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Costa Rica Jungle Canyoneering Part 3

Guest Rave by Ali White. All photos this Rave Ali White except as noted. Costa Rica continued… After a few days descending verdant canyons with spectacular waterfalls on the slopes of Volcan Turrialba, we awoke at 3:30AM to drive half way across the (small) country in search of more. First up – the incredibly gorgeous La Vieja Canyon, entered by rappelling down a side stream to the main “Old” Canyon. Johan negotiated land access with the owner of a dairy farm and we were off...

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One does not simply swim through the Black Hole…

Guest Rave by Rachel Ross “We all want to get through this safely.” Ram’s cinematic voice rang through my head as I stuffed my helmet into my pack. “Figure out your system: ask around.” I slipped on my second pair of neoprene socks. “Figure out the best way for you to stay warm,” I watched the variety of fleece onesies and bright puffy coats stomp around the parking lot. “Find a buddy, we don’t want anyone left behind.” We all huddled together for the group...

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Euphrates Ticaboo Mesa Dec 31 2017

Guest Rave by Cassy Brown. Photos by Rachel Ross and Tom Jones December 31, 2017 On the final day of the year 2017, Rachel and I had the pleasure of playing through Euphrates canyon with Tom, Ram and Jenny. It’s always a treat to canyoneer with some of the sport’s beloved micro-celebrities. Ram was on the first descent of this canyon a few years ago and warned of potential deep wades or swims, so we packed wetsuits in addition to other canyon essentials. Today’s canyon...

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Coming Full Circle in the Grand Cove Canyon

Guest Rave by Cameron McMillan, Photos by Cameron and Everett The anticipation of it all was next level on this trip. My first Grand trip was scheduled in January but life had a different plan for me. The same weekend as my trip, I ended up fighting for my life in emergency surgery instead. Surprise! That was nearly a year ago and this trip represented coming full circle with it all and having my fitness back after losing so much. With the Grand, you are going...

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A Backcountry Adventure

Friends from ZAC, Robby and Hayley, had descended a way-backcountry newly found canyon near Zion, and said it was really cool. Most Zion-area canyons are rather rappel oriented, but this one was down-climb oriented, saving its two rappels for the end. Being way-backcountry, the adventure insisted on being an overnight. Cassy Brown had a 2-week gap between working the floor at ZAC  and her winter gig working the desk at a local hotel. The weather was holding. Sure, daylight hours were scarce, but that’s why...

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Finding Surprises in Zion’s Right Fork Oct 1, 2017

The Right Fork is a wonderful Zion canyon, protected from popularity (for all but the swiftest) by requiring two or three days, thus being a ‘backpacking trip’, which canyoneers don’t do, so much. As I looked back through my canyoneering diary, I realized it had been 10 years since I had Right Forked, so when Rick “The Chief” Thompson invited me on a fall trip, I said YES. Arrangements were made for the first two days of October.   The Stevenson Alcove is an amazing...

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Rope Shrinkage Tests

How much do ropes shrink as we use them? There is no standard test for this, so it becomes very hard to say. I think/guess/observe/no-really-it-is-a-guess about 5% in the first few trips, and not much past that. For my Imlay Canyon Gear ropes that are 100% polyester, sheath and core, thus perhaps more resistant to shrinkage than other ropes. But what is really true? Could we actually collect some data and find out? I will list and update the data collected here, with generally the...

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Jacob Canyon re-visit (new bolts) Zion April 22, 2017

Shall we give Jacob a visit again?  The weather was temperate, but soon would be too hot for this south-facing canyon – yes.  One ‘benefit’ of working on the guidebook (Zion, 2nd Edition) which I “have been” for about 5 years (Bullwinkle: “This time for sure!”) is that I feel like certain things need to be ‘fixed’, including the bolt anchor on the penultimate rap in Jacob.  I suspect the rap was originally done off a sling around a chockstone in the crack – then...

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Zion Wildflower Stroll, Main Canyon, April 14, 2017

What a difference 10 days make. Beautiful temperate weather here in Zion, and the flowers are out in the Main Zions Canyon. Not exactly a superbloom, but better than the last Flowerwalk for sure.  Cassy Brown joined me and we followed the same route, more or less, as 10 days prior – hitting the Emerald Pools are first, then over to Weeping Rock to check on the hidden riparian area, and get some better shots with the better light of a bright spring day. By...

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Zion Wildflower Walk April 6, 2017 Main Canyon

Kind of a crazy spring, here in Zionland. First very warm. Then cooler and rainy, as in very rainy. Went down to the main canyon to see if anything was out in the lower elevations, taking the Kayenta trail to the Middle Emerald Pool, then near Weeping Rock went to one of my favorite  riparian nooks. Not all that many things out, but many of the usual suspects were getting going. Also some species new to me, or at least that I had not carefully...