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Zion Slot for beginners?

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Zion Slot for beginners?

Postby whiteroom17 » Thu May 06, 2010 6:37 pm

Hey Everyone,

My girlfriend and I are making a trip down to Zion this summer (mid july = hot!). We will be there for 2 or 3 nights and I was hoping to spend the better part of the day wandering through one of Zion's amazing slot canyons.

I am definitely not looking to do anything very technical, a little bit of scrambling on short cliffs or boulders is fine but nothing much more than that. Nothing where a rope would be recommended. I have done a lot of scrambling in the mountains but my girlfriend is a newbee so I would like to keep it pretty relaxed.

I am also ok with doing an out and back style trip, so if there is a good segment before a major obstacle that would be cool. I am also not too worried about crowds, I would rather have top notch scenery and crowds than mediocre scenery and solitude.

Anyway I would love to get some suggestions on what to do! Thanks!

-Nick
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Postby dsunwall » Thu May 06, 2010 7:00 pm

Haven't done them but a couple are listed under "Weekend Warrior" on this site. Looks most all the other ones are technical to some degree.

http://climb-utah.com/Zion/index.htm
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Postby Augie Medina » Thu May 06, 2010 7:10 pm

I know you specified you're not looking for technical, but why not consider taking a basic canyoneering course and doing a few technical canyons with a guide? Then, you'd have an activity that includes not only hiking and scrambling, but also rappeling, climbing, swimming and great scenery. Worth a thought.
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Postby Hyadventure » Thu May 06, 2010 7:46 pm

Keyhole - One short rap, can be done with or without wet suits, will only take a couple hours, no advanced skills needed.
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Postby rice » Thu May 06, 2010 8:20 pm

HIDDEN CANYON WAS NICE-NOT SUPER NARROW BUT STILL AN EASY AND ENJOYABLE HIKE.
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu May 06, 2010 8:30 pm

What is a "slot"? If Zion Narrows qualifies, you can get water shoes and trekking poles, then wander a few miles up from the road end (temple of Sinewava), maybe turn up Orderville Canyon for a half mile or so. No permits, less worry about floods upstream, lots of cooling water.
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Postby whiteroom17 » Tue May 18, 2010 11:34 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions. I snagged a permit to do the subway from below, but I have also been looking at Orderville Canyon. It looks very fun and not too technical. I am perfectly comfortable setting up a top rope belay and rappelling down, are there any other skills that I would need? Are there bolts on every obstacle where a rope is recommended?

Also, the documentation says that it takes 7 to 8 hours to complete...how accurate is this figure?
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue May 18, 2010 11:42 pm

whiteroom17 wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions. I snagged a permit to do the subway from below, but I have also been looking at Orderville Canyon. It looks very fun and not too technical. I am perfectly comfortable setting up a top rope belay and rappelling down, are there any other skills that I would need? Are there bolts on every obstacle where a rope is recommended?

Also, the documentation says that it takes 7 to 8 hours to complete...how accurate is this figure?


I recall bolts above both iffy spots. Some times there are ropes or webbing left as handlines (but don't depend on that).
http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/ord ... canyon.cfm

I did it from top to bottom with a car shuttle, coming out at the Temple parking and taking the Zion bus back to the South Campground, where we had the other car; once through took about 7 hours. Ask about water levels and T.

With all the snow melt, it may be cold this year.

I went down the first iffy spot without a belay, just a very wide chimney stance; that was not too bright, and if doing it again, I would at least have a handline.
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Postby Hyadventure » Tue May 18, 2010 11:55 pm

It might be worth investing in Tom Jones's book: Zion: Canyoneering

http://canyoneeringusa.com/shop/product.php?productid=16309&cat=0&page=1&featured
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Postby Scott » Wed May 19, 2010 3:15 am

Are there bolts on every obstacle where a rope is recommended?


Yes and the obstacles aren't bad.

Also, the documentation says that it takes 7 to 8 hours to complete...how accurate is this figure?


7-8 might be OK if you walk all the way through and don/t poke around much, but I would plan on longer. Taking photos will eat up time and since it will be July you might as well take some cool breaks in the watery shaded canyon. There's no reason to rush it since once out you will just swelter in the heat anyway. Orderville is a place to take it slow and soak up the beauty.

Note:

The wet canyons in Zion are nice in July, but I hate camping in Zion Canyon then. It's seems that it's always windy and too hot to sleep until morning. Nomally, I camp, but in Zion in July it's almost worth it to spring for a hotel in Springdale, even though they aren't cheap. Camping at places like in the Zion Narrows, Lava Point or Kolob Reservoir area is nice in July, but I don't like camping in Zion Canyon in summer.
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed May 19, 2010 3:25 am

Often the motels in La Verkin or Hurricane are fairly cheap, but the quoted price range can vary hugely. The walk-in price may be much less than the advertised web price.

There are places to camp at higher elevation -- but you must be on BLM land, outside the park boundary. Plain BLM land allows "dispersed" camping. 'Nuf said.

Following on Scott's comments: The daytime temps in the lower Zion Canyon campsites -- Watchman and South -- are not much lower than the temps in Las Vegas.
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Postby cp0915 » Wed May 19, 2010 4:11 pm

I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, but I will agree that Zion Canyon camping in July is awful, unless you're in the Narrows themselves. Very pleasant temps can be found at the park's higher elevations.

And Orderville is a very beautiful, very easy canyon. I put off doing it for years because I figured it was lame; upon doing it my first time, I returned two more times in the next month! It happened to be wonderful.
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Postby John » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:58 am

whiteroom17 wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions. I snagged a permit to do the subway from below
Good call. The Subway is one of my favorites at Zion. Before you stop in, check out some of Michael Fatali's photos at his gallery in Springdale.

http://www.fatali.com/gallery/details.php?id=66&gid=7&

If you really want to check out the Narrows sometime (primarily a river bed walk), I'd recommend checking them out before you venture out into any of the really narrow canyons. After those, the Narrows won't seem very narrow.

Have a great time!
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