Author Archives: ZACBlog

Zion Canyon Music Festival This Weekend – Free!

Event Essentials Friday and Saturday, September 23 –24, 2011 Zion Canyon Music Festival Springdale Town Park – 126 Lion Boulevard, Springdale Plan to be here this weekend when the Zion Canyon Music Festival will again fill Springdale with phenomenal music. Be sure to attend both days which will be full of music, food, arts and crafts, and of course great autumn weather! Best of all, this year’s festival will be FREE to ATTEND! Held on ballfield in the Springdale Town Park, those who attend the event may easily browse through a variety of original art, handmade musical instruments and fine craft vendors as well as several local restaurant booths. The event will also include locally produced beer provided by the Zion Canyon Brewing Company, the Festival’s lead sponsor for 2011. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for your comfort during the performances. Plan to enjoy the entire day. No coolers, outside food or outside alcohol may be brought into the Festival. Backpacks will be inspected at the information tent. Please bring a reusable water bottle. Water stations will be available throughout the day.

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ZAC Memories from Chris & Steve Sponagle

We have received some great notes, letters, poems, and questions in response to our call-out for client stories to celebrate our 15th Anniversay. Thank you! Here’s another good one, from the Sponagles up in Wisconsin. We have been VERY blessed to have experienced many fun adventures with our friends at Zion Adventure Company, but two particular remembrances stand out for me.  The first was a trip with Dave and my husband Steve back in 2008 when we spent a day getting wet in Battlecreek.  It was during that trip that my excitement for canyoneering stuck and we realized that with a little extra work, we could actually develop the skills to explore technical canyons on our own.  Several years and many canyons later, we continue to return to Utah on a regular basis to play.  The second stand-out moment was on a trip to Lake Powell in 2010.  After spending a spectacular day exploring a rarely seen canyon with Jonathan, we spent the night sleeping out under the stars on a sandstone bank – absolutely mesmerizing!!!  Congratulations on your anniversary and here’s to the wonderful adventures that still lie ahead! Chris & Steve Sponagle

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Man Paints His Own Name On Grand Canyon Formation

Hmmm… Comedy or tragedy? Perhaps both? It’s difficult to imagine thinking this way AND admitting it to another person. From the Arizona Daily… Canyon defacer leaves clue Wednesday, August 31, 2011 By Larry Hendricks  A Canadian man has been federally charged with spray painting a word on a geologic formation at Grand Canyon National Park: his own name. According to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Flagstaff, visitors to the South Rim called park rangers Monday afternoon to report a person spray painting a word on Duck on a Rock between Grandview and Yaqui Points just off East Rim Drive. The responding ranger reported seeing the word “Luci” in bright red spray paint. The tour leader for National Geographic Tours pointed out a person who had been spray painting. The ranger made contact with the person identified by the tour leader. “I made contact with the man and asked him where he had been,” stated the officer in court documents. “He replied by pointing down at the rock where the red spray paint was visible.”  The man went on to say that he had thrown the spray paint can into the Canyon. The ranger stated that the man … Continue reading

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ZAC Client Janice Holly Booth Publishes Adventure Travel Book

In fall of 2006, I had the particular honor of instructing two fiesty North Carolinan women, Janice Booth and Carrie Miller, in a 3-Day Basic canyoneering course. Janice was writing for a North Carolina newspaper (The Gaston Gazette) at the time, and, as is her habit, she was melding work and play together to research a lifestyle article on canyoneering in Utah. Most of the details of our time together escape my memory, but what remains is the vibrant image of two bold, vivacious women who were also always ready to take on a challenge, be it physical, psychological, or conversational. Since I met Janice, I receive notes from her on occasion concerning her globetrotting and adventuring: sky diving in Canada… horseback riding in Central America… trapeze lessons in Manhattan. Janice is always up to something, sucking the marrow out of her days well when most folks her age are content making an evening TV show the highlight of their daily experience. And it’s not just Janice’s actions that impress me; it’s knowing that while she’s “doing” all these great adventures, she’s “being” adventurous in her relationships too – asking difficult questions of people she’s just met, exploring her own motives and … Continue reading

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Nick’s Photo Contest Favorites

I am neither judge nor jury for our 15th Anniversary Photo Contest, so I want to participate in the fun by highlighting my favorite submissions from our contest. We received a great pool of image submissions, with a wide range of subjects and approaches to the theme, “Let Nature Be Your Guide.” I chose the below images not based on the theme, but solely based on their composition, emotion, and uniqueness. Buck in Snow, submitted by Becky Jaffe from Oakland, CA I love the simplicity of this image, which has a very painterly quality to it. The lack of context/background leaves so much to the imagination, and the buck’s legs convey a distinct sense of motion. The sharp buck, amidst all the blur and white-out, seems alone, but peaceful, and nice emotional tone for a wintery image. Bravo. Canyon Tripod, submitted by Linda Lu from Berkeley, CA I think most photographer/canyoneers can appreciate this photo, depicting the physical, aerial requirements canyon photography invites. Photographing while stemming is a tricky business, as you must eventually get to a position where you don’t need your hands. Once you get there, the shot you’re after competes for attention with the risk to both body … Continue reading

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Zion SAR Executes Five Rescues in Three Days

Taken from the NPS Morning Report webpage. This is great reading for canyoneers and climbers who want to learn vicariously from others, so as to avoid similar fates. Thanks to all the folks on Zion’s SAR team for being there when we need you, regardless of how we manage to find ourselves there. ***** Rangers Conduct Multiple Technical Rescues By Andrew Fitzgerald and Ray O’Neil, Park Rangers July 26, 2011 The park’s search and rescue team conducted four canyoneering rescues in three days, then took on a big wall rescue of two injured climbers: July 16th – On the morning of July 16th, a 20-year-old man suffered a lower leg fracture after a short fall while descending into Mystery Canyon. When the injury occurred, he was over a quarter mile and 400 vertical feet below the canyon rim in a steep, heavily-vegetated gully. When rangers arrived on scene, he told them he’d be willing to assist with his evacuation, but that he could not bear any weight on the injured leg. Over the next six hours, he laboriously worked his way to the canyon rim with rangers’ assistance while the park’s contract helicopter staged at a nearby landing zone. His … Continue reading

Posted in Accidents, Canyoneering, In the News, Outdoor Leadership, The Narrows, Trip Reports, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Virgin River Tubing Now Available to Most 6 Years and Up

The flow of the Virgin River continues to impress guests and provide a hoot of a time! The river has slowed down a bit since last week and is now accessible for guests ages 6+ AND 80 lbs. and up, enabling many more families to engage the river adventure. Do not be fooled by the slowing river, however, as it still not a “lazy river” and features several stretches of attention-demanding rapids. The lowering water level has been revealing more and more obstacles, including rocks, roots, and trees, so navigating the winding flow requires keen judgement, awareness, and mobility. Don’t be discouraged, though: the ride is thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely perfect for a cool down during these scorching July days! Since we float the river each morning, we know the river conditions with ridiculous detail. The float is currently lasts an enjoyable hour and fifteen minutes to complete, give or take 15 minutes for a splash fest or sun/shade break. We do trash clean-up every morning, so the river banks are more or less pristine; please help us keep it this way be packing out all your trash and keeping your flip-flops at home (they commonly fall off and litter the … Continue reading

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Announcing our 15th Anniversary Photo/Video Contest

In a love letter my wife many years ago, she wrote, “Nature constantly sends us messages, and if we listen to nature, we can better listen to ourselves.” The meaning is as poignant today as it was then: nature is us and we are nature. Every time we try to control Nature, we are only controlling ourselves; every time we separate ourselves from Nature, we step further away from the wildness inside us. This year at ZAC, we celebrate 15 years trying to live in harmony with Nature, evolving and honing our products and programs to better align with nature’s message. Our new slogan, “Let Nature Be Your Guide,” is a perennial reminder that we can always look to Nature for answers to our most important questions. One of the ways we are celebrating are 15th Anniversary is a Photo and Video Contest for everyone and anyone to participate in. If you have visited Zion or Southern Utah and have captured images or documented stories you feel speak to the theme, “Let Nature Be Your Guide,” please join the contest and share your work with our community. The contest is free to enter, and you can find complete rules and … Continue reading

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San Diego Union-Tribune Features Zion Horseback Riding

  Travel: Experience Zion National Park from the saddle Horseback tours in canyon are a scenic trip back in time By Mike Lee12:01 a.m., June 19, 2011   ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — Nearly 3 million visitors descend on Zion National Park each year, but relatively few explore it as many of the early white settlers did — by horseback. Of course, settlers and ranchers often used horses on the rugged landscape out of necessity. But by the 1920s, steeds were being provided in Zion Canyon for more genteel tourists from the East as part of the effort by railroads to lure visitors to the untamed West. “It really goes back to the Union-Pacific Railroad days when the buildings included a horse barn that is still there today” in the Birch Creek historic area, said Jack Burns, who manages concessions for the National Park Service at Zion. Read the entire article here. For more information on horseback riding in Zion, visit Canyon Trail Rides, the sole licensed horseback concession in Zion National Park.

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High Adventure Tubing Season Begins in Springdale

On Friday, the mighty Virgin River slowed enough to commence High Adventure Tubing season. The fast-paced, 2-mile river run is full of unknown thrills and sure to produce memorable stories for anyone willing to take the journey. The trip currently takes just 50 minutes (the same stretch takes 90 – 120 minutes at lower water levels) and reveals a wealth of excitement and refreshingly brisk water. We offer High Adventure Tubing for individuals ages 18+ whom are ready for a wild ride. This is not lazy-day tubing suited for your great-aunt Betty; exposed rocks, roots, and logs create obstacles along the way, making mobility, awareness, and a positive attitude essential skills in navigating the Virgin’s swift flow. The trip is ideal for anyone seeking to cool off from Zion’s scorching rays while enjoying an active, physical, and exciting float on the Virgin through the heart of Springdale. For each of the past several mornings, the tube squad and I have geared up and floated the river to monitor conditions and better learn each twist, turn, and rapid.  Even for us tubing masters (hahaha), it’s difficult to make it down the whole way without at least one or two quick spills into … Continue reading

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