Tag Archives: Zion adventures

Guest Blogger Myra Yanke: Adventures in Zion and Beyond

Once upon a time, I thought a Rick Steves guidebook was the key to adventure.  This is the story of how my horizons have broadened since then. August 2007: I come back to America from my second trip to the Jungfrau region of Switzerland and rave to my parents about the fabulousness of my trip. I shake my head sadly when they counter with descriptions of their second trip to southern Utah. Why are they so insistent on staying in America, land of Wal-Mart and McDonalds? There’s a whole world out there! August 2008: I come back to America from hiking the Haute Route, Chamonix-Zermatt, and rave to my parents about the fabulousness of my trip. Glacier hiking! High-mountain hostels! I shake my head sadly when they repeat that I really should try Utah. Staring at a bunch of rocks? I think not. May 2009: I board the plane to Las Vegas with my parents, hoping I won’t be too bored over the next 17 days. The itinerary: Bryce – Moab/Arches National Park – Havasupai – Zion. I reason that by going, I’ll be strengthening my position that my parents should get passports. I’ll be able to say “I’ve been … Continue reading

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ZAC Canyon Courses: Becoming a Critical Adventurer

When people register for a canyoneering course they expect to learn how to become proficient canyoneers. In their minds, they may imagine a list of knots, equipment, and technical skills. As an instructor, my motives are slightly different… My last Three-Day Basic canyon course was a great success, but not because everyone learned how to tie knots, set up anchors, and rig a variety of rappels. While technical skills are important, they are only a small part of my course goals. We attacked the prescribed technical curriculum early on, and it served as a foundation for the true art of canyoneering. By the second day of our course last week, people had reached at important threshold. There is a point where learning new material complicates the decision making process. It is also challenging to help people feel confident in what they know and to continue introducing rope skills. To simply move through a canyon, doing the same thing at each rappel, seems practical and safe, and can build great confidence, but it is also a pitfall. The breakthrough moment is when people recognize each decision is complicated, but they have many tools they can apply to myriad situations. Canyoneering is … Continue reading

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Autumn in Zion: Adventure Season

The season for adventure is ripe in Zion right now. The weather is ideal, crowds have thinned out, and permits are readily available. A huge rainstorm just came through the area, which has cooled things down, and filled the canyons with fresh water. This is the season for frolicking, splashing, and exploring.This month I have had the opportunity to descend Cave Creek, Imlay (via the sneak route), the Subway/Das Boot link up, Echo Canyon, and the daily canyon guiding outside the park. These routes represent the full spectrum of technical canyoneering in Zion. Each descent is unique, beautiful, and remote. I find release in this terrain because it lends itself to creative problem solving and having fun. Descending the Subway with a wetsuit, for example, allows ample opportunities for slipping and sliding, swimming, playing in waterfalls, and enjoying an enchanting natural playground. This is the ultimate form of recreation. Canyons are a medium for play, and while there is a certain risk associated with canyoneering, the exercise of exploring, of flirting with danger, and the unknown satisfies a primal desire. My conversation with guided clients often touches upon the need for recreation. It seems that the average American is overstressed … Continue reading

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