Category Archives: Hiking

Grand Canyon Abruptly Reverses Plastic Bottle Ban

Interesting article from the New York Times concerning the ban on bottled water sales that was due to begin January 1st. The is the same technique Zion NP implemented a few years back, to much acclaim within and outside of the National Park Service, helping reduce the Park’s plastic bottle consumption by upwards of 60,000 bottles per year. It’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out, especially given all the money and infrastructure is already in place to make sure visitors have plenty of “watering” opportunities around Grand Canyon. Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban By FELICITY BARRINGER November 9th, 2011 New York Times Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation. Stephen P. Martin, the architect of the plan and the top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his superiors told him two weeks before its Jan. 1 start date that Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani … Continue reading

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October in The Narrows Video

One of my very favorite things about hiking The Narrows this time of year is the incredibly clear water. Unlike April through September, when the Virgin River can be silty or muddy from recent rains, the fall/winter season typically features crystal-clear, blue-green waters… you can see straight through to the myriad river rocks below. The above video, sent to us from a couple recent Narrows clients, shows a glimpse of these conditions, as well as great examples of the deep wades, river crossings, and general splendor a Narrows hike brings. Enjoy!

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Mediocre Mountaineering

Inspired by some of the moderately technical summits in Zion’s more remote corners, my Zion “to do” list has been expanding lately to include a number of minor,non-technical summits. A couple of weeks ago, I scrambled to the top of the North Guardian Angel with Nick for a quick afternoon adventure; this weekend, the memory of adjacent Pine Valley Peak pulled me to return for another fun summit adventure. There is something freeing about standing on a summit and seeing the canyons and mesas stretching out across the horizon. It is a special sensation. To be unbound by canyon walls, to sense the vastness of the area, and to feel a lightness that technical climbing rarely allows. I climb in approach shoes with sticky rubber, packing a rope, water, food, a harness, some carabiners, belay device, and webbing. There is evidence of past climbers on these routes, yet the slickrock encourages me strike out and find my own path up the meandering cracks and ledges. The Purcell guidebook has route and equipment information on Zion summits helpful in planning and executing a successful climb, but the descriptions are rough enough to maintain a good sense of adventure. Back in Washington’s … Continue reading

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Trails in Kolob Canyons Closed, Threatened by Wildfire

Trails in the Kolob Canyon Section of Zion National Closed Due to Wildfire Date: September 1, 2011  Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811  All trails in the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park have been closed due to threats from a wildfire in the area. Kolob Canyons is the northern section of the park and is located just off I-15 approximately 15 miles south of Cedar City, UT. This precautionary closure includes all the trails in that area and others that lead into it. The decision to close the trails was made to ensure the safety of hikers that may be using or planning to use the trails. Trails that are closed at this time include the LaVerkin Creek Trail, Hop Valley Trail and the Timber Creek Overlook Trail. The Toquerville Falls Fire is located on Black Ridge near Toquerville Falls, on Bureau of Land Management lands, north of Toquerville, Utah. The lightning caused fire is currently estimated at 150 acres and is burning in a north/northeastern direction toward the park. The fire is being pushed by gusty winds up to 40mph. Due to its remote location, the fire is being suppressed using aerial resources at this time including three helicopters … Continue reading

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ZAC Memories from John Heusler

This in from John Heusler, a guy who’s been with us since the beginning. Thanks, John! Wow… so much to say about Zion Adventures. Jonathan is without a doubt hugely knowledgeable and insightful about his craft. Besides being a great businessman, he is a heck of a nice guy to boot. We first met just about 15 years ago, when the company was in its infancy, on a cold February day. Jonathan outfitted us with dry gear to hike up the Narrows. He warned us of all the dangers and also pointed out the details of what to look for in terms of beauty. Things like “pictures in the rocks.” Keep your eyes peeled for lots of subtleties that are, in themselves, breathtaking. Ice was everywhere, but it didn’t stop us. We hiked all day and arrived back just in time for them to close the shop. What a trip it was! Since then I have hiked just about every single hike there is in Zion, and every time, I stop in for gear and help from the helpful staff at Zion Adventure Company. NEVER will you find a more accommodating group than this one! Kudos my friends! Congratulations on … Continue reading

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Lightning Fatality Urges Caution During Summer Storms

While I usually think of lightning incidents as more of an alpine danger occurring in the Sierra Nevada or Rocky Mountains, this is the second lightening fatality this summer in the Desert Southwest (the other was about a month ago at Grand Canyon). While approaching thunderstorms can be thrilling to watch, PLEASE watch them from a safe place. When “very safe” places like vehicles or buildings are unavailable, do your best to distance yourself from high points and trees. If you can, sit on something insulating, like a backpack, sleeping pad, or rope. Canyons are generally safe places in terms of lightning, as you are between two high points, whereas places like Angels Landing are very dangerous in a lightning storm. Look here for detailed information from USFS ranger Melanie Fullman on the science behind lightning and specific recommendations on how to be safe in a lightning storm. Lightning Causes One Fatality in Bryce Canyon National Park An international visitor was killed by lightning along the Rim Trail between Sunrise and Sunset Points in Bryce Canyon National Park on Thursday, August 18. The victim was identified as Volker Kunz, 51, from Hamm, Germany. At approximately 12:20 PM, Mr. Kunz and … Continue reading

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Wilderness First Responder Courses This November

This November, we are offering a full 5-day Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course (11/5 – 11/9, $750) and a WFR Recert course (11/7 – 11/9, $425). Most outdoor professionals and many outdoor enthusiasts already know all about WFR, but for those new to WFR, I thought answer a few common questions: What is WFR? Wikipedia explains it better than I could: “Wilderness First Responder training focus on teaching the students to assess a situation, improvise solutions using available resources to stabilize the patient, and identify the best way to get the patient to definitive medical treatment. In many courses, students are encouraged to develop the habit of systematically thinking through and documenting their assessment decisions/plans using a SOAP note. Topics covered usually include, but are not limited to, the following principles Basic Life Support Responding to results of trauma: burns, wounds, infections, fractures, spinal injuries Responding to the onset of sudden illness Transport/evacuation planning and implementation” Who is WFR for? WFR courses have become a defacto training job requirement for anyone working in the outdoor industry. Many non-professional outdoor enthusiasts, however, also take WFR courses to stay safe and able in remote environments. Whether you’re a backpacker 20 miles away from a … Continue reading

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Narrows Injury Highlights Importance of Good Equipment

Picked up this story from Narrows hiker Glenn Jones (below) on the Yahoo Canyons Group. Though Glenn wasn’t intentionally advertising for us, his story tells a convincing story about why proper footwear and a sturdy hiking stick are so helpful in The Narrows. “Do we really need the rent equipment to hike The Narrows?” We hear this question often in our store, and our answer is always the same: No, you absolutely don’t need to rent equipment to hike The Narrows, but investing in gear innovated specifically for The Narrows hike helps you accomplish three key goals: 1. Greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries from tripping and falling. Sprained ankles are the most common injuries in The Narrows, followed by sprained wrists, dislocated shoulders, all resulting from tripping and falling due to poor traction and ankle support. 2.  Hike The Narrows comfortably. Spend your time and energy enjoying the breathtaking landscape, taking pictures, and enjoying your companions instead of staring at the ground, picking rocks out of your shoes, and fixing broken show laces. 3. Save your hiking boots and/or sandals from destruction. If you’re in Zion, chances are you have many more hikes on your vacation agenda. As Glenn’s story reflects, … Continue reading

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15th Anniversary Video Contest Entries Posted

With the August 15th deadline behind us, we have now posted the videos submitted to our 15th Anniversary Photo/Video contest to our YouTube page. Check out the great series of videos, ranging from ice climbing Southern Utah icefalls, to swing dancing atop Angels Landing, to sauntering through the Kanarra Creek slot canyon. All the videos are eligible for prizes, and we’re hoping you’ll weight in to help us pick the winners. We need to make decisions by September 1, so check out the vids and let us know which one you love most. Thanks to Jeff Guest, Casey Niederhauser, Mary Wang, Po-kai Chen, and Shane Burrows for submitting videos to the contest!

Posted in Canyoneering, Hiking, Sales & Promotions, The Narrows, Trip Reports, Videos, ZAC Events, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Great Video on The Narrows & The East Side

The LiveWell Network produced some great introductory videos on Zion last year, but I hadn’t seen them until recently. This segment focuses first on the Riverside Walk and The Narrows, then later on exploring the East Side. The “little slot canyon” Greg pokes into briefly is Keyhole Canyon, one of the easier slots to find and explore in the Park, but you can’t get very far without getting wet, and you can’t do the lower half without rappelling skills and gear. LiveWell taped their segments in November, a great way to find a virtually empty Park AND some of the best light you’ll find in Zion all year. To get a sense of November is Zion, you can watch all four segments of the LiveWell “Zion National Park” program on their website.

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