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UT: Zion Mystery: Beating the Monsoon

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by darhawk, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. darhawk


    We did Mystery on Friday, July 25. Pretty sure it wasn't a first descent. But it was OUR first time in Mystery, a canyon that I had been hearing about for many years. I'm pretty sure that I was partially bitten by the canyoneering bug 15 years ago or so when I saw a party rapping out of Mystery into the Narrows. I finally took up canyoneering 4 years ago and I do a few canyons a year. It hasn't been super-appealing to fight through the crowds and permit system at Zion and so I often head elsewhere, but I finally decided the time had come, time to do this canyon.

    Rain was forecast beginning 2 pm, at least according to accuweather. So, we decided ya gotta get up early to beat the monsoon. We barely made the 6 am shuttle, with seconds to spare, and appreciated everyone leaving us the best possible parking spot.


    McDonalds breakfasts are less appealing an hour after purchase, but calories are calories.


    We enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise hiking up from Weeping Rock and very reasonable temps.


    Staring down Death Gully; we headed down about 9 am, right on schedule, 2 hours and 15 minutes from the Weeping Rock trailhead.


    X marks the spot of a beautiful section.


    A very recently felled pine, snapped in two, with one half above a little downclimb and the other below. Shaky pic, but a cool reminder of the awesome forces of nature.


    We were moving quickly, so didn't take too many pics, but this one of soaring walls turned out nicely.


    Looking down on Mystery Spring. My 16-year-old son was the first down. We got here about 1:30, pleased that we were making pretty good time, especially with one newbie, and two with only a few canyons.


    I love how life finds a way to thrive in unlikely places.


    The final payoff! Wow. What a great rappel.


    We made it to the bottom at 2:30 pm, and the heavens opened, right when accuweather said they would. We were back at the visitors center in time to watch the ranger post a notice about closing all canyons due to a flash flood warning. Due to that warning, they wouldn't give us our permit for the next day to Pine Creek. We thought about fighting the crowds the next morning to pick it up, but worried about getting an early enough start under those conditions. After car trouble, we got the message and decided Pine Creek could wait for another day and headed home. It was fabulous! My verdict? Yes, it's definitely worth all the trouble to get a permit for Mystery.

    Oh, and good job all you folks out there who provide beta! Thank you, thank you. We nailed the time exactly, start to finish, thanks in part to your detailed information.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
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