Tag Archives: canyoneering tom jones

Trip Report: Zion Narrows Top-Down Thru Hike

I ran (ok, trotted) through the Zion Narrows from the top last Sunday (7/13/2011). Here is what I found: 1. I had never done The Narrows from the top in highish water. It was MUCH more difficult than I expected. There are many obstacles in the upper part of the Narrows (above Big Springs) that require quite a bit of hunting around to find a reasonable route. With water high, plunging into the river was not always an option. 2. There were maybe five required stream crossings that were thigh-waist high with strong current (i.e. where being swept away was a real possibility). 3. I ended up taking about five swims. I would say two were mandatory. The water was nice and warm-ish, so shorts and (Sport Science) tee shirt was fine, and the air temps were high enough to not require stopping and warming up. 4. I was somewhat concerned about the other 11 hikers on the 6:30 am Chamberlain shuttle. But, I guess they did OK. It is a BIG DAY, I hope they all realize it. I was hoping to match my time of 15 years ago, six hours. No way! About 15 minutes of breaks, moving reasonably well, … Continue reading

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Trip Report: Battling Bugs Near Choprock & Neon Canyons

Just back from Neon/Choprock area. Near the river, the green flies are swarming and totally vicious. I cannot recommend camping anywhere near the river, in fact, we planned to stop at Fence camp to pump water and could not. Up above, the Cedar Gnats are similarly swarming and biting. Very difficult. We found a few places with enough wind to keep them off us, but in general with a 20 knot wind we were being devoured. The river is up about a foot from two weeks ago. We found a crossing just upstream from Fence Canyon where we just barely made it across without being swept off our feet. So, waist deep and flowing strong. Doing the direct line (bee line) to the mouth of Neon, you can walk upstream a bit and there is a crossing there which is among the shallowest. At this point, though, it still might sweep you off your feet, so I would recommend drybagging your gear. The river is fairly warm at this point. We “pack-rafted” from Choprock down to Neon, and it was great fun. The river is deep enough to only bounce painfully off the bottom once in a while. The temperature is … Continue reading

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