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The Climbing Club • View topic - 11/2009 Zion Canyoneering

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:27 pm 
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Moss Man
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Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 3:24 pm
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Location: Seattle
With a friend visiting the USA from abroad, and a few extra days to take off after trips up north in BC, we planned to meet in Las Vegas, and spend a few days in Zion NP, Utah (about 3hr from airport by car). I was envisioning frosty nights and cold water temps, but it turns out that early November is a great time to explore this area! Dry weather left open the possibilities of streambed canyoneering, and daytime temps were in the comfortable 70's. We were both impressed by the variety of of topography to explore in such a small area - a great slice of the desert southwest.

All Photos:
http://picasaweb.google.com/kevinsteffa/09_11_Zion

Image

First day, lounging around in the sunshine and enjoying the fall colors - cottonwood in fine form. We then went for a short afternoon canyoneering descent, down Pine Creek from the tunnel portal. Amazing cathedral-like sandstone narrows and grottos. It was a little intimidating from the start, scrambling over and through hip-deep pools, committing to rappels into unfamiliar terrain. However, we were prepared with cold water protection, and armed with a good description from 'toms canyoneering guide' (great online resource), and shortly got into a good rhythm. Some quite spectacular 30m rappels.

Image

Second day, we hiked up the Virgin river to the start of the famous 'narrows'. Last time I was in Zion in the springtime, the flow was too high to do this, but now in November, it was low enough to wade through with minimal special gear. It was hard to cover a lot of distance with all the great photography potential!

Image

We finished off the trip with an overnight up on the west rim, hiking up through the multicolored bands of rock, marvelling at the trail engineers who created this path. It was blasted wide enough for an ox-cart through vertical cliff in places. A little side-trip up to 'angels landing' had some fun exposed scrambling, and definitely a social experience.

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- Kevin


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:57 pm 
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giving spoon
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Daddy
I wholeheartedly second those thoughts.

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Somehow I find Nature knows how best to push the lazy human form from its comfortable life and knock him face down into the living of it.
-J. Hummel


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:07 am 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:17 am
Posts: 921
Location: Seattle
Nice work and great photos.

Zion is my favorite NP and I've totally enjoyed the two canyons I've done there (Virgin River Narrows and the Subway). Pine Creek is already on my long list.

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"It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid." Q


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:57 pm 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:34 pm
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Location: Edmonds WA
Wow. Definitely something I want to do in the future.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Alpine Slogger
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:01 am
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Location: Too far from a summit


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:18 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:34 pm
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Location: Edmonds WA
Very funny. :x / :oops:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Cap'n Wingspan
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:08 pm
Posts: 1045
Location: Wallingford
Adding that to my list as well!

/broken record off


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