Monday, July 21, 2008

June 25 - Canyoneering with Zion Adventure Co.

Today we discovered a new sport: canyoneering. (Check out the video further down the page!) It's a unique combination of rappelling and rock climbing into and out of slot canyons. We made a short drive into Springdale, UT to the Zion Adventure Co. which offers canyoneering courses designed just for families. Our guides were Dave (a past middle/high school band director) and Calvin (a Washington State University intern). We drove to some BLM land just outside Zion national park where there are several slot canyons perfect for beginners. We started the day by climbing up the mountain using a combination of hiking and rock climbing. Then we learned to rappel. The rappels continued to get more difficult and challenging. To get through one place we could only fit through the rocks by turning sideways! By the end of the day each of us was able to tie our own knots at the top, rappel down, then act as the "belay" for the next person. Zion Adventure Company does a great job of not only teaching you how to rappel, but encouraging you to do it on your own. Jacob’s favorite rappel of the day was through "Buttcrack canyon" so called, because, well, you get the picture. Thomas tied the knots on and led the way. Marjory as usual was fearless. After we got back from canyoneering, we drove back to Springdale and demolished two pizzas at Zion Pizza and Noodle. After eating, we headed back to the Zion National Park where we moved into the cabins -- definitely the place to stay if you can get reservations -- and hung out there for the rest of the night.

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