Tag Archives: Echo Canyon

‘Tis the Season: Late Summer Adventures in Zion

Ahhh, August is here. The desert is still hot, the thunderstorms are coming and going, and for many it is the last chance for a summer adventure. I offer this post as a guideline on how to maximize this time in Zion and the surrounding area. Climbing, for me, is the most important form of recreation, so I will start there. There are few sports that offer such extreme physical challenge and such inspiring rewards. Even when it is 100 degrees outside, climbing in the shade is amazingly reasonable. Shady cragging opportunities exist all through the main canyon for those who can find the right aspects and times of day. One of my favorite summer climbing areas, Kolob Canyon’s South Fork of Taylor Creek, features cool temps and shade most of the day. Perhaps the most exciting and challenging summer climbing I have done is in Kolob on Huecos Rancheros (5.12c) and Namaste (5.12a). Also, Last Rites (5.10+) is a super-fun single pitch finger crack with a bolted start. St. George also has some fun summer climbing opportunities. Enjoy the novelty of Veyo’s Crawdad Canyon Climbing Resort; if you go, don’t miss “The Fly” (5.11c), right off the pool deck. Snow … Continue reading

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Autumn in Zion: Adventure Season

The season for adventure is ripe in Zion right now. The weather is ideal, crowds have thinned out, and permits are readily available. A huge rainstorm just came through the area, which has cooled things down, and filled the canyons with fresh water. This is the season for frolicking, splashing, and exploring.This month I have had the opportunity to descend Cave Creek, Imlay (via the sneak route), the Subway/Das Boot link up, Echo Canyon, and the daily canyon guiding outside the park. These routes represent the full spectrum of technical canyoneering in Zion. Each descent is unique, beautiful, and remote. I find release in this terrain because it lends itself to creative problem solving and having fun. Descending the Subway with a wetsuit, for example, allows ample opportunities for slipping and sliding, swimming, playing in waterfalls, and enjoying an enchanting natural playground. This is the ultimate form of recreation. Canyons are a medium for play, and while there is a certain risk associated with canyoneering, the exercise of exploring, of flirting with danger, and the unknown satisfies a primal desire. My conversation with guided clients often touches upon the need for recreation. It seems that the average American is overstressed … Continue reading

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Canyon Condition Report: Echo Canyon, 7/19/2010

I meandered up to see how the melt-out was progressing in Middle Echo Canyon this morning. With all this hot weather, seems like it should be getting close to ready to open up soon. Arriving at the canyon crossing on the trail, I was not too surprised to find the pools full and flowing slightly (maybe 1/10 cfs). I pulled on a wet suit and plunged in to the cooling water. Seemed to go pretty well with only one largish snow chunk up into the “Echo Chamber”, and then after about 30 minutes of climbing upcanyon, I encountered the first serious obstacle. In a narrow section, several very large chunks of snow/ice were pinned 20 feet above the canyon floor, dripping furiously, and perhaps 50 feet long. Passage beneath was easy. A few minutes past that, a 20-foot-tall plug of snow on the canyon bottom blocked the way; it was broken into chunks and had re-frozen. I considered climbing past this section, but could see some broken down trees in the canyon above this, and felt I was still quite a ways from the last rappel. I was also solo, so pushing the envelope was not in the equation. I … Continue reading

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