Trip Reports from The Subway & Mystery Canyon

A hiker looks out upon The Organ at dawn in Zion National Park

John looks out upon The Organ at dawn

A hiker wading in chest-deep water in The Subway of Zion National ParkTrip reports are a tricky business. How does one write and engaging account of an amazing rock climb, canyon descent, or mountain bike ride? I have certainly read some great accounts in novel-length format (see Touching the Void, by Joe Simpson, or The Way Out, by Craig Childs), but it seems impossible to include the emotion, personal narrative, or life-scope impact of such books in a 2 – 20 paragraph summary. I see many well-written and highly detailed trip reports in on-line discussion groups, but I often have difficulty getting through them without photographs to compliment the storyline. Personally, I like an illustrated story, one where I can see the cast of characters and have some context concerning the environment. While photographs certainly aren’t a silver bullet, they do help me get a sense of a place or a route, if not the experience of the author(s). And frankly, when I am searching future trips on-line, I am more interested in the route than anonymous adventurers’ trials and exaltations.

To my point, this morning I came across these recent trip reports from descents of The Subway and Mystery Canyon by a blogger possibly named Marcy (?). If you haven’t visited either of these canyons, these trip reports reports provide nice overall concepts of the feeling, sequence, and agenda of each canyon. The photos are not poster-quality, but the author’s frequency and variety create a nice story arch for each day, one you don’t get when someone only posts the 3-4 “gems” from their trip.


About Nick

Nick Wilkes found ZAC in 1996, working first as an outfitter, then a guide, then as webmaster. An ardent adventure enthusiast, Nick's recent exploits involve laying down roots in Wisconsin, chasing his kids around the house, working as a Madison, WI photographer and growing his Wisconsin climbing business. Connect with Nick on Facebook, Google+, or directly via email.
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