Echo Canyon Zion - the BIG start - June 2011
Bill Westerhoff made the big move from Phoenix up to the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort a couple years ago. Well, not to the resort, to the subdivision/gated community out there on Fir Lane, where he built a cabin and settled in. Bill is now a canyoneering guide with Zion Adventure Company.
Soon after moving to Fir Lane, Bill noticed that from his cabin, it was not too far to the top of Echo Canyon. I mean, the REAL, main-stem of the many forks of Echo Canyon; so he wandered over there one afternoon and found that it drops off. Just a bit.
Couple years later, 2011, Bill suggests an early-morning run through Upper Echo. So we grab my long rope and head out there too early in the morning. A shortish hike gets us to the head of the canyon. We tie off a big tree and fix the big rope. The big drop is protected by a small drop and pool - so Bill raps down, I send down the big rope, Bill ties off and gives the big rope a mighty Heave Ho to get past the ledge part way down - rope ready to go!
Down he goes! And down. And down. And down. There's a ledge at 300 feet or so, then a further 200 feet or so to the ground. Sweet!
Nice thing about Bill living nearby, his plan is always to go collect the rope later. Thus heading downcanyon we are unencumbered by vast quantities of cord - we have just enough stuff to sashay through Middle Echo. Just a bit of rope and wetsuits. Middle Echo itself was fun fun fun. A quick hike down, and back to the car before noon.
As big raps go, this one is pretty casual. Mostly but not wholly against the wall. And a good way to spend half a day on a fine summer day.
Since I don't want to taunt people, I have included a map for whomever wants the beta.