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 Post subject: Zion (mostly)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:38 am 
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Longshanks
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:47 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Denver
Grace and I took just under a week to drive from Seattle to Denver. We had intended to climb along the way. Instead we did a good deal of camping and hiking in the rain. There were too many places on our list for the short time we had: Tetons, Zion, Red Rocks, Arches, and Moab. In the end we only visited Zion. We took I-90 into MT, and then headed south on I-15. Highly recommended over the "Great Basin" drive on I-82/84.

Zion was great, but wet. The campgrounds were full. Instead we got backcountry permits and hiked 2 miles into a beautiful and deserted part of the park: Kolob Canyons. Far more beautiful and impressive than the area around the Zion Canyon visitors center. "The Narrows" was closed due to high water levels, so we got permits to descend "Subway", a hugely popular moderate canyoneering adventure. However, a combination of the $50 shuttle charge, a forecast for rain, and large the cumulus clouds we spotted the morning of the trip, convinced us it would be wiser to hike from the bottom up. we got an early start in hopes of beating the afternoon thundershowers, and mostly succeeded. The first harbinger of the storms to come swept over a few minutes after we reached the "subway section" of the canyon, and we immediately scampered to safer territory. That was OK, because we couldn't go any further in any case. The guide book indicates that the "athletically inclined" can "scramble" up past the first (last on descent) obstacle. This might be true for a 5.13 climber, as all the routes up the 15' of vertical to overhanging sandstone seemed like hard 5.10 to me. Alternatively, someone has placed button heads up the normal rappel line, so that one could easily aid past the hard bit. Had we but known...
We were the first in the canyon, and passed many others on their way in as we fled the coming rain. It began to pour in earnest as we reached the car, and didn't let up for several hours. I hope no one was hurt in the probable flooding!

After that, we drove pretty much straight on to Denver. Too much rain, and not really enough time to make turning aside worthwhile. Our apartment wasn't quite ready for us, so we had one more night of camping, and a day spent looking at climbing guides to the frontrange and exploring the park and museum near our place. A very relaxing trip, all things considered.

http://goacrophile.blogspot.com/2010/06 ... dtrip.html
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 Post subject: Re: Zion (mostly)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:48 am 
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experienced hiker of the climbing club
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:39 pm
Posts: 1945
Location: Bashing Brush
Sounds like good times managed to be had, in spite of the rain. Fantastic pictures, as always.


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 Post subject: Re: Zion (mostly)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:20 pm 
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Dr. Crevasse
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2002 11:17 am
Posts: 921
Location: Seattle
Sorry to hear that the rain followed you south. Glad you got to enjoy the lower section of the Subway. I seem to remember the last rappel being about 30 ft. Your beautiful photos brought back good memories. Next time your in Zion and the weather behaves, you should descend it from the top or the direct start ("das boot").

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