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, 8 hours 9 minutes.