Tag Archives: Water Canyon

Memories from ZAC Client Jerry King

Few clients have accrued more stories with Zion Adventure Company than Jerry King. Jerry’s been adventuring with us for the better part of a decade, annually bringing neophytes to Zion for their canyoneering baptisms. When Jerry saw we were looking for 15th Anniversary stories, naturally he jumped right in. Thanks for sharing your time and passion with us, Jerry. ****** HOLY COW! THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS…. ONE-DAY BASIC PROGRAM, OCTOBER 2005 After treks into The Narrows the previous couple of years, it was time to step up my game, so I signed on to a basic canyoneering course by the good folks at the ZAC. I anticipated a simple program… perhaps some white-board talk and a gear review in the ZAC shop, and maybe a little time in the field. Wrong! Our group of four neophytes headed out at 7:30 am for a Class III slot canyon. OK…so this might be a bit more serious than I thought. Oh… but I didn’t know how right that observation was! After a 45-minute drive into the backcountry, we hiked a couple miles to the head of our canyon “classroom”. After practicing some important knots and a reviewing the equipment we had been given, … 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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Trip Report: Canyoneering in Winter Conditions, 11/27/2010

The forecast for the day was 60% change of snow in the morning and partly cloudy for the afternoon. I prepared for cold wintry conditions, but also ready for my clients to say they did not want to go. As an avid outdoor lover, I enjoy any and all weather conditions, especially winter conditions, and I was up for a challenge. When Boris and Iskra walked in to the shop I saw they, too, were up for the challenge, as they had many layers and a look of excitement upon their faces. We packed our layers, food, water, and technical gear and headed to Water Canyon amidst the falling snow. When we arrived at the trailhead it was still snowing, with about 6 inches of powder already on the ground. I was excited to see what the spring looked like, as well as the pools of water at the bottom of the rappels. The snow depth helped on the hike in, as our boots were able to sink in and get some bite, versus slipping on the rocks and mud. At the canyon entrance, we put on our dry suits so we would stay dry from the snow AND be … Continue reading

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A Day in the Guiding Life

My day today begins as many have over the past few months. Greeting clients, directions to the restrooms, overview of what our canyoneering trip will likely entail. As we chat, I am attempting to distill insights into their desires and motivations from seemingly idle chatter. At no point in the day will I have less information than I have right now and yet I must make decisions that will determine the outcome of our day. The pantheon of the winds have been particularly irascible of late; the last three mornings have dawned angrily, like an old man trying to send back cold soup in a deli. Zion has no care for my schedule or your vacation plans. I decide to take advantage of this morning’s remarkably clear and cool skies and head down to Water Canyon; it has flash-flooded since the last time I have been there so I anticipate deeper pools, and some mud and sand lining the canyon walls but I still feel as though I am visiting an old, familiar friend since I have been denied access to this particular location on several of my last trips. My clients and I are becoming very well acquainted by … Continue reading

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