Tag Archives: tom jones canyoneering

“Zion: Canyoneering” Author Seeks Edits for 2nd Edition

Tom Jones announced earlier this year that he is beginning work on the second edition of Zion: Canyoneering, his guidebook to Zion’s most popular hikes and technical canyons. As winter’s snow comes (like this last weekend) and goes (it is generally disappearing quickly), most canyoneers will be dusting off their operating gear AND their canyoneering guidebooks and getting back into the slots. So I wanted to remind you when you read something in the guidebook that doesn’t seem to match reality, you have a fabulous opportunity to DO something about it. Write the author! Here’s Tom’s invitation: I’m starting work on a second edition of the Zion: Canyoneering book, and would appreciate comments, corrections and suggestions. Please be as specific as possible, when talking about something specific, but comments in general are also appreciated. Expected release is Feb 2013, so there is a bit of time. I will be soliciting photos around Sept 1st, if’n you want to get your best shots lined up for submission. You can email me directly or post here in the comments. Thanks! Tom

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Canyoneering Trip Report: Kolob Creek, 9/8/2011

Descended Kolob Creek last Thursday with Carol Petrelli, Heather McIlvenna, Kev Swanson and Dan Ransom… Releases from Kolob Reservoir: They are alternating weeks of zero release and 3.5 cfs release. This was a week of zero release. Looked like about 1 cfs under the bridge, was about 1/2 cfs at the first rappel. Tame as far as waterflow. The water was clear and cold, of course. Most of us were comfy in 4/3 wetsuit with some booster type stuff. Most anchors in good shape. There are new bolts since last time I was in there (which was a couple of years ago). The chilliness convinced us to stay down in Springdale, so we got a little bit of a late start. Left the West Rim TH at 8:30, first rap at 10:00. Finished the last rappel about 1:00, to the MIA about 5 pm, up to the road in an hour and a half, another hour to the car. 11 hours total at a casual pace. A wonderful canyon. Nice that the irrigation schedule allows us to get in there this year, this early. For some good photos from our day, check out Dan Ransom’s pictorial trip report. Tom

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Trip Report: Zion Narrows Top-Down Thru Hike

I ran (ok, trotted) through the Zion Narrows from the top last Sunday (7/13/2011). Here is what I found: 1. I had never done The Narrows from the top in highish water. It was MUCH more difficult than I expected. There are many obstacles in the upper part of the Narrows (above Big Springs) that require quite a bit of hunting around to find a reasonable route. With water high, plunging into the river was not always an option. 2. There were maybe five required stream crossings that were thigh-waist high with strong current (i.e. where being swept away was a real possibility). 3. I ended up taking about five swims. I would say two were mandatory. The water was nice and warm-ish, so shorts and (Sport Science) tee shirt was fine, and the air temps were high enough to not require stopping and warming up. 4. I was somewhat concerned about the other 11 hikers on the 6:30 am Chamberlain shuttle. But, I guess they did OK. It is a BIG DAY, I hope they all realize it. I was hoping to match my time of 15 years ago, six hours. No way! About 15 minutes of breaks, moving reasonably well, … Continue reading

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Recent Conditions for Boundary Canyon and Heaps Canyon

Descended Boundary Canyon and Heaps Canyons this past week (June 23rd and 25th respectively). Both are in OUTSTANDING conditions. Boundary Canyon – Flowing about 5 CFS – enough to be intimidating and a little pushy, but not enough to be dangerous to canyoneers with Class C experience. Wonderful waterflow. Amazing canyon in near-solstice light.  Be careful setting anchors to avoid sticking a rope, and bring an extra rope or two just in case.  The walk-out down Kolob was an hour slower than usual because of the 15 cfs flow in Kolob – slow going, but not difficult.  The MIA trail is a little spotty in places (more than usual) after a big, wet winter. Heaps Canyon – Filled to the brim and cold. Lots of water, but also plenty of sand washed in over the winter, eliminating at least one long swim near the end. Still very physical and demanding. Excellent solstice light made it brighter and prettier than usual.  For the first time in 10 trips, I encountered another party in Heaps at the final raps, which delayed us 1-1/2 hours.  We hiked from West Rim Trailhead starting at 5 am – this was at least one hour too … Continue reading

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Trip Report: Battling Bugs Near Choprock & Neon Canyons

Just back from Neon/Choprock area. Near the river, the green flies are swarming and totally vicious. I cannot recommend camping anywhere near the river, in fact, we planned to stop at Fence camp to pump water and could not. Up above, the Cedar Gnats are similarly swarming and biting. Very difficult. We found a few places with enough wind to keep them off us, but in general with a 20 knot wind we were being devoured. The river is up about a foot from two weeks ago. We found a crossing just upstream from Fence Canyon where we just barely made it across without being swept off our feet. So, waist deep and flowing strong. Doing the direct line (bee line) to the mouth of Neon, you can walk upstream a bit and there is a crossing there which is among the shallowest. At this point, though, it still might sweep you off your feet, so I would recommend drybagging your gear. The river is fairly warm at this point. We “pack-rafted” from Choprock down to Neon, and it was great fun. The river is deep enough to only bounce painfully off the bottom once in a while. The temperature is … Continue reading

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