So this portion is way long over due, hence one of my New Years resolutions is to write more frequently and more up to date. So by several requests is the second half of the cross country road trip, Zion National Park.
After leaving Moab, I headed over Zion National Park to meet Dave, Paul, and Jon to do some canyoneering. I had no idea what the heck canyoneering was for I have never heard of it before. A couple of weeks prior, Paul gave me a list of stuff to bring and Dave took me rappelling to brush up on my skills since my last rap was during college. I borrowed a harness and several carabiners, bought two rappelling devices (ATC and ATS), a helmet, and gathered up hiking and light backpacking equipment. I was also told to bring my dry top and dry pants used for winter kayaking. Paul also sent me a bunch of videos so I would informed of what I was getting into but I didn’t watch any of them. The one video I did open was some comedy spoof about the Jeopardy game show. Essentially I was going into this adventure blindfolded.
Now this adventure is completed, canyoneering is like kayaking but without the water. We were hiking into these canyons and navigating the river bed from the put in to the take out. Shuttles were set and once in the canyon we followed where the water flows. Like kayaking, we were able to see some amazing places that normally you would not be able to see. Some of the skills we had to use were group dynamics, we were in some sketchy places and situations, sometimes tired and/or cold so like kayaking our group needed to be tight, cohesive, and get along. There are not any guides or trail markers so navigational skills are important. For the canyons we navigated it took us all day, about 8-10 hours, one mistake you could easily be caught in these canyons overnight. Along with emergency and medical gear we all brought light overnight survival gear. Some rock climbing skills like rock scrambling, superman moves, and definitely rappelling skills are needed along with the appropriate equipment and knowledge. It is totally remote, beautiful, and sketchy…. I would not have it any other way!
Armed with the equipment and knowledge we tackled the following canyons:
Monday – Spry
Tuesday – Mystery
Wednesday – Subway
Thursday – Birch
Friday we did not go canyoneering but went on the infamous hike to Angels Landing.
My favorite canyons were a toss up between Mystery and Spry. They were both beautiful and different in character. Spry was more wide open and red characteristic of Zion while Mystery was more channelized. Mystery had a big sketchy rap about 3/4 of the way down and the last rap dropped us into the Narrows section of Zion. Subway was the most scenic and produced some of the best photos in my opinion, but the hike out was long with the last mile being a mile steep climb out of the gorge. We even found some dinosaur footprints, way cool! Birch had a more jagged rock entrance before entering the canyon but it eventually smoothed out. After a long super wet day at Subway, the key to Birch is that it was totally dry and didn’t have any swims. Words cannot do this place justice and the even though the photos are totally awesome, you have to see this place in person. Without further ado may I present our canyoneering adventure in Zion National Park:
The Canyoneerers along with me are Dave George, Jon Snow, and Paul Podgorski. The song is Star-Crossed by The End of The Ocean.
This photo album video took over two months to make for I was battling a new computer, software, and upload issues. There are still a few pink flashes in the album but it was way worse and this write up is long over due. Plus I am really tired of screwing around with it. If you have any suggestions on how to eliminate pink / green screens with photos on iMovie, I am all ears. I hope you enjoyed and until next time, namaste!
Happy New Year,