio to flood it.
Lots and lots of good stuff in Cat, have fun down there and be safe! msc
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Old 02-08-2010   #5
Salt lake, Utah
Paddling Since: 07
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1
I know the inscriptions. Hell to pay is on river right with all the others( georgie white, william hyrum edwards, g.m. wright, Statton brown EXP.) "Camp #7. #1 sunk and down hell to pay" fell over into the river years ago. (in the 90's) its slanted down. It's easy to find because its on a prominate rock right below the other inscriptions in the water. I've never seen the river low enough to have the rock dry.

As for the d. julien... ive hiked red lake and spent hours searching up on the cliff. in the book cataract canyon by john wheishit the inscription is described as being way up the cliff in the halgaito shell formation. Its false! I found that inscription. It does have a boat and an arrow pointing down stream, as promised in john's book, but in the same hand writing is pecked 1985.

good luck with the search.
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Old 02-09-2010   #6
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 27
Thanks for the insight every one.

BarryDingle - Labyrinth will have to wait, we're putting at Potash. I'll just have to deal with the disappointment.
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Old 02-11-2010   #7
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 404
There are much cooler inscriptions made by the ancients than the duechebags trying to float the canyon. There are several on the Potash ColoradoSection, with the loop hike being the most obvious. Why would 150 year old inscriptions be more cool than 1,000 year old inscriptions? The recent dueche inscriptions are everywhere, On my first trip at 18 years old right after one of the rafts flipped at one of the big drops, freshman year in college, probably wasted, we got out and saw some inscription form one of the dueches near Big Drop 3. The ancients that were there 1,000 years ago are quite impressive. The dueche's are just like you and I, having fun. Why would those recent guys be interesting to you, when there is so much amazing history in that canyon?
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Old 02-11-2010   #8
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
Like the duechbags who recently put this beauty on the cliffs behind the Little D camps?

Wasn't me either, fockers! Really, who's got cock on the brain out in god's country?
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cataract, cataract canyon

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