Category Archives: Books & Articles

Grand Canyoneering Film Makes Splash at Telluride

Dan Ransom’s 22-minute documentary, “Last of the Great Unknown,” is receiving great reviews on the adventure film documentary circuit this summer. The Aspen Times wrote a nice review in anticipation of the 5Point Film Festival (April 26 – 29) and Outside Magazine picked “Last of the Great Unknown” as one of it’s Top Ten Documentaries from the Mountainfilm Festival (Memorial Day weekend) in Telluride. The acclaimed Banff Mountain Film Festival (Oct 27 – Nov 4) has yet to make final film selections, but will announce them on their website at the end of July. Here’s hoping Ransom and canyoneering get to show their stuff in that great annual showcase of fine outdoor films.

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ZAC Makes the Cover of St. George Magazine

St. George Magazine did a story on “adventure in Southern Utah” for their May issue, and we made the cover! Well, one of our clients made the cover, and one of our guides was on the other side of the lens (we still aren’t sure who). Writer Lisa Larson interviewed Shelley Buckingham, our outfitting manager, for the piece, and they have a slimmed-down version of the article online. It’s much better to see all the great pictures though, so check out the virtual magazine for the best viewing experience. 5 Local Tours to Enjoy in Our Backyard By Lisa Larson Living in the red rock beauty of Southern Utah, it’s easy to take the nearness of these natural wonders for granted. While there are countless tourists from around the world that descend on national parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon, recreation spots such as Lake Powell and a variety of slot canyons, it’s remarkable the number of locals who have yet to experience all that Southern Utah has to offer.   For those who are unsure where to begin, there are a variety of guided and self-guided tours available, whether you’re looking for adventure, history or serenity. Living … Continue reading

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A Different Kind of Zion Visitor

Imagine… You’ve been hiking and running deep in the Zion backcountry for 13 hours, carrying only a few snacks and one water bottle. You’ve summited a handful of peaks, rappelled off small trees poking out of bare rock, and swum in 40-degree pools of stagnant canyons water. Many, many miles and vertical meters have passed. Now it’s 10:30 PM, your headlamp is dead, and you’re squeezing energy from the far reaches of your left pinky toe to keep going. And THEN, you get to one last, mandatory unexpected swim of unknown length. Do you put your wetsuit back on? Do you cry? Do you just lay down and close your eyes? No… you grit your teeth, make it happen, and blog about it when you get home. Because you are hardcore. Which I am not. Nice story, Dakota Jones. Thanks for showing how the crazies get it done in Zion. The honest, inspiring words about digging deeper than you think is possible is worth keeping in mind, no matter who you are or what makes you crumble.

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“Zion: Canyoneering” Author Seeks Edits for 2nd Edition

Tom Jones announced earlier this year that he is beginning work on the second edition of Zion: Canyoneering, his guidebook to Zion’s most popular hikes and technical canyons. As winter’s snow comes (like this last weekend) and goes (it is generally disappearing quickly), most canyoneers will be dusting off their operating gear AND their canyoneering guidebooks and getting back into the slots. So I wanted to remind you when you read something in the guidebook that doesn’t seem to match reality, you have a fabulous opportunity to DO something about it. Write the author! Here’s Tom’s invitation: I’m starting work on a second edition of the Zion: Canyoneering book, and would appreciate comments, corrections and suggestions. Please be as specific as possible, when talking about something specific, but comments in general are also appreciated. Expected release is Feb 2013, so there is a bit of time. I will be soliciting photos around Sept 1st, if’n you want to get your best shots lined up for submission. You can email me directly or post here in the comments. Thanks! Tom

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“Highway 89″ Author to Speak in Springdale

Z-Arts!, Zion Canyon’s very own arts and humanities council, is hosting an author event and book signing next week on one of our favorite scenic roads, U.S. Highway 89. Here the Z-Arts! press release: U.S. Highway 89: The Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks documents seven of America’s favorite national parks, hometown events and quirky roadside attractions linked by U.S. 89. Scenic Highway 89 traces the stories of legendary trappers, missionaries and homesteaders. Widened in the Roaring Twenties to satisfy America’s motoring enthusiasts, but bypassed by modern interstates, the 1,600 mile route from Canada to Mexico retains its back-roads charm. From Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, beauty queens to working cowboys, the real character of the American west, however, rests in its people who are redefining the western mystique into lifestyles that meld traditional heritage with 21st century realities. This book bridges across well-established audiences for travelogues, travel photography, road-trip mystique and western lore and automotive history. This book will also interest aficionados of a particular region, like Greater Yellowstone, anchoring their favorite destinations in a larger transect of the American West. Salt Lake City writer and photographer Ann Torrence drove over 15,000 miles to research and photograph U.S. … Continue reading

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Grand Canyon Slideshow & Documentary Sneak Peak

Todd Martin and Rich Rudow will be in St. George on December 15th to present their multimedia talk, “Grand Canyoneering,” an account in words and pictures of their incredibly in-depth explorations of the Grand Canyon’s hidden slot canyons. Todd & Rich are promoting Todd’s recently published book, also entitled Grand Canyoneering, which has met wide acclaim in the canyoneering community for its detail, thoroughness, and aesthetic. Bring along an extra $30, and you can take home a copy of Grand Canyoneering for the wonderful armchair canyoneering season ahead. Photographer and videographer extraordinaire, Dan Ransom, will join the GC guys to show some sneak peeks from his upcoming film, “Last of the Great Unknown.” Dan’s film brings us into some of these gorgeous, remote canyons through the eyes, ropes, and helmet cams of the canyoneers who found these canyons and were likely the first people to descend them. Check out the link above for a taste… come to the event for a more nourishing helping. Available space for this presentation is filling up quickly. To reserve seats for your group, visit the Grand Canyoneering Facebook event page and simply request a number of seats for your group.

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Toronto Poet Adam Sol Visits Springdale Next Week

Autumn always kicks off a wonderful local arts calendar in Springdale, and I have been slow to blow the trumpet this year. But no more! Next Tuesday, come hear Toronto poet, Adam Sol, read verse to stir your soul and rouse your thoughts from the day-to-day. He’ll be reading at Therese Feinauer’s Sundancer Books in Springdale, just across from the Shell station downtown. If you like to preview your poets (I do), here’s an interview and a poem to give you a taste of Mr. Sol. Hey, “Mr. Sol” is a pretty sweet name, isn’t it? He’ll be right at home at Sol Foods. Harharhar… Anyway, bring a friend or two along, and it’s always a good idea to bring the wallet too for whatever you might find in our fabulous local bookstore. See you there!

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Book Review: “Finding Everett Ruess” by David Roberts

As an avid reader of Southwest non-fiction and a southern Utah resident, I knew of author David Roberts and the legendary Everett Ruess before I delved into Roberts’ new book, Finding Everett Ruess. Roberts built his writing reputation on non-fiction climbing writing, but he has also pursued more historic/anthropological topics, and one of my favorite books, “In Search of the Old Ones”, discusses the Ancestral Puebloans and their mysterious cliff dwellings. LOTS has been written, sung, painted, and celebrated about Mr. Ruess, a young artist from California who ventured and ultimately disappeared into the canyon country east of Zion, near Escalante. The town of Escalante even holds an annual “Everett Ruess Days” festival, celebrating art, music, and writing on behalf of this “canyon country poet.” So I figured I was in for a treat as these two characters mingled when I started turning the pages. First, an introduction: Everett Ruess was a young man who, in the 1930′s, criss-crossed Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, including much of the Navajo Nation and areas now included in Grand Staircase-Esclaante Monument, Glen Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion. In the 30′s, this area was generally overlooked and seldom traveled, a true Western “wilderness.” In his … Continue reading

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Narrows Hike Featured in Utah Valley’s Daily Herald

We have helped SO MANY people hike The Narrows on SO MANY days, and yet our visitors’ first impressions of The Narrows still delight us. Seems like anybody who hikes The Narrows for their first time is blown away by its majesty. Just to prove it, here’s another great example from the Daily Herald… Zion’s Narrows hike offers thrills, inspiration September 23, 2011 By Ron Hellstern, for The Herald Journal  Seventeen miles, and three potential swims. If those two descriptors aren’t deterrents, great scenery awaits those who hike the Zion Narrows from the top down into the main canyon. If you run marathons, bike the LOTOJA, or simply marvel at nature’s artistic masterpieces, there is nothing intimidating about this adventure. However, if you are a professional arm-chair quarterback, you had better get some miles under your feet before attempting this adventure, especially if you want to complete it in one day. I’ve been to Zion at least a hundred times, but nearly always been hobbled a bit with students, or little ones. But after seeing the inspirational film “The Bucket List,” I decided it was time to do this classic hike. Along with good luck, and good sense, the key … Continue reading

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Todd Martin and Rich Rudow Speak On “Grand Canyoneering”

We may not have many blog readers who live in Mesa, but I’m highlighting this talk for anyone who might want to invite Todd and Rich to speak in their own town. These guys have a ton of experience and stories regarding their extensive explorations of the Grand Canyon, and I’m sure it would be fantastic to hear them tell a few tales along with some complementary pictures and video. Of course, it may be difficult to attend such a talk without purchasing Martin’s beautiful Grand Canyon guidebook (Grand Canyoneering, $29.95), but that seems like a just reward for all the slogging, driving, thirsting, and pouring over maps these guys have done for the past however-many years. Here’s the event announcement from Rich: Todd Martin and I are giving a talk Thursday night at Mesa Community College – Red Mountain Campus. Todd will cover a lot of information about Grand Canyon and Canyoneering in Grand Canyon. It will answer a lot of questions that people have about permits, pack rafting, canyoneering technique, etc., and you’ll see some never before shown photos that provide wonderful motivation on why we enjoy canyoneering in Grand Canyon so much. I’ll discuss a specific adventure … Continue reading

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