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Despair, Pit of… Death, Valley of… Canyoning Jan 29, 2017

Sunday’s adventure was to be my fourth canyon in the Princess Bride Range, the Pit of Despair. Fun little canyons over here, in a steep but not too high limestone mountain range. We drove out that way, parked the car on the berm, hiked up the fan. It is a bit of a walk over to the base of the mountain, a slow trudge up the alluvium. But the temps were nice so, trudge we did. Today’s team included Abby Wines, Mike Cressman and Ray...

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Deimos Death Valley Canyoneering Adventure Jan 28, 2017

Deimos was the son of Ares and Aphrodite. He is the twin brother of Phobos and nephew of the goddess Enyo who accompanied her brother Ares into battle, as well as his father’s attendants, Trembling, Fear, Dread and Panic. Deimos is more of a personification and an abstraction of the sheer terror that is brought by war and he never appeared as an actual character in any story in Greek Mythology. His Roman equivalent was Formido or Metus. Asaph Hall, who discovered the moons of...

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Great Falls of the Fox with plenty of water

Guest Canyoneering Rave by Nicolas Barth Photos by Nic Barth and Keith Richards-Dinger. Great Falls of the Fox Canyon, San Gabriel Mountains, California.  Jan 14, 2017 Presented with a three-day weekend at the end of a solid bout of rain in southern California I figured I could spare one day to be out and about. I had never been to Great Falls of the Fox, said to be one of the standout canyons in the San Gabriels for its narrow bedrock canyon and rapid-fire waterfalls,...

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The Mighty Shelf Canyon Zion – Dec 2016

It’s a small canyon. One rappel. Some nice narrows. I’ve done it twice now, and both times did not get much in the way of pictures. And stuck the rope, both times. May 3, 2015 My niece Rylin was in town, and we wanted to do something, something short. It was broiling hot. Shelf Canyon seemed like a good idea, though the scenic approach would be a bit on the toasty side, so we took the Upper Pine Creek approach. Like one does for Spry,...

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Heaps Heaps Heaps Zion August 20 – 2016

We went to Heaps… Heaps would be my favorite canyon in Zion, except that it is physically demanding a bit past my usual fitness level. Meaning, before a Heaps I have to bear down for two weeks, drink a bit less beer, do a few more runs or training hikes. So when Kip messages me on Tuesday “doing a Heaps this Saturday, you coming?”, I briefly hesitate. The good news is that Kip is strong and energetic and will carry the big rope, and has...

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Not Imlay once more with feeling… July 26, 2016

Back to Zion National Park’s Not-Imlay Canyon. Rumor had it someone left a bunch of ropes hanging, so we organized a trip to go in and retrieve these things. The dangling rope was swung on by the numerous Narrows hikers… until it broke. Emergency over, but cleanup still required.  (Turns out someone cleaned it up before we got in there). We for this trip included a motley crew of Springdalites, including Kim Molyneux, Claudia Morrison, Cassy Brown, James Yellowdart Marvin and me, Tom Jones. We...

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Walker Gulch Zion – July 24 2016 – Scenic Short Canyoneering

It’s hot down here. Anyone notice?  I’ve been doing a lot of canyons, but my energy level is tanking. So how about something kinda short? Walker has been on the list to do for the new guidebook, and I had made an attempt a couple years ago in the fall, when we went down the East Fork only to discover that the East Fork does not get you to the cool big rap that is the big event in this canyon…  (sigh). 104 in Springdale...

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Cassidy Arch Canyon – Anchor Work, summer 2016

Cassidy Arch Canyon has gotten rather popular, of late. The Park has become concerned about the wear and tear in the canyon, including on the tree used for the first anchor. We had been telling people to use a retrievable anchor system so as not to leave a sling for the hiking visitors to fret over, but… With increased traffic, slings left on the tree were a regular thing. The Park permitted a local guide to install bolts next to the tree, but he put...

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There and Back Again, in Lower Echo, Zion, June 25, 2016

Darn hot down here, it is, limiting choices to a few. But Lower Echo (Echo below the trail) is one that is deep and dark, with some water to cool off in. A short approach hike means, not so bad. But the penalty gets paid at the end – since the final rap out of the canyon is closed, one must fix ropes to exit the canyon. A while ago, I put in an anchor to improve the usability of the fixed rope – this...

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A Summer Parunuweap – June 3 & 4 – Zion National Park almost

On the fringe of Zion National Park lies the little sister of the famous Zion Narrows. Parunuweap Canyon holds the smaller East Fork of the Virgin River, rather than the North Fork that runs through the more famous (and popular/crowded) Narrows. Kat2 (Katherine H) from Hurricane was looking to go backpacking for the very first time – this seemed like a good choice. Flat, local, not too long, secluded, beautiful. Why not! Last time I did this, it was November, and it was nice but a...