Tag Archives: Mystery 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

Posted in Canyoneering, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Seasonal, Summer, The Narrows, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Trip Report: Mystery Canyon

After our recent Wilderness First Responder course, Tom and Hank led Cabot, a great instructor from Wilderness Medical Associates, and a few of their fellow students through Mystery Canyon. I’ve posted a few photos here; find the rest on Tom’s Latest Rave.

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Boulders and Gravity Team Up to Attack Innocent Canyoneers

As I was hiking down Orderville Canyon solo one summer, I watched as a helicopter buzzed back and forth across the canyon at very low elevation. A little while later, I ran into a couple guys hiking up-canyon, and they told me about their group’s mishap in neighboring Englestead Canyon. Evidently, a boulder had rolled and landed on their buddy’s foot, leaving his big toe literally hanging by only a few ligaments. Just the thought of this made my whole body cringe… it still does, in fact. Aron Ralston’s arm entrapment and subsequent amputation may be the most famous example of rolling boulder carnage, but it’s certainly far from the only one. From personal anecdotes, to the pages of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, to the daily NPS Morning Report, big rocks have left a have a solid record of wreaking havoc on climbers, hikers, and canyoneerings alike. Here is the latest news of geologic assualt, this one from adventurer Rick Kent while descending Gunsight Canyon, here in Zion, on October 16th: Had a great time in Englestead Canyon on Friday. Saturday not so good. At the 1st rap into Gunsight Canyon a huge boulder next to the rappel station … Continue reading

Posted in Accidents, Canyoneering, In the News, Outdoor Leadership, Safety, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Trip Reports from The Subway & Mystery Canyon

Trip reports are a tricky business. How does one write and engaging account of an amazing rock climb, canyon descent, or mountain bike ride? I have certainly read some great accounts in novel-length format (see Touching the Void, by Joe Simpson, or The Way Out, by Craig Childs), but it seems impossible to include the emotion, personal narrative, or life-scope impact of such books in a 2 – 20 paragraph summary. I see many well-written and highly detailed trip reports in on-line discussion groups, but I often have difficulty getting through them without photographs to compliment the storyline. Personally, I like an illustrated story, one where I can see the cast of characters and have some context concerning the environment. While photographs certainly aren’t a silver bullet, they do help me get a sense of a place or a route, if not the experience of the author(s). And frankly, when I am searching future trips on-line, I am more interested in the route than anonymous adventurers’ trials and exaltations. To my point, this morning I came across these recent trip reports from descents of The Subway and Mystery Canyon by a blogger possibly named Marcy (?). If you haven’t visited … Continue reading

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