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Anyone willing to show me the ropes in Southern Utah/Zion in the beginning of April?

Discussion in 'Meet Up' started by whatthehector, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Hey folks,

    My wife and I are taking off next week for a 4 month trip around the Southwest to different climbing, hiking, mountain biking hot spots. We're stoked for this trip and are excited to try some canyoneering for the first time. We are both experienced climbers and are competent with anchor building, rope management, and rappelling.

    Anyone down to show us around and teach us some canyoneering specific skills? We have our own gear and are happy to provide good times and good beer. If no one is available, we're comfortable tackling some Class 3A and 3B canyons to teach ourselves using good judgement and respecting the inherent danger that exists in canyoneering.

    Cheers!
    Rapterman likes this.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    http://www.zionadventures.com

    Lots of cold water out there right now. This is still winter in many of the canyons.

    From your statement above, it is clear that you are competent at anchor building, rope management and rappelling in a climbing context. Canyoneering is not climbing. Some climbers do quite well in canyoneering, and others do quite poorly. Hard to tell in advance which is which. Taking a one-day class and talking with an expert might be a good idea, no matter how 'MERICAN!!! you are.

    If it was the middle of summer and conditions were more benign, less caution would be necessary. Right now, even Class 3A canyons might have extensive swimming in very cold water. Caution advised.

    But yeah. Best bet would be to hook you up with more experienced folks - that works too. Helps if you have wetsuits (opens up a lot of options). Hey GUYS and GALS, let's help these folks out.

    Tom :moses:
    whatthehector, Rapterman and RossK like this.
  3. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Hey Tom,

    Thanks for your reply. I have actually given them a call and am considering one of their courses. I'm sure a course would be beneficial, as I am aware that differences exist between similar climbing and canyoneering skills. However, I never took a climbing course and picked up all of those skills by a combination of reading books, watching videos, practicing skills on rock, and finding partners to learn from. The last one is what I'm hoping to do here. Not sure how responsive the canyoneering community is with regards to teaching and sharing knowledge with new people, but I've had great luck connecting with climbers to learn from and I've taken a few new climbers out myself to teach them some skills. I have good judgement and am aware of the dangers of blind confidence! With diligent research, planning, preparedness, and making sure we do a canyon within our scope, I am confident in our abilities and judgment. I'm not afraid to say no if due research leads me to believe it would be a bad idea.

    Regarding the cold water, we do have wetsuits but that is definitely something else to consider. Thanks for mentioning it as it factors into our planning.

    Thanks Tom!

    P.S. Also, thanks for your awesome canyoneering usa website. It's an amazing resource.
    Rapterman likes this.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Actually, I would advise both. There are some ultra-basic canyoneering things (biner block, single strand rappels, etc.) that you really should know in order to NOT be a burden on any group; and then there are a lot more things to learn best gotten in a canyon context. Even the half-day course would be good, plus recommendations on what to do in Zion, given challenging conditions, at that moment.

    Tom
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  5. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Thanks. I have learned how to do a biner block, single strand rappel, and retrieve with a pull cord. I work at a climbing gym, so I have had a space to practice these skills indoors. You're right, a course may be a good idea and I will keep that in mind.
    Rapterman likes this.
  6. Deagol

    Deagol too many hobbies

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    the bigger question: how did you get 4 months off ????
  7. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I'll suggest that you practice passing a knot(on rappel :D ). You almost certainly won't need to in the field, but the skills needed to do it smoothly are all fundamental.

    Gordon
  8. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Haha very valid question. We've been saving up for quite a while and quit our jobs! We're excited to call Utah home for a bit. If you see us in a silver Mazda CX-5 towing a teardrop trailer, give us a shout!
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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Best places to go this time of year are: North Wash, Ticaboo, Roost. Some Escalante and Cap Reef. Zion tends to be better after the Narrows have completed their flood and snow in the high country has melted out... looking like June for that. Limited canyons (but still quite a fews) in Zion before then.

    Tom
    whatthehector likes this.
  10. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Great to know, thanks Tom. What's the water temp like right now? Will a 4/3 suit suffice for some of the wet stuff, like Keyhole or Pine Creek?
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You could use a 4/3 that lacks holes, but would be great to stick some ski underwear underneath that, and you would still be cold. Certainly do Keyhole first and consider. Keyhole is about 30 minutes in the water. Pine Creek is about an hour or a bit more. A lot depends on how you run. Eating a box of cookies before you go in would also be a help.

    T
  12. 18 till I die

    18 till I die

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    I am heading to Escalante UT. on the 6th of April for a couple of days, and you're welcome to come along. I am looking at possibly doing Spencer on Friday and Egypt 2 on Saturday. I have taken people canyoneering with no experience in the past. I have to be back to work on Sunday, but if you want to stay in the area, I could show you where some good beginner canyons are. a wetsuit would be nice for the Pirates of the Caribbean portion of Spencer.
    nrhardin likes this.
  13. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Thanks so much for the invitation! Unfortunately, still currently in Sedona and we're making some stops on the way up to Escalante so we won't be there this weekend. Appreciate it!
  14. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny Lagargar pockets

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    if ya go to escalante I know for a fact that Excursions of Escalante have spaces open for next week may15th to the 20th. Rick Green could really teach ya a lot. Look into it.
    Johnny sent ya
  15. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Thanks for the suggestion. We're no longer in Utah, but we actually ended up tackling a few canyons on our own and we're hooked. Everything went well, felt prepared and safe, and we had a blast.
  16. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny Lagargar pockets

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    what canyons did ya do? Good on ya for having some fun
  17. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    We did Keyhole, Blue John, Cassidy Arch, and Pandora's Box.
    wisconnyjohnny likes this.
  18. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny Lagargar pockets

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    :nailbiting::stop:
    :pompus: Wow for needing someone to show you the ropes you tackled some hefty canyons besides keyhole of course. Did ya do those as a 2 some? How was the 3B R Pandora's box.?

    I've stayed away from Cassidy arch to avoid exposure as I am not a climber. I love being on rope but not setting exposed anchors.
    whatthehector likes this.
  19. whatthehector

    whatthehector

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    Haha definitely felt like our climbing experience led to a pretty smooth transition. It especially help in Pandora's box with stemming over some really narrow sections. We're hooked! Yeah it was just my wife and me. Pandora's Box was my favorite, but probably wouldn't recommend to most beginners or those of a claustrophobic nature, haha. We thought Cassidy Arch was awesome and pretty mellow. We loved that first rappel off the arch. I think that was my wife's favorite.
    wisconnyjohnny, Ram and Taylor like this.
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