Telephone Canyon, Anchor Rigging, and fire in Zion National Park, UT

Anna was in town for a week of fun canyons, and tried to set up a Heaps trip. It did not set up, so we backed off to Telephone. Grabbed a permit in the morning (thanks Erin), hopped on the very full rush-hour bus, made it to the trailhead about 9am.  Compared to last week, it was not all that hot out. As in, it was hot, just not Scorching Hot!  I was Jonesing to do Telephone because...

Read More
Spry Canyon Anchor Bolting, Zion National Park, UT

Is it MAY, already?  Where does the time go?  Elana is back in Springdale briefly between travelling the world (Israel, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Morocco!) and moving to Silverton to guide for Outward Bound - and with the fine weather, a canyoneering adventure seemed to be in order. With the recent rain, something casual please. How about Spry?

Read More
Not-Imlay Canyon with New Zealand Friends, Zion National Park, UT

As the mayor (self-appointed) of Canyoneering in Zion, it is my obligation to entertain foreign visitors as best I can. In this case, Kiwis Nicole and Raquel were road-tripping in the USA and were sent my way. Rough all over, it is. We did a warmup in Pine Creek on one day; they adventured in Mystery Canyon the next; then it rained on Saturday. Sunday would be their final day in Zion - what would be the best bang for the buck?

Read More
Rambles in Robbers Roost Canyons, UT

Went out to the Roost to do some Rambling with Alane from Colorado. The weather was a bit rainy, so we kept things rather mild, and tried to keep not too wet. First day, after driving in, we rambled down the Middle Fork of Robbers Roost Canyon, and did it's one rappel (as two rappels), hiked down the Middle to the North, then up to the usual Mindbender climb-up exit. Made the top as the sun was setting...

Read More
Lodge Canyon and New Anchors, Zion National Park, UT

Working on the 2nd Edition of my Zion Canyoneering Guidebook, one of the 'benefits' of due diligence is that I 'get' to do all the canyons again at least once, to see how they are doing. Lodge Canyon was never a favorite, but, after two trips this spring, it is not so bad, really...

Read More
Observation Point Canyon: Ice, Long Rappels, and Sunshine!

Just a month prior, we had a particularly great trip through this canyon.So it seemed a good choice for a sunny February Sunday, for these peoples who had done a few canyons in Zion. After a bit of shenanigans, we had ourselves a shuttle driver, used to driving farm equipment so my Pathfinder should not be a problem, allowing the entire day to be dedicated to going downhill, excepting a few minutes here and there...

Read More
Sundance Films 2015 M10: Meru

I thought I was seeing a climbing movie. Boy was I wrong. Or at least, I've never seen a climbing movie LIKE THIS! At the Q and A, someone stood up and asked: "this is so dangerous, why do you guys do this?"  Wait, did they just walk in off the street? Were they on their phone for the whole time?  Did not we just see an intense, deeply personal movie that is PRIMARILY about this very topic?

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M9: Hellions

I try to see one horror movie each year at Sundance. Not that I am into horror movies, but heck, if I am going to see one, it oughta be a good one, and in a crowded theatre. I saw a quite good one a couple years ago, so maybe I am trying to recreate the past. This year's choice was Hellions, mostly because it fit into my schedule...

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M8: Brooklyn

Not all Sundance films are tiny scrappy foreign low-budget affairs. Hey, WHITE GOD  had a fairly substantial budget, though I'm not sure it is going to get picked up and shown in theaters in the USA.  BROOKLYN is not a low-budget film. Showing independent but real-budget films at Sundance bumps up the film's serious cred...

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M7: Unexpected

I was somewhat less psyched for Sundance this year than I SHOULDA BEEN, and did almost zero preparation. Alicia called a couple weeks ago and said - "I can buy you 5 tickets in the next half hour - what do you want". Well, basically, she made some suggestions and I accepted...

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M6: Stockholm, Pennsylvania

A coming of age story of a young woman, with an interesting premise. Leia was kidnapped at age 4 and held in a basement for 17 years. She was told the outside world had essentially ended, and she had to stay in. Ben took care of everything, until discovered. Leia is rescued and returned to her "family" - what happens next?

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M5: Prophet's Prey

My oh my. This is some seriously messed up stuff. More deserving of profanity than Mr. Cobain's personal torment, but since I've had a couple days and movies to get extracted from the evil madness of Warren Jeffs, I can speak without profanity. But first, what this movie is NOT about...

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M3: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Oh my Heck. This is some seriously f***ed up shit! Told via the stuff found in Cobain's archive - journals (he kept tons of journals), home movies, concert footage, tasteful and sparse interviews with bandmates, mother father and sister, old girlfriends and the widow... developed into a tight, amazing, crazy (as in, clinical), extremely personal look inside the life and mind of Kurt Cobain.

Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance
Sundance Films 2015 M2: The Summer of Sangaile

Second movie of the year is this drama from Lithuania.  Laura Dahl and Shelley Carver joined me for this one. Here are Laura's impressions:

I knew nothing about the film before arriving at the theater.  In fact, I wasn't even sure of the title of the movie -  this is what happens when someone else does all the planning for your first Sundance Film experience...
Read More
SundanceTom Jonessundance