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A Not Canyon in Zion – Canyoneering in April, 2014

A couple year ago, maybe more than a couple, when walking out the Narrows after Imlay one July, we found some people rapping into the Narrows in an odd place. “What was it like?”  I asked. “A couple long rappels, kinda brushy, not so good” was the answer. This was the canyon that starts at the between-the-passes of the Imlay Right-hand Sneak route, and ends up in the Narrows not far upcanyon from Mystery at the head of the Gooseneck.  I immediately labelled it “Not-Imlay”...

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Winter Zion – Pine Creek Canyon, Feb 1.2014

After a great day in Keyhole (which sounds faintly ridiculous)… Luke came up from Las Vegas, and the question was, what canyons COULD we do. Given the blanket of snow across Zion, Deeps and I kinda thought the only canyon that would be non-epic would be Pine Creek.  We rallied somewhat earlier, to avoid the afternoon snowmelt flood, and picked up a permit again, grabbed a drysuit at ZAC for Luke, then headed up the hill. Saturday was colder than Friday, and the “melt” never...

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Winter Zion – Keyhole Canyon on Ice – Jan 31.2014

Mr. Deanpaul Russell aka Deeps came down to enjoy our incredible non-winter weather in Zion…  except, the day before and the night he drove down, it snowed about 6″ in Zion. Winter again! As the weather report predicted clearing in the afternoon, we delayed our start, meeting Jenny down at Deep Creek at 10 am. We geared up and picked up a permit, then headed up to do Pine Creek Canyon. The storm had cleared and the sun was out, melting snow on the slickrock....

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Sundance2014 – Day1 – Jan 20, 2014 – Tom’s View

Sundance – my annual opportunity for culture and intellectual inspiration. This year I will make one post for each day, the movies seen that day. Day One: Alicia’s next door neighbor scored me some tickets, but the first movie for the day was a pickup, and we used the new eWaitlist system to get decent numbers for Lambert and Stamp – a movie recommended by Alicia. “WE”, in this case, is me and my niece Rylin who recently moved to Salt Lake City to finish up...

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Freeze Fest XII – The Black Hole – Jan 1, 2014

The big day was upon us. Yes, the night was cold and we rang in the new year at the appropriate hour — for New York. Off to Hite it was, fairly early. Sort gear, prep the clothing, make decisions. EAT FOOD! Drink water. Then off to Milepost whatever for the start of that grand, silly, canyoneering adventure tradition: The Black Hole of White Canyon on New Year’s Day, aka The Stupid Idea that Caught On. People assembled at the trailhead. Final count was 30....

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Trail Canyon – Freeze Fest XII – Dec 2013

Sitting in the comfort of my Mount Carmel palace, it is easy to come up with a list of “canyons I want to do at FreezeFest”. Unfortunately for me, there are people at the Fest who have read my list and gotten psyched to do canyons that involve snow, ice, swimming in icewater plus lots of climbing up and over and through. Trail was at the top of my list because I don’t get to do it often, it being somewhat harder than most things...

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Paradiso – Dantes – canyoneering- Dec 2013 FreezeFest XII

It is hard to get psyched for FreezeFest, living in a heated house with a plush, warm bed each night. But — certain traditions MUST be followed, and FreezeFest is one of them. After a visit from the Ramoo for a snowy canyon in Zion, all that was left was to avoid packing (one day), pack (half a day) and drive out to Hanksville Utah (half a day). I drove into camp to find a cozy and mellow campfire scene – no jolly elves running...

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Mystery on Ice – Zion Canyoneering December 2013

This is a silly sport. The whole thing. Sliding down ropes in remote places, risking death and destruction on a regular basis, for what? Philosophical ponderings aside, the way to make it MORE preposterous is to do this stuff in winter, when there are additional hazards and the chance that even a minor injury could mean death. It is critical to do canyons you know well, bring extra gear and extra ropes, plan on a slower-than-normal pace, etc… and have no weak links on your...

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Searching for Hidden Treasure in Zion’s Parunaweap Canyon

It had been on my list since my first (modern) trip to Zion in 1999, but somehow I had never gotten around to it. When Olicia suggested a trip through The Barracks portion of Parunaweap Canyon, it sounded like a really great idea, especially since it would make a great wind-down from an intense 6 days of Wilderness First Responder refresher course the week before. Was Parunaweap the “Hidden Treasure” of Zion? Certainly the short portion of the canyon we visit when doing Fat Man’s...

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Wonderful Flute Rappels in Dead Eye Dick in the Zion Backcountry Oct 2013

My niece Rylin was in town. After a brief stint as a PT Intern in South Africa, and before heading to Portland to finish up her edumacation as a Physical Therapist, she scheduled a week in the Utah desert with her MAN (Eric), and a friend from Portland, now doing Residency in Grand Junction, Anne. I’d been meaning to do Dead Eye Dick since Kip’s fabulous picture had found its way to my computer screen in the spring. Seemed like a good choice for the...