Zion Canyoneering: New East-Side Canyon with Kip Marshall
Getting out with Kip is always a treat. Kip has an indomitable enthusiasm for exploring the obscure corners of the Zion area, and tends to invite me along when he thinks he has a good one lined up. "I'm IN!" I said.
"6 am meet time" said the Bushwhacker...
"Ugh. ... uh, well, ... I guess --- see you then" was my response.
At 6:05, a jeep materialized out of the haze, Bruce Wilson at the wheel, Kip and Gaydon Leavitt (all of St George) stuffed in the back. We shuffled gear and packs, handing the ropes to the strong young bucks as usual. We spotted my station wagon at the end of the road, and jeeped out to the start of our approach hike. It was a delight to start the strenuous part of the hike in the cool of early morning. After a few hours, we spotted our crevice, descended into the wash and followed the little rock narrows to an edge... and quite an edge it was! The bottom suddenly dropped out, and it was time to gear up and get out the ropes.
We debated the options, and eventually chose a rock-pinch in an excellent position for a clean rappel and pull. Down we went. Eventually, down came the rope, no problem. "We're in it now!!"
The next section of the canyon was great. A great east-side slot: tall walls, a narrow slot, giant chockstones, lovely buff-colored rock. We rapped a couple short raps off logs, rocks and deadmen; using the fiddlestick in a couple instances where the anchor was back away from the edge, and using logs stacked across the canyon without leaving webbing.
After six rappels, the canyon opened some and we had some lunch in a shady nook before wandering into the sun. The canyon twisted back and forth, sunny and shady, with some little rappels and downclimbs. Fun stuff. Eventually, we slid down to a pothole ledge, where a convenient log stuck securely in the sand provided a classic fiddlestickable anchor, and rapped to terra firma below. A pioneer inscription indicated we were within walking distance of the main canyon, our path of egress. All that was left was the hike out to the car.
Thanks Kip, for another fine adventure, another fine new canyon in the Zion area, a fun time...