Spring Season in Zion: Wildflower Stroll and Identification, Main Canyon,

What a difference 10 days make. Beautiful temperate weather here in Zion, and the flowers are out in the Main Zions Canyon. Not exactly a superbloom, but better than the last Flowerwalk for sure.  Cassy Brown joined me and we followed the same route, more or less, as 10 days prior - hitting the Emerald Pools are first, then over to Weeping Rock to check on the hidden riparian area, and get some better shots with the better light of a bright spring day. By Emerald Pools, in addition to what was found last time...

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Zion Wildflower Walk - Main Canyon

Kind of a crazy spring, here in Zionland. First very warm. Then cooler and rainy, as in very rainy. Went down to the main canyon to see if anything was out in the lower elevations, taking the Kayenta trail to the Middle Emerald Pool, then near Weeping Rock went to one of my favorite  riparian nooks. Not all that many things out, but many of the usual suspects were getting going. Also some species new to me, or at least that I had not carefully photographed previously...

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Pit of Despair, Death Valley Canyoneering

Sunday's adventure was to be my fourth canyon in the Princess Bride Range, the Pit of Despair. Fun little canyons over here, in a steep but not too high limestone mountain range. We drove out that way, parked the car on the berm, hiked up the fan. It is a bit of a walk over to the base of the mountain, a slow trudge up the alluvium. But the temps were nice so, trudge we did. Today's team included...

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Deimos Death Valley Canyoneering Adventure

Mike set up a trip to DV, and invited me along. Given the 18" of snow up here in Mt. Carmel, escaping to the dry, warm Valley of Death seemed like a good idea. I suggested something fairly short without a car spot on Black Mountain, and Deimos it was. I was really thinking of Helios which I have also not done but...oh well!  Abby offered me an actual bed at her house - BONUS!! Saturday's choice was Deimos-sneak route which did not require an early start. No one objected...

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Great Falls of the Fox: Southern California Canyoneering

Guest Canyoneering Rave by Nicolas Barth Presented with a three-day weekend at the end of a solid bout of rain in southern California I figured I could spare one day to be out and about. I had never been to Great Falls of the Fox, said to be one of the standout canyons in the San Gabriels for its narrow bedrock canyon and rapid-fire waterfalls, so thought this would be as good a time as any to check it out...

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The Mighty Shelf Canyon Zion

It's a small canyon. One rappel. Some nice narrows. I've done it twice now, and both times did not get much in the way of pictures. And stuck the rope, both times. My niece Rylin was in town, and we wanted to do something, something short. It was broiling hot. Shelf Canyon seemed like a good idea, though the scenic approach would be a bit on the toasty side, so we took the Upper Pine Creek approach...

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Walker Gulch Zion - Scenic Short Canyoneering

It's hot down here. Anyone notice? I've been doing a lot of canyons, but my energy level is tanking. So how about something kinda short? Walker has been on the list to do for the new guidebook, and I had made an attempt a couple years ago in the fall, when we went down the East Fork only to discover that the East Fork does not get you to the cool big rap that is the big event in this canyon...(sigh)...

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Cassidy Arch Canyon, Capital Reef - Anchor Work

Cassidy Arch Canyon has gotten rather popular, of late. The Park has become concerned about the wear and tear in the canyon, including on the tree used for the first anchor. We had been telling people to use a retrievable anchor system so as not to leave a sling for the hiking visitors to fret over, but... With increased traffic, slings left on the tree were a regular thing...

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Lower Echo, Zion

Darn hot down here, it is, limiting choices to a few. But Lower Echo (Echo below the trail) is one that is deep and dark, with some water to cool off in. A short approach hike means, not so bad. But the penalty gets paid at the end - since the final rap out of the canyon is closed, one must fix ropes to exit the canyon. A while ago, I put in an anchor to improve the usability of the fixed rope...

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A Summer Parunuweap East Fork Canyon Hike

On the fringe of Zion National Park lies the little sister of the famous Zion Narrows. Parunuweap Canyon holds the smaller East Fork of the Virgin River, rather than the North Fork that runs through the more famous (and popular/crowded) Narrows. Kat2 (Katherine H) from Hurricane was looking to go backpacking for the very first time - this seemed like a good choice. Flat, local, not too long, secluded, beautiful... 

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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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