Tag Archives: Zion

Government Shutdown Closes Zion National Park

Article Written By Laura Dahl Dateline: October 7, Springdale, UT National Parks around the country closed their gates to visitors on October 1, 2013 as a result of the Federal Government Shutdown. Government Shutdown…what does that mean for Zion? Zion National Park is closed to all recreation and visitation for the duration of the government shutdown. All services, including the shuttle system, visitors center, human history museum, bathrooms, parking lots and campgrounds have been suspended during this time as well. Zion Lodge is also closed. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from Canyon Junction to Zion Lodge is also closed. How long will the Shutdown last? There is really no way to know how long this round of government shutdown will last. Historically, shutdowns have lasted anywhere from hours to days, with the longest federal government shutdown lasting 21 days in 1995. Can I drive through Zion National Park? Utah State Route 9 (Mount Carmel Highway) will remain open to automobiles and motorcycles driving through the Park. This route is closed to large vehicles including recreational vehicles, large trailers, and buses. Enjoy the scenery as you drive through the Park. Please be respectful of closure rules. Do not use pullouts, or … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, Grand Canyon, Guided Events, In the News, Lake Powell, Local Events, Zion | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Travel Journal: On the Bright Side

Greetings from Zion! I am back after a few months of (F)unemployment and have many adventures to reflect on. I found people to let me sleep on their floors all over the country, had opportunities to play in the mountains, snow, oceans, and cities, and did my best to learn something every step of the way. Starting the spring season at Zion Adventure Company, I am optimistic. Anticipating my return to Utah, I had some great discussions about what had guided my travels, and what ultimately was bringing me back to Zion. It is hope. I don’t know if it is inherent in the landscape, the people, or in myself, but there is something that pulls me towards the chance to discover a better version of myself. The opportunity to test myself against a new challenge is all the impetus I need. My quest to learn to surf this winter is a perfect example of this. I have a vision of myself riding waves with fluid easy movement, and with only a vague notion of what surfing was about, I stepped on a plane and allowed my hope to carry me into the unknown. Being a guide and instructor, it would … Continue reading

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Mountain Top Reflections: Desert Oasis

My first draft of this blog post was a detailed description of my recent Red Rock climbing trip. The salient points were, a) I am good at climbing rocks, b) I know some good places for Asian cuisine in Las Vegas, and c) I am moderately witty. Realizing I spent far too much time coloring such a story, and valuing your time, dear reader, I will spare you my narrative of rock climbing heroism, and ask you to trust me on these points. What I would rather illustrate is the notion of finding one’s self through suffering. By “one’s self,” I mean some greater understanding of who I am, or what I’m capable of. Whilst climbing last week, on the side of an obscure rock, miles from anybody besides my climbing partner, I found myself fully panicked and hyperventilating. Tiptoeing and thrutching up the face of a mountain, I surprised myself by resisting gravity over and over again. The route (Time’s Up, 5.11d) had an exclamation mark next to it in the guide book; I interpreted this as a sign of exciting climbing, and it certainly delivered. The climbing itself was not unique or terribly difficult, but the protection was … Continue reading

Posted in Autumn, Rock Climbing, Spring, Trip Reports, Uncategorized, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted in Canyoneering, Guided Events, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unstoppable?

Last fall, Sam Tickle accepted a challenge: to push himself for 30 days, in 30 sports, in 30 US cities. The challenge is part of a web-series sponsored by EAS Sports Nutrition. Sam is testing the limits of athleticism. Without a rest day, or any way to prepare for the next sport, this is a training regimen that would destroy most people. Sam stopped by to visit Zion on Day 21 of his Unstoppable Tour, and I took him on a multi-pitch climb on Tooele Tower (aka Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth). Guiding Sam was only a small part of the adventure; there are many additional challenges on a filming shoot, with camera men, sound technician, director, trainer, etc. in tow. The goal of the event was “officially” to test Sam’s mettle in the vertical realm, but the day proved an adventure for the entire crew. Most of my guiding is with people that do not have a great deal of experience in the outdoors, so getting everyone prepared for the day was not too hard. But anytime I am taking people into the backcountry, I am very aware of the risks we can control vs. those we cannot. After … Continue reading

Posted in Rock Climbing, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exploring Zion from the Inside Out

If you asked me a year ago how I would want to spend my days off, “rappelling down canyon walls” probably wouldn’t have been my first response. Being 45 years old and xxx pounds, rappelling into dark, wet canyons wasn’t the first thing in my mind. Yes, I was adventurous. And yes, I loved to find activities that blended body, mind, and spirit. And yes, I was always looking to explore new things. But going into places that require me to trust ropes and anchors with my life, where there is no option to turn around and go back, where I must work my way through canyon walls without being able to put my feet on the ground… no, that was not the way I hoped to spend my free time. Now at 20-something and 120 pounds, when I could make my body do just about anything, this type of adventure would have been just what I was looking for. But at 45…? Let me give you this warning: once you have tried canyoneering, you will keep looking for the next slot-shaped fix. In March of this year, when I was informed that I would be doing a 60-foot rappel … Continue reading

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Road Project Tough on Local Businesses

It’s interesting what this article doesn’t report: all the problems, confusions, and inconveniences experienced by the area visitors. If we consider each of the 50 businesses who demanded this meeting serve 50 – 250 visitors/ day, it’s reasonable to project they represent 2,500 – 12,500 people who are having trouble every day figuring out when or how they’ll be able to continue with their vacations plans. The Park could use this network of businesses as allies IF they worked to keep them informed well ahead of time… unfortunately, this is not how this project was carried out. Business owners say Zion project too costly Zion National Park » They say they weren’t asked for project input. By Mark Havnes The Salt Lake Tribune, 
Updated: 06/18/2010 09:54:24 PM MDT Zion National Park » Kane County business owners and local elected officials are demanding changes to a construction project inside the east entrance to Zion National Park that they claim is choking off traffic and money during the height of the tourist season. At a Thursday night meeting run by a facilitator hired by the National Park Service, Zion Superintendent Jock Whitworth promised he would have a new plan for the construction … Continue reading

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