Tag Archives: Pine Creek

Trip Report: Prime Winter Conditions in Pine Creek

We went through Pine Creek last week on 1/9 with four people. We were thinking of doing the Subway, but heard that two people doing it the weekend before had lots of trouble and it was an ice rink. So, on to Pine Creek! I am not a fan of cold + water + winter + neoprene, so when I say it was really nice, it probably means it might have been the BEST winter conditions ever! The first downclimb is all dry, a 10 foot drop, then just some ankle deep water to get to the first anchor station. The first rappel lands you in water about chest deep. Then, dry, dry, dry… The Cathedral room has a dry landing, but a crux-like way out with a little swimming and muscling out of the lip. Then, dry dry dry… Then… a huge, fresh, dead bighorn sheep! It must have fallen from the top, and it spans the canyon right before a climb down the ledge-y log. Ewww… that thing is going to start smelling soon. I’m used to seeing legs, random rib cages, etc., but this is a full-size, fully bloated bighorn. So, check it out, and have fun. We had drysuits, … Continue reading

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Zion Canyons Featured on Camera Site dpreview.com

Noticed this post over on the camera forum on dpreview.com. Don recently visited Zion with his Nikon D700 with 14-24mm f2.8 lens in tow. I love it when photographers bravely tote their expensive glass into despicable canyon conditions to get the goods. Don’s post highlights the importance of both 1) good water protection for electronic equipment, and 2) the high cost of NOT preparing with such equipment. As you can see from his images, however, a little preparedness, combined with photography skill, can create some beautiful canyoneering images. Thanks to Don for the inspiration. I just got back from Zion National Park where a couple of friends and I did a bit of canyoneering for a few days. For photo gear, I took only the D700 with 14-24mm f2.8 lens. I really didn’t want to carry my tripod and ballhead since we would be swimming in sandy water and I didn’t have a drybag big enough to hold the tripod. We were also weighed down with a lot of climbing gear, drysuits, water, food, etc. I kept my gear in a double drybag, pulling it out to shoot, then putting it away for the next rappel or swim—a lot of work for a … Continue reading

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‘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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Canyoneering Movie from ZAC Client Jerry King

A native of Laguna Beach, California, Jerry has taken numerous canyoneering courses from us over the years, introducing many friends to the sport along the way. After his most recent visit this September, Jerry made this video, which includes some basic details on canyoneering AND photos from two canyon descents in Zion. Notably, Jerry and his crew descend Jolley Gulch, a canyon often peered into from above (via the East Rim Trail), but rarely descended. Thanks, Jerry, for putting together the video and sharing it with us!

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