In the Heart of Zion. While Lower Refrigerator's main feature is two nice rappels, there is also a bit of sporty downclimbing at the start. Less-confident chimney-downers might want a belay for this part. Some discretion might be a good idea when leaving the Angel's Landing trail, to avoid being followed by ambitious, but equipment-less hikers off the trail.
The place faces east and south. If you are looking for warmth, head there in the morning. If seeking not-warmth, try the late afternoon. The raps are in the center of the watercourse, so if you can see water flowing from the road or trail, it is probably not a good day to do this canyon. Webbing will need to be replaced regularly, so be sure to bring some.
Winter and Spring - Snowmelt from the canyon above might produce flow. The canyon can be seen from the Scenic Drive in Zion Canyon, so the level of flow can be assessed before even leaving the car. The canyon faces east and south, so it can be good in spring when options are limited.
Summer - The canyon faces east and south, so it will heat up right away. An early start is suggested.
Fall - Pleasant temperature and beautiful foliage might make this a fall classic.
While Low-F's main feature is two nice rappels, there is also a bit of sporty downclimbing at the start. Less-confident chimney-downers might want a belay for this part. Some discretion (inobviousness) might be a good idea when leaving the trail, to avoid being followed by ambitious, equipment-less hikers.
The canyon faces east and south. If you are looking for warmth, head there in the morning. If seeking not-warmth, try the late afternoon. The raps are in the center of the watercourse, so if you can see water flowing from the road or trail, it is probably not a good day to do this canyon. Webbing will need to be replaced regularly, so be sure to bring some.
From the Grotto shuttle stop, head up the West Rim/Angels Landing Trail to the bridge crossing Refrigerator Canyon. Backtrack a few feet and drop into the watercourse where it can be done with zero impact. Move downcanyon a bit, then gear up. Allow 30 minutes for the approach.
The canyon starts with several short, downclimbable drops. Short people and the less confident chimney-downclimbers will want a belay. Packs can be handed down on long leashes or short ropes. After several interesting steps, a two-bolt anchor is found on the left, above a short drop to a pool.
R1: rappel 30 feet (10m) to a pool, which can be avoided with some dexterous climbing to reach the large, flat top of a pillar. It is possible to downclimb this drop, though it is a bit harder and less secure than the chimney sections above. Packs can be zipped across the pool.
R2: from a two-bolt anchor, rappel 140 feet to a small ledge.
R3: from a two-bolt anchor, rappel 190 feet to the ground. The last 100 feet are free.
There is Poison Ivy in the landing zone, and further downcanyon. The slime at the bottom of the rap is particulary slippery - beware!
Minimize your impact on the exit hike. There are usually plenty of empty water bottles to pick up.
Follow the watercourse down about 10 minutes until it is possible to escape right to a flat, somewhat grassy ground. This will involve weaving back and forth to avoid short drops and the worst of the brush. Start to the left.
Make your way to the flat, sparsely grassy area on canyon right, then follow deer trails south toward the West Rim trail, crossing a gully or two, then pushing through the Fremont Mahonia (ouch!) to reach the pavement. Follow the paved trail back to the Grotto.
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Lower Refrigerator Technical Route
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Zion: Central Canyons and Trails
After downclimbing to the first of Royce Trappier's bolt anchors, I first descended Low F with Janathon Zambella on May 9th, 2010. Jonathan had done it previously quite a few years ago, with Royce. We installed a bolt at the lower rappel station. I returned not too much later with a couple other people, and we install two bolts at the middle rappel station, and one more bolt at the bottom rappel station. Lower Refrigerator, 5/09/10 - Tom, Jonathan , and Scott descend Lower Refrigerator.