Zion Spring Wildflower Identification and Lady Mountain Hike

Ran up Lady Mountain last Saturday. We planned on a different adventure, which involved getting wet and cold, but not getting wet and cold sounded a lot better, so at the Zion Lodge we off-loaded. We hiked up the sorta-closed upper-Emerald Pools trail, shortly dumping most of the weight from our packs beside the trail. With lighter packs, we headed upward...

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Crack Baby in Kanab Creek, Grand Canyon, and the usual torture

Crack Baby is one of the closest Grand Canyon Redwall Limestone slots to "the road", and was thus chosen for a quick trip for a photo shoot. "Give Tom Jones a call", said Rich Rudow, (almost) heading out the door for a 30-day Grand Canyon trip. So Kristen Caldon, photographer on a Sierra Club project, called me, and we threw together a quick trip...

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A Snowy Echo Canyon, Zion National Park, Winter Canyoneering

Guest Rave by Steve Ramras; all the good pictures by Ramsel Adams. It doesn't happen every year. Usually about every 4 or 5 years. When it does, I can't resist. It happened to us the first time, in the early 90's. We descended Middle Echo, one May day, finished the short raps and came smack into a walls of ice. For the next 2 hours, we dangerously weaved our way through the snow and ice...

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FreezeFest XIV: Hog 2 (Swine Flue) North Wash Canyoneering

Last canyon of the year. The day before the Black Hole calls for something modest - don't wanna get too worked before A. the big party; B. the big campfire session and C. the BIG DAY.  Let's do a HOG, some people said. Hog 2 aka Swine Flue was selected as a good choice - and a bunch of people signed on...

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Hogwarts Canyon, and more, North Wash, Freezefest

FF XIV: After a frosty Inferno, came back to camp to find Alane had arrived from Colorado. Next day we joined Ram and others to do a super-duper, double-cross-your-heart secret canyon, which of course was totally wonderful (400 foot rappels next to hot-water waterfalls, dolphins in the pools, a couple 40 foot jumps... you know, all that secret canyon stuff)...

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A Winter Inferno Canyon, Ticaboo Mesa, FreezeFest

Well, not really. FF XIV: My traditional FreezeFest experience begins with a trip to Paradise... er, through Paradiso, as the case may be. But they did that the day before, and it was EPIC!  Sand on the walls, snow on the walls, sand over snow on the walls - the savory FF experience we all strive for. When I rolled into camp at 10 pm on the 27th, the canyon planned for the next day was Inferno, also out in the Dantes...

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Mystery Canyon in Winter! Zion National Park for Christmas!

Guest Rave: Steve Ramras. Indecision reigned. It was the Christmas day traditional insanity time. Who would go? Many of the past participants felt the reality of the danger of the thing. They waxed eloquently on it foolhardiness. In the end, the same people as last year filled up this year's permit. Where would we go?

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Checkerboard Canyon, Zion National Park, UT

Canyoneering in winter - be careful! I was looking for one more "full day" canyon before the season closes down...guess I got it! Doesn't help that I don't like getting up early. Or maybe I didn't do the math, but... We chose Checkerboard as a worthy canyon for a mighty day, and thankfully not all that wet. We met at 7:30 a.m....

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Cove Canyon, Grand Canyoneering, AZ

Guest Rave by Cassy Brown. Photos by Lindsey and Lynn. The moment I watched Lynn stick the burly Zion Adventure Company Land Cruiser BEFREE in a ravine, I knew we were in for an extraordinary adventure in this ruggedly remote corner of the Grand Canyon. “Game on,” I thought. “Let the foolery begin..."

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Epic Blarney Canyon, North Wash, UT

The name "Epic Blarney" has been thrown around for awhile, origin mysterious. Some said it was because of a canyoneering expedition where an Epic brew (good choice) was to be drunk at each rappel... (hmmm, suspicious). A more likely origin was perhaps a descent during one extremely snowy FreezeFest, when it really was EPIC, just to get down Blarney...

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Pandora's Box Canyon, Capital Reef, UT

It's my party, and I get to choose the canyon and the company. For this year's TomFest, the sparsely-attended Friday canyon would be Pandora's Box, a wonderful though vigorous canyoneering adventure in Capitol Reef National Park. There have been several rescues in there the last couple years, as novice groups have underestimated the difficulties (foreshadowing!)...

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Lady Mountain Summit, Zion National Park, UT

After the Live Like Louis fest, a group of us wandered up Lady Mountain on a fine November day. Not all that eventful, really. We went up. There was some snow near the top that made finding the trail more difficult, and then getting back over to it quite dicey once we found it.  Lynn and I put in a bolt above the second step,for rappel and belay. With greater popularity of this route, it seemed like a good idea...

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Pipe Spring Canyon, Zion National Park, UT for Halloween!

Went to do some canyoneering, this fine Halloween day. Pipe Spring Canyon in Zion, up near Lava Point was the canyon du jour. I had not been there in a while, and wanted to revisit. Was not all that interested in swimming, or getting up early, so this seemed like a good choice. Mike Cressy came up from Vegas for the day; Cameron was in town briefly; Andy Archabald (AA) came over from St George; and Felicia joined in to complete our crew...

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Behunin Canyon Zion Anchor Cleanup, Zion National Park, UT

Hadn't done Behunin for a few years. Kinda needed to, to check on the anchors and maybe fix the 2nd to last, which was a mess; and maybe add a high-water anchor for the last rap, out of the watercourse, since people seem to keep getting stuck up there. I hadn't done a canyon with my fellow Imlay employee and friend Shirlz, and we had fine weather, not so many orders to fill, and...

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Heaps Canyon with the Direct Exit, Zion National Park, UT

Canyoneering with a crack team is a great pleasure. Two guides from France, Guillaume Coquin and Francois, plus Locomotive Lynn and Cassy Brown from ZAC (and me) make one darn fine team. A test run in Mystery the day before was a bit later, hotter and longer than I prefer before a Heaps, but we did hook up with visiting Australian photographer Mark Watson, who generously offered to hike the 600 foot rope to the Emerald Pools for us...

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Imlay Canyon: Potholes, Narrows, and Log Soup! Zion National Park, UT

A somewhat difficult Imlay. My wonderful niece Rylin and hubby Eric really wanted to do Imlay, and could sneak down for a weekend. Which coordinated well with lil' 'Lana (now an OB instructor, formerly a ZAC guide) being in town (briefly). Ry and Eric brought along Dave Eiriksson; lil' 'Lana brought along Zion NP Trailcrew Chief Shannon Calabro to complete out team...

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Not Imlay Canyon: Downclimbing, Long Rappels, and the Narrows. Zion National Park, UT

Yes. Again! I've come to really like Not-Imlay. No fight for a permit. A scenic tour. Nice long raps. A short exit. A shortish day. Bailey was looking for a new canyon (for her) and despite the heat, seemed like a good idea. The bad news is that it starts and ends in the Main Canyon - thus one has to ride the bus to get there and back, which costs time...

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