Tag Archives: NPS Morning Report

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

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Recent Accidents & Incidents in Zion

Every day, the National Park Service issues a Morning Report, a daily report of accidents, incidents, operational notes, upcoming trainings, and hiring opportunities across the National Park system. The Morning Report not only provides a more objective, concise report of accidents/incidents (though perhaps less detailed) than we often find in the news, but it can provide great opportunities to learn from others mistakes and remember the degree of risk we must manage in the outdoors. Below are a couple of articles detailing recent serious accidents in Zion’s backcountry. Our continued thanks goes to Zion’s Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel for their efforts they take to prepare and respond to those who need help when their adventures go awry. Zion National Park (UT) Boy Scout Dies During Backpacking Trip On July 21st, twelve members of a Las Vegas-based Boy Scout troop were completing the second day of a planned four day backpacking trip in the park.  Corey Buxton, 17, was having difficulty and lagged behind as the group hiked south along the Hop Valley Trail.  Around noon, a leader who was hiking a short distance in front of Buxton turned around and did not see him. He hiked five minutes back … Continue reading

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