Behunin Canyon with the English Gals, Zion National Park, UT


Famous they are, these women from England, for being methodical, a polite way of saying "slow". This was their third year in Zion, at least for Sarah. Starting from a background of zero technical ropework, I think they do pretty well. But they are very, very methodical. My schedule allowed one day of canyoning with them, and we selected Englestead Hollow as an appropriate objective, until two days before when I was informed that Engelstead still had "interesting" snowbridges and scary obstacles... uh, how about Behunin Canyon? Which turned out to be PERFECT!

Sylvia, Andrea, Sarah Lizzy and Zoe.
Note to self: Group pictures will be more flattering if taken before charging steeply uphill in the heat of a Zion morning.

A yellow flower that grows out of the rock, in places, including the lower switchbacks of the Angels Landing Trail and the roadcuts of Highway 9 east of the Tunnel. Help with the ID, anyone?   Springdale Rockdaisy aka Jones Rockdaisy   —    Perityle tenella

A little poison ivy in Refrigerator Canyon.

At Scout Lookout, a little Spiderwort a bit past prime.

It was hot, so we set a moderate pace and still sweated up a storm.
Finally over the pass and into Behunin Canyon, it felt better to be moving downhill.

Approaching the first rap in Behunin Canyon.

Tom on rap numero three.

Royce Trappier left sign of his passage through Behunin, which today is one of the better bolts at Rap #4.

Sarah launching off on rap #4.

Sarah caught a pic of me doing the Devil’s Work.

Rap Five had had two bolts, but sometime this spring one of them pulled out. Last week, I had placed one new bolt (Powersbolt 1/2″ x 3-3/4″) for the rap – on this day I placed another. The chain is still connected to the intact “old bolt”, but not in the system. My next project is to bring a hacksaw into the canyon to take out the chains I put in (a failed experiment) about 8 years ago. They are currently attached (in several places) with quicklinks that are frozen shut.

Canyoneering is such HARD work!

Sylvia on rap!

Ye Olde Keeping-the-feet-dry game!

Next obstacle had two logs conveniently placed for descent, most (such as Zoe) choosing to use both logs…

…but Sarah “Mountain Goat” Lizzy made swift work of the single-log walk…

…and was justifiably proud while the rest of us pursued the two-log method.

Guided rappel on the third to last rap. Nothing like being the meat-bottom anchor to learn that guided raps have larger forces than regular raps.

Tom learned a few things here, too, such as that a single 200 foot rope is about 10 feet short for executing the guided rappel. Thankfully, the two major blunders I made here did not result in injury - by luck alone! Be careful out there, everyone (including me!).

Andrea over the edge on the final rappel.

A fine day out in a fine canyon. Not too incredibly "methodical". A debrief session followed at the Bit and Spur conference center.

and finally: two excellent shots from Sarahlizzy from their descent of Birch Hollow a few days later. “one”