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UT: Zion Walker Gulch Zion, July 2016

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by ratagonia, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
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    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).

    104 in Springdale this day… but not quite so hot up higher. We met kinda early (8 am) and went to the UPPER trailhead, the one off Dakota ridge, because I was still scared of driving down the Orderville Jeep Trail. Last time I drove that thing, it had a big ditch on one side at the crux, and I just did not want to risk putting my sweet new ride into that ditch…

    Just a little longer from Dakota ridge, right? Uh, well, yeah, like 2 hours, all at the end. Which in this heat is a lot. Besides, the Orderville Jeep Trail was nicely graded, and the scare-the-bejeezuz-outa-Tom ditch is nowhere to be seen, as I found out a few days later, when I shuttled some friends down for an Orderville trip.

    But, onto the ACTUAL trip report. We drove down the Ridge road as far as seemed smart. Coulda gone another tenth or two. We hit the trail at 9 am. We carried ropes n stuff. Followed the map, with ONE waypoint on the GPS. We being for this trip myself, Cassy Brown and Rachel Ross, both from ZAC/Springdale.

    We left the road and walked into the woods. Two minutes in, we hit the 90 foot drop Luke warns of. Big beautiful Ponderosa at the base of the drop – very nice. We skirt the drop to the left and shimmy down the steep hillside to the canyon bottom. A few nice narrows followed, with a few nice downclimbs. And then to the top of the big rappel.

    [​IMG]
    Approach narrows

    (Soapbox Time): --- some ranting --- (/Soapbox)

    [​IMG]
    Big enough? Rock anchor for first rappel

    We cleaned the blue (ick!) sling on the hard to get to, off to the side tree, pulled out a long piece of webbing and rigged the Giant Rock perfectly positioned for the rappel down the wonderful flute, set the rope up with a FiddleStick as much to show Rachel how it is used as anything else, and slid down the rope enjoying this wonderful rappel. Rachel got to go back up, since she forgot to take out the safety, and back down again. A quick, firm tug and the rope and pull clatter to the ground. OK, just the FiddleStick clatters, the rope kinda fah-wumps.

    [​IMG]
    Looking down, nice flute

    A bit downcanyon, we come to a short drop with lots of logs jammed in. We choose to rap under the logs rather than test the stability of the logs.

    A few more steps downcanyon, and we are at the final rappel. There is a sling around a rock, but the rock is not very secure. We pull off the sling, find another rock to tie off, choose a better place to put it and stack a bunch of rocks around and on it. Much better! Quick short rap. Harnesses off, walking from here.

    [​IMG]
    Rachel on the third rappel

    Nice walking. A couple little downclimbs. Wonderful striations in the rock, and quite a long section of nice narrows with tall walls. We walk for awhile, then pull over in what might be the end of the shade to have some lunch, then walk some more. Fairly soon, we pop out into Orderville canyon – as in, out into the sunshine. Warm. We walk upcanyon, past Birch, past Wild Wind Hollow, climb the hill at the Orderville dryfall. A few feet further and we see the shortcut back up that Luke details (thanks Luke). We clamber up this and pop out on the ATV trail that will take us back to the car. Eventually. As in, 2 hot hours later!

    Good canyon? Perhaps perfect for a low energy level day. Woulda been better from the Orderville Trailhead. Could be nice in the fall. One very nice rappel. A very nice half hour of scenic narrows. Not too bad of hiking…
    More Pics and Ranting at the Latest Rave

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  2. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    So do you think that the better approach is from the Orderville trailhead and just pass above the East Fork that we did a few years ago?

    Then there would also be no car shuttle
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Absolutely.

    T
    2065toyota likes this.
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