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Utah Canyoning (& other stuff)

Spry Canyon (21/9/13)

Looking down to our creek

Tom on the first abseil

We were expecting perhaps a little wading in this section. But with a lot of rain in the prior weeks there were actually a couple of less than pleasant swims.

Tom abseiling

Tom abseiling

Tom abseiling again. This canyon never really got narrow but there were a lot of abseils.

Probably the prettiest section of the canyon.

Almost at the end. The rope marks in the sandstone in this canyon were quite incredible. Check out the wear on the edges of the various flutes. These were minor compared to some of the other drops. The sandstone is so much softer it wears in ways we are not used to seeing in Australia.

The canyon then joins Pine Creek (below the canyon). Both Spry and Pine Creek involve leaving a car above the Mt Carmel tunnel and then hitching a lift back up the hill through the tunnel. After this canyon it took a while to get a lift but fortunately a couple of people who work at Zion Adventure Company drove past and gave Tom a lift.

Sadly I forgot to take my canyon the next day when we did Behunin Canyon (via a side trip to Angel's Landing). Angel's Landing was far more exposed and over a much longer distance then we were expecting. Incredible track. We had taken the first shuttle from the visitor's centre and as a consequence had Angel's Landing to ourselves. By the time we returned to Scout's lookout the numbers were swelling. Behunin Canyon was a very enjoyable trip - more akin to a Kalang type day - but there was a slot towards the end.

Mystery Canyon (25/9/13)

Views over Angel's Landing and down Zion Canyon from Observation Point. Stunning!

"Death Gully" entrance to Mystery Canyon. This photo doesn't do it justice. Steep, loose, erosion gully.

Tom on the first (proper) abseil in the canyon

Tom on the second abseil

Tom on the third abseil

This is a seasonal lake. Much of the time it is dry but with the recent rain... we met someone who did a few days earlier when it had been 5ft deep so it was dropping quite quickly.

The Mystery Springs abseil.

The final abseil into the Narrows. As is expected we had quite an audience - but our Australian experience of abseiling slippery waterfalls meant there were no embarassing slips!

Fat Man's Misery (26/9/13)

Up until this point the canyons we'd done had been somewhat "canyon by numbers" with extensive descriptions, obvious anchors etc. This canyon was refreshing in its brief description and gave us the opportunity to problem solve. It was also interesting because it a number of sections of canyon which opened out into sandy washes and then went back into canyon. The weather had cooled down so this was perfect as we had plenty of opportunities to warm up through out the day.

Tom walking the slick rock approaching Fat Man's Misery

Tom bridging

Tom abseiling on a single bolt. There was some interesting old bolts (and placements!)

Tom in one of the deeper sections of canyon

Suplhur springs! Towards the end warm water bubbles out of the rock giving you a warm bath to swim through - wonderful on a coolish day!

'The Barracks' of Paruntaweap Canyon (East fork of the Virgin River)

Tom on the exit ridge. Spectacular views but it was windy and nowhere to shelter.

Hidden Canyon (27/9/13)

I walked up Hidden Canyon from the bottom. Unfortunately it was closed due to wildlife activity. This Arch was the furthest I could go up.

The Hidden Canyon track looking across at the end of Echo Canyon/up to the Observation Point trail.

Bryce Canyon (28/9/13)

After our two weeks in Zion we headed to Bryce National Park. The hoodoos are weird and you feel like you are looking at a painting they look so unreal. Bryce is at 9000ft and a lot colder than Zion so we shivered through the night there. We attended an Astronomy presentation and got to have a look through some telescopes - Bryce is meant to be a great place for viewing the night sky. Sadly I think we have too spoilt having just had a holiday in the outback of Central Australia - we were rather unimpressed with the night sky.

Tom at Bryce Canyon National Park

Me at Bryce Canyon National Park

Tom in 'Wall St'

Tom with the unusual site of water in the desert (Mossy Cave trail)

From Bryce we visited a few state parks before getting to Capitol Reef National Park.

We stopped for lunch and a short walk at Kodachrome Basin State Park

The highest elevation of our trip - en route to Escalante. (~2900m)

Cassidy Arch Canyon (30/9/13)

We did Cassidy Arch Canyon which starts by abseiling through Cassidy Arch - a popular hiking destination. Here is Tom abseiling below Cassidy Arch

Looking back up at the Arch

Tom about to abseil through a smaller arch

This canyon used to be explored from the bottom - some of the remains...

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