Tag Archives: spring canyoneering

Flowing Water Makes Spring Canyoneering Awesome

In The Secret Knowledge of Water (I think), Craig Childs writes about canyons as enormous, beautiful machines for moving water. The desert’s plumbing system, if you will. Twists and turns and slopes and swirls, all carved, grain by grain, by water making its way downward, in unthinking efficiency. And the remnant of this dynamic fluidity, these rushes and trickles and torrents, are our canyons. If you’ve never experienced a flowing canyon, it might be difficult to understand how alive a canyon can be, how someone could equate a flowing canyon to a living, breathing animal or being. And you might be GLAD you’ve never been in a flowing canyon, as most people equate flowing canyons with life-threatening flash floods, borne from summer thunderstorms. Every spring, however, as the snow melts from higher elevations and the saturated soils rejects spring rains, the canyons reliably flow, creating a wonderful world of water music, waterfalls, and raised voices, straining over the cacophony of running water. While spring canyoneering often requires drysuits or wetsuits to fend off frigid waters, the fun it absolutely worth it. There is nothing like enjoying a good dousing while rappelling through a waterfall, or swimming in deep, fresh water between narrow … Continue reading

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Spring Canyoneering Surprises the Ill-Prepared

Noticed this great trip report from SportsLover, a local St. George-based blogger who ventured out to descend Water Canyon last week. Though these guys fortunately came out of their predicament unscathed, the hypothermic challenge they created for themselves was significant. While two well-trained, large men with a good sense of humor and adventure evidently dealt with the cold challenge well here, the same set of circumstances could lead to an emergency, or even a fatality, for a different team. Not only does cold challenge lead to hypothermia, but also hypothermic symptoms like slower movement, loss of coordination, and, most importantly, impaired cognition. These symptoms easily lead to accidents, compounding the trouble in such situations. As you can see in the pictures, there can be a lot of ice and snow melting out in Zion’s canyons this time of year, which means ice-cold running water, dousing waterfalls, deep pools covered with thin ice, and even hiking in deep snow. When it’s 65 and sunny in town, it doesn’t mean the canyons are hospitable to those in sandals and t-shirts. At Zion Adventure Company, we love spring canyoneering, but we make sure to choose warmer venues OR warmer equipment to make sure … Continue reading

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