Mana Creek - October 20-22, 2012

First descent of Mana Creek. History is made and a new frontier of human exploration is born.
Deeper down the rabbit hole we go... Ferns along the way. Purty. We take to the fern forest.  The 'trail' has been all but overgrown these days. Matias on the drop in via a small tributary of Mana Creek. Scenic at least.
Surveying the scene. Our route ends in a 410 foot drop rigged in several stages. Second stage, about 220 feet. Our target creek is obtained with some difficulty. Mana Creek wastes no time before getting technical.  The crew at the first drop. Rappel 1. And so it begins.
The creek enters a slot canyon almost immediately. A common technique in this canyon; belay one member down, check the depth, then jump. Amazing scenery the whole day. The walls continue to close in as we swim, climb and walk our way downstream. A calm hallway. Drops 3 and 4, a two tiered chute.
The crew rigging our anchor and setting the rope.  Natural anchors yielded well on most drops. Swimming to drop 4. Absolutely breathtaking.  As good as it gets.  This place still blows my mind. Drop 6, a great waterfall into a fantastic alcove. Tyler packing up and taking in the view. The canyon carries on.
Drop 9, a nice chute off a single bolt on canyon left. Nice hallway. Tyler pushes on. Looking over the edge on drop 11, a 140 foot drop.  The pool below cannot be seen from here and holds a true wonder. Looking back up at drop 10.  A small ledge separates the two waterfalls. No natural anchors requires a bolt station to be placed for the next drop.
Mana Creek plunges into a stunning tunnel.  This natural arch creates a dark, surreal cave. Kyle swims beneath the tunnel in awe.  Sheer perfection. Looking back up at the waterfall drop and the exit from the tunnel. Drop 12; the canyon is not done with us yet. With the daylight fading fast, the camera is packed away as we push hard to complete the route. But to no avail.  We setup camp in the narrows beneath a small cave, fortunate enough to find some dry wood.
Our bivy spot beneath the small cave. The price of admission on this trip is high. The canyon continues.  Drop 16, a 150 foot fall. Matias gazes on... The team. After 27 hours in the technical section of Mana Creek, we reach drop 17, the finale.
Like a dream, it is over.  One of the most amazing places I have ever seen.