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Just another Spry Zion trip – May 2015

Is it MAY, already?  Where does the time go?  Elana is back in Springdale briefly between travelling the world (Israel, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Morocco!) and moving to Silverton to guide for Outward Bound – and with the fine weather, a canyoneering adventure seemed to be in order. With the recent rain, something casual please. How about Spry? We met somewhat early and shuffled cars around, and started hiking. The weather report was a little iffy for the afternoon, but it was plenty hot in the...

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The Zion Scenic Canyoneering Tour: Not-Imlay with Kiwis, April 2015

As the mayor (self-appointed) of Canyoneering in Zion, it is my obligation to entertain foreign visitors as best I can. In this case, Kiwis Nicole and Raquel were road-tripping in the USA and were sent my way. Rough all over, it is. We did a warmup in Pine Creek on one day; they adventured in Mystery Canyon the next; then it rained on Saturday. Sunday would be their final day in Zion – what would be the best bang for the buck? Not-Imlay offers quite a...

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Rambles in the Roost April 2015

Went out to the Roost to do some Rambling with Alane from Colorado. The weather was a bit rainy, so we kept things rather mild, and tried to keep not too wet. First day, after driving in, we rambled down the Middle Fork of Robbers Roost Canyon, and did it’s one rappel (as two rappels), hiked down the Middle to the North, then up to the usual Mindbender climb-up exit. Made the top as the sun was setting. A nice hike with a tidbit of...

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Lodge Canyon Zion March/April 2015 and new anchor

Working on the 2nd Edition of my Zion Canyoneering Guidebook, one of the ‘benefits’ of due diligence is that I ‘get’ to do all the canyons again at least once, to see how they are doing. Lodge Canyon was never a favorite, but, after two trips this spring, it is not so bad, really. Aniko The Hiker brought a gang up from the Phoenix area to do a few canyons, and invited me along for Lodge Canyon for their Sunday, get-away canyon. Last time I...

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The Abyss – Death Valley Feb 2015

Abysmal Canyon, actually. I love the name because “it is way past Bad”. Quite a few years ago, Ram and I were invited on the first descent of this canyon, and it seemed like a good way to start this year’s Death Valley trip. We have learned that hiking up from the bottom 3000 feet is easier on the body than hiking down from the top 3000 feet, plus from the bottom does not require a time-consuming car-spot. And we had LUKE to get us...

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Observation Point Canyon – Feb2015 – Long Raps!

Just a month prior, we had a particularly great trip through this canyon. So it seemed a good choice for a sunny February Sunday, for these peoples who had done a few canyons in Zion. After a bit of shenanigans, we had ourselves a shuttle driver, used to driving farm equipment so my Pathfinder should not be a problem, allowing the entire day to be dedicated to going downhill, excepting a few minutes here and there. We, this day, was Lynn Bufka, Jack Hasslebusch and Mike...

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Mystery Canyon Zion – Feb 2015 – A downclimbing challenge!

Mystery Canyon. Oh my heck my favorite canyon in Zion… well, sorta. I have many favorites. Kinda strange, this weekend in February, to do my two almost-most-recently done canyons, Mystery and Obs Pt. That is the canyons that fit the agenda, and such are the curve balls that life throws one’s way. Last trip through Mystery, all of seven weeks ago, Amanda had mentioned that she and Chad had downclimbed almost every rappel during the previous summer. Conditions then, meaning in December (a bit colder and...

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Sundance2015 M10: Meru

I thought I was seeing a climbing movie. Boy was I wrong. Or at least, I’ve never seen a climbing movie LIKE THIS! At the Q and A, someone stood up and asked: “this is so dangerous, why do you guys do this?”  Wait, did they just walk in off the street? Were they on their phone for the whole time?  Did not we just see an intense, deeply personal movie that is PRIMARILY about this very topic? The Shark’s Fin on Meru is an...

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Sundance2015 M9: Hellions

I try to see one horror movie each year at Sundance. Not that I am into horror movies, but heck, if I am going to see one, it otta be a good one, and in a crowded theatre. I saw a quite good one a couple years ago, so maybe I am trying to recreate the past. This year’s choice was Hellions, mostly because it fit into my schedule. This is the coming of age story of a young woman, complicated by an unexpected pregnancy....

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Sundance2015 M8: Brooklyn

Not all Sundance films are tiny scrappy foreign low-budget affairs. Hey, WHITE GOD  had a fairly substantial budget, though I’m not sure it is going to get picked up and shown in theaters in the USA.  BROOKLYN is not a low-budget film. Showing independent but real-budget films at Sundance bumps up the film’s serious cred, and gets some buzz out that hopefully launches excellent films like this into more theaters and before more audiences, when it gets released. BROOKLYN is a coming-of-age film for a...