Send us a suggestion!

UT: Zion Heaps Canyon: August 8-9 2015

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Matthew_R, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Matthew_R

    Matthew_R

    Messages:
    9
    Likes:
    17
    My friend is getting married this week, but before doing so, he wanted to go on a canyoneering trip with the guys. We decided on doing Heaps as an overnight trip so we could take time and enjoy the canyon at a leisurely pace. We arrived at the Lava Point campgrounds Friday night where it rained all night, not letting up until 4 or 5 in the morning. This had us slightly concerned, but we had been watching the weather almost hourly the whole week previous so we knew it was going to clear up. In the morning we packed up camp and drove down to the west rim trail head and got ready to head out. We met a group of three that were heading down boundary canyon and we wished them a fun and safe passage.

    The canyon was completely full everywhere, and I noticed that, compared to June 2014, there was significantly more sand in the 2nd and third narrows. For reference, last year at one pothole, The water was about 2 feet below the lip and I couldn't touch the bottom. My friend dove down to the bottom and boosted me up to the lip. This year, there was so much sand that I could stand next to the lip and it came up to my chest. It was great to see the canyon in a different condition, and realize how drastically things can change. The last sequence took about 2 hours to complete with 4 people. (Not great, but an improvement from last year at least) This was our second time through Heaps, both times as overnighters, and we can't wait to go back!

    A short video from the trip.


    Setting off on Saturday morning. By the time we got to the canyon, the skies were clear
    Heaps_2015-1.
    The Subway off in the distance
    Heaps_2015-2.

    Making our way across the knife edge
    Heaps_2015-3.
    Making our way down the slope
    Heaps_2015-4.
    Hauling our packs out of a pothole
    Heaps_2015-5.
    Mike on rappel just after the crossroads. (Sunday morning)
    Heaps_2015-6.

    Narrows after the Crossroads
    Heaps_2015-7.
    Scale figure
    Heaps_2015-8.
    In the hallway
    Heaps_2015-9.
    Cool colors
    Heaps_2015-10.

    Making our way up and over an obstacle
    Heaps_2015-11.
    Rob on rappel just before the Iron room
    Heaps_2015-12.
    Looking back up the rappel
    Heaps_2015-13.
    Iron Room
    Heaps_2015-14.
    Spencer emptying the water out of his pack
    Heaps_2015-15.
    Spencer admiring the beautiful scenery
    Heaps_2015-16.
    My favorite part of Heaps. Love the colors
    Heaps_2015-17.
    Mike climbing over a log.
    Heaps_2015-18.
    Mossy boulder
    Heaps_2015-19.
    Spencer admiring the scenery....again
    Heaps_2015-20.
    Corridor before the final up climb
    Heaps_2015-21.
    Tourists
    Heaps_2015-22.
    Mike on the final rappel: part 1
    Heaps_2015-23.
    Mike on the final rappel: part 2
    Heaps_2015-24.
    The crew. Happy to be done, wanting to go back
    Heaps_2015-25.

    Thanks for reading
    -Matt
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    hank moon, Kuenn, Mountaineer and 7 others like this.
  2. bhalvers2002

    bhalvers2002

    Messages:
    53
    Likes:
    114
    Great pics and trip report. Looks like a lot of fun in full conditions.

    If I'm not mistaken, you have a video from June 2014 on youtube? Looking at last year's conditions the water level was certainly lower. Was that considered low water conditions? Can you compare contrast (number of pothole escapes, difficulty, time required for each trip, etc). I understand this is 2nd time so some advantages with experience.
  3. Matthew_R

    Matthew_R

    Messages:
    9
    Likes:
    17
    Thank you!

    The second trip was definitely a lot easier. Last year there were about 4-5 pothole escapes for us, mostly using partner assists. The water was also a lot colder last year probably because the recent rains brought in a lot of water this time around. I wouldn't say that last years trip was low water conditions, just low enough to require a little assistance on the exits. I can imagine the canyon getting significantly harder with even lower conditions. I would guess that last year would be considered medium difficulty. As far as times go, last year travel time was about 16 hours, while this year it probably took a couple of hours less due to the water levels. If we had pushed ourselves we could have shaved a couple hours off that time. Also, the final sequence went a lot quicker this time after planning it out better.

    -Matt
    Taylor, Rapterman and ratagonia like this.
  4. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean Master of the obvious

    Messages:
    194
    Likes:
    221
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO & Boulder, UT
    Great pics, great report. I will be visiting the canyon later this month so nice to see recent conditions. Thanks!
  5. Kuenn

    Kuenn

    Messages:
    1,256
    Likes:
    1,260
    Really pretty and different focal perspectives! Nice shot of the recent discussed jump across (@1:47). Thanks for sharing your adventure.
  6. Ram

    Ram

    Messages:
    2,115
    Likes:
    3,395
    Very nice.
    Where did you camp?
  7. qedcook

    qedcook

    Messages:
    120
    Likes:
    36
    The two times I did Heaps this year, my cohorts went down into the pothole and back out. I simply stemmed across, no jump needed.
    hank moon likes this.
  8. Matthew_R

    Matthew_R

    Messages:
    9
    Likes:
    17
    We camped at the crossroads.
  9. RossK

    RossK

    Messages:
    37
    Likes:
    47
    Great shots. Some of the best I've seen of Heaps.

    amazing that for such a tough canyon so many people seem to have done it (shows how canyoneering has grown, I wonder how many intermediate canyoneers there are now in the country), and for such a long one so many have had time to take such good photos and videos.
    Matthew_R likes this.
Similar Threads: Heaps Canyon
Forum Title Date
Tech Tips and Gear Best Ropes setup for Heaps Canyon Zions Jun 1, 2017
General Discussion Heaps as first canyon? Good choice? Jun 14, 2016
Accidents and Near Misses Heaps canyon fatality July 11, 2015 Jul 12, 2015
Trip Reports Heaps Canyon Zion w Direct Finish – July 2014 Nov 26, 2014
Trip Reports Regal, Resplendent, Glorious, and Grandiose - It's HEAPS Canyon! Jun 4, 2014
Trip Reports Heaps Canyon 05/25/2014 Jun 1, 2014