This is a documentary film I've been working on for the last 12 months, examining the evolution of exploration (especially on foot) in Grand Canyon.
We shot interviews with Tom Myers (author of Harvey Butchart's biography "Grand Obsession") and with Allen Steck, following their explorations over the last 70 years and how they laid the foundation for the next level of exploration - descending the innumerable technical slot canyons.
We end up using lots of interesting systems - ultralight backpacking, lightweight canyoneering tools, and packrafts.
Trailer - http://vimeo.com/37927326
"The Grand Canyon is an immense place, almost unfathomable in scale, and one of the last places in the American West to be explored. John Wesley Powell called it the "Great Unknown," having no idea what rapids, falls, or canyons awaited him on his first descent of the river in 1869. In the decades since, the Canyon has been a playground for dozens of explorers. River runners, backpackers, routefinders, lithic hunters, and peakbaggers have all laid claim to the Canyon's iconic landmarks, often seeking out the prestigious "firsts." While many significant points of interest were being explored, there was one feature that was left almost entirely ignored: the Canyon's innumerable technical slots.
Deep within this vast wilderness are secret and intimate tributaries rarely visited by man, hiding some of the Canyon's most remarkable features. The barrier to entry is steep. To explore them, one must have a knowledge of backpacking, packrafting, rappeling, anchor building, and off-trail navigation. The Last of the Great Unknown is the story of these slots, the canyoneers who systematically explored their drainages, and the secrets hidden deep within their walls.
The film will premiere the last week of April, 2012. Check the official website for updates!
Official Website - lastofthegreatunknown.com