Lodge (Employee) Canyon

>> Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grade A
Equipment: two 60 meter ropes, helmets for everyone, extra webbing, ascenders (just in case)
Time: 5 hours (for a group of 4 experienced canyoneerers)
Date: 10-17-09
Conditions: Dry and warm
Experience Level: Experienced
Tom's Canyoneering Advice

Our latest adventure sounded a bit risky at the beginning. We consulted our trusty reconnaissance man, Tom, and learned that this canyon has a reputation for getting the rope stuck, deaths from falling rocks, and a tricky spot on rappel 4 where a wrong turn could lead to being suspended 100' in the air with no more rope from which to rappel. In addition, Tom gave this a low ranking and suggested doing other canyons in lieu of this canyon for "experienced" canyoneerers. Now, I'm no Tom, but I consider myself an experienced canyoneerer. The true selling point for our motley crew? It is October. Most of the canyons in Zion involve water. Water in October, even in southern Utah, can be exceptionally chilly. The wet Pinecreek Canyon or the dry Lodge Canyon? We went with Lodge, but we were extra careful in our preparations to prevent the possible tragedies Tom warned us of...

Read full review with photos


Keyhole Canyon

Grade B
Equipment: one 60 meter rope, harnesses for everyone, wetsuits, and drinking water
Time: 2 hours for 5 people
Date: 9-19-09
Conditions: Wet, cold standing water at the base of most rappels
Experience Level: great for beginners, fun for all
Tom's Description

This was a great little canyon to explore. It took us about 2 hours to complete, including the hike to the first rappel. The canyon was narrow and tall (a slot canyon). The red rock walls beautifully reflected the light of the sun. There was a lot of standing water that was very cold, so we were very glad to be wearing our wetsuits, but the rappels were short and easy. It was a great little canyon to take along a first timer.

Some of the drop-downs did not require a rappel, but instead some kindly souls had previously left lengths of webbing or rope to grab a hold of in order to let yourself down. (See my picture above.)

It is short enough to complete it and still have time for some others in the same day. We hiked Angel's landing in the morning and did this canyon later in the day. Another nice feature is that it is a loop, beginning and ending at the same place, so you finish right at your parked vehicle. I'd definitely do it again.



Angel's Landing

Grade: A
Equipment: Water and Lunch for the top
Time: 3-5 hours
Date: 9-19-09
Conditions: Beautiful Fall day - mid 70's
Experience: Beginner
Distance: 5 miles round trip

This was the first of three diverse hikes on Saturday. Combining this hike with a slot canyon allows for two unique perspectives on Zion, my favorite place on earth. . .


Spry Canyon

Grade B +
Equipment: two 60 meter ropes, harnesses & belay devices for everyone, drinking water, snacks and/or lunch, consider wetsuits
Time: 10 hours for 6 people (mix of experienced, intermediate, and beginner)
Date: 4/18/09
Conditions: Mostly dry and warm except for a few rappels at the end that were wet with a cold wind
Experience Level: Intermediate
Tom's Description

Our first trip through Spry Canyon was in early November 2008. We had beautiful weather, fabulous autumn scenery and a dandy adventure. However, on take two we encountered a few extra hurdles that proved to be valuable learning experiences. I'll give you the experience from our second trip to offer the best advice.


About This Blog

WE THE PEOPLE of the Outdoor Lovers of Utah . . . okay, that is just silly. But we really do love the outdoors, especially the many scenic wonders of Utah. We decided to start this blog to document our adventures around the beautiful Zion's National Park and the other amazing places that Utah has to offer. You can follow our exploits for fun or to get ideas for your own adventures. Because we're all connected to education we'll use grades to evaluate the spectacular locations we visit. Happy recreating, and try not to go SPLAT at the bottom.


Brains... started it all; outfitter and guide of our many adventures.


Scout...the first one in and the last one out.


Brawn...master rope coiler and pack mule extraordinaire.


Mama Bear...always prepared with whatever the rest of us forget.


Wheel Man...provider of accommodations and transportation.


Reconnaissance...author of Tom's Canyoneering, our trusted source of information (present only in paperback and spirit).

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