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Re: Cross-country routes out of Zion Canyon?

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  • TomJones
    Gotta read the report, man. Stevenson Cyn is the one you suggested climbing UP, dropping into the R Fork east of the K . Couple of rappels at the bottom,
    Message 1 of 56 , Jan 7, 2010
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      Gotta read the report, man. Stevenson Cyn is the one you suggested climbing UP, dropping into the R Fork east of the "K". Couple of rappels at the bottom, and a 500' headwall near the top. This is one reason we think you have yet to "get it" - you talk about upclimbing a canyon that is ringed with 500' of sheer cliff, clearly discernible on the map. Ha ha, good luck with that.

      T

      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "mcooprec" <coopermb@...> wrote:
      >
      > So much good info. Thanks, Tom.
      >
      > I looked at that route off the bench to the SE of Greatheart Mesa, so your information about the breach in the 20' cliff wall is definitely valuable and appreciated. One of my original thoughts was to try coming that way via the Left Fork and Guardian Angel Pass, drop down as you say to the upper Right Fork, cross the Fork and then climb the ridge up to x7015 and the West Rim Trail. So maybe our final route will incorporate your advice, even if only as an alternative route should an ultimately different primary route fail.
      >
      > Where is Stephenson Canyon? I don't see that named on my topos.
      >
      > All you guys are helping me immensely to plan out this dream vacation. I can't thank you enough!!! This is the kind of information one simply cannot find by any other means except canvassing the experience of people who have been on the ground off-trail in Zion.
      >
      > Michael
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "TomJones" <ratagonia@> wrote:
      > >
      > > It is just possible that there is a non-rappel route into the Right Fork near BM7015. My friend Chuck led a group down something like that in the 80's, and himself made it all the way without ropes, but they set up raps tree to tree because of their hefty backpacks.
      > >
      > > As Ram said, once in, it is not clear that you are in non-technical terrain. I would not consider the traverse from RF to PV to be non-technical because it (reportedly) involves some exposed and dangerous 4th class bushwhackery to get through, IF YOU CHOOSE THE CORRECT ROUTE. This is the kind of thing I label "technical". I have every faith that Ram (a Zion backcountry master) and Courtney (ditto) can get through without rapping, most likely. But I would not consider it prudent for anyone else I know (well, except Bo) to attempt it without technical capability. Myself included.
      > >
      > > It has been reported that you cannot walk the bench east of the RF because of the streams coming in that cut the bench and are impassable.
      > >
      > > Water in Phantom Valley and the Zion Backcountry: depends on the weather before. Some places hold water for 6-8 weeks, but most do not. We pumped from the first pothole in the Direct Right Fork section and did well after 4 weeks of hot, dry summer weather. Spots in PV might hold water for several weeks. October is usually pretty good for that because it is not so hot, and it usually rains sometime in September pretty good.
      > >
      > > The Right Fork and the Left Fork, below the Navajo, have streams. What we mean by that around here is water flowing all year round except in the driest years. Both the RF and LF, below the Navajo, are bigger than that - ie, actually real streams even int he driest times. Almost drink without filtering type water. Count-on-able.
      > >
      > > I can give you one non-technical route that I doubt will be of use to you, buy HEY, we're just having fun here. It is possible to ascend/descend from the silver staircase in the upper right fork onto the bench to the southeast of Greatheart Mesa without great difficult. The key spot is just north of pt 6920. As an example of how difficult it is to get around the Zion backcountry - the contours are very spread out here and from the map it looks EZ: but the reality is that there is a 20' high cliff band along the base of the wall that is only breached in one spot by a fortuitous short buttress that just happens to just work out. Once up there, it is hard to say what it gives access to - we went down Stephenson Canyon, perhaps its first (and likely for some time only) descent.
      > >
      > > http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/0707right/index.htm
      > >
      > > Fun wintertime discussion... Tom
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "mcooprec" <coopermb@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Tom (or anyone else), have you tried dropping off the West Rim Trail by taking the ridge west of BM7015 (that BM is at the head of Sleepy Hollow, and just north of the junction of West Rim and Telephone Cyn trails)? It looks to me like one might be able to get down to the upper Right Fork that way. Then head south to Phantom Valley, by climbing the Right Fork canyon's east wall (west of BM 7330 on the West Rim).
      > > >
      > > > Doable without a rap, you think?
      > > >
      > > > Many thanks for your valuable input,
      > > > Michael
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > Hmmmm, West Rim Trail to Phantom Valley? The usual route into PV has some interesting climbing along the ridge, then a 205' rappel. Some do shorter rappels to the side, to trees and re-rig. So, could probably do with three raps less than 100 feet. Again, there are TWO non-technical routes into Phantom Valley. The Trail Canyon you pointed out, and coming in from the south somehow, from Coalpits. I do not know how it is done.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • murphtron
      ... Were you in real wet canyon with raps before your escape? The area just north from the West Rim has a non tech route I here (Bo Beck) but I have not done
      Message 56 of 56 , Jan 24, 2013
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        > Not sure. It's up to you. Your escape from the Rt Fork up is nifty. Were you in real wet canyon with raps before your escape? The area just north from the West Rim has a non tech route I here (Bo Beck) but I have not done it

        @Ram, the canyon was wet since it had rained the entire day prior. The rap down to the canyon floor was easy, and at that point there's a wide, flat bottom and a sharp bend where it constricts and a little water fall upstream. I don't remember the exact reason why we decided to scout upstream instead of going downstream and then up the same scramble you apparently came down. That was our original intent. I think we just decided to take a look upstream. But that required a roshambo (I lost) getting naked, jumping in the freeze-ass water with a daypack above my head with my clothes/boots, climb up the waterfall, dry off, shiver like hell and get dressed. Then I saw the gully up, and climbed, hand over hand in some spots (class 3-4) and got to the top where it was obvious you could stroll along the shoulder to Phantom. After getting down, we rigged up a not-very-secure rope at an angle over a little tree to pull the packs from below the waterfall. And then my buddy clipped into the rope with his harness, ran and jumped onto the wall adjacent to the waterfall and I ran back to anchor him as he sorta half walked, slid, climbed up the wall up over the waterfall. It was neither elegant nor best practice, but the safety risk was fairly low since if he'd fallen he woulda just gotten wet.


        > > We climbed a gully (see link below) about a mile north of where the
        > > Right Fork turns west, and hiked along the shoulder below the West Rim.
        > > In fact, we camped staring straight down the Right Fork gash. There was
        > > a seasonal stream. And, yes, right about this camp location is where one
        > > can likely climb down to (or up from) the Right Fork, so I've been told.
        > > From this point it's easy to hike up into Phantom.
        >
        >
        > I came down it that way and we did a rap to save us a ton of brush and we had some steep slab to work down. I always assumed it would be easier to find a good line going up toward the head of Phantom. We got in the Right Fork via that drainage from the south, entering in just before it met the Right Fork proper at the turn. We had one short swim. It was March after an ice storm so everything above water level, including wood was plastered with ice
        >
        > It was much brushier
        > > there than I expected.
        >
        > Gambol Oak and manzanita. Not the worst, but not good]
        >
        >
        > > From Phantom we hiked past Inclined Temple and up over into the head
        > > of Terry Wash by The Bishopric West (there's now a Google Earth/Maps pic
        > > from this saddle). BTW @ the very mouth of Terry Wash is a stunning
        > > pool, campsite and waterfall down to Coalpits (see pic below).
        > > We exited via Coalpits. That's one long, hot slog! Next time I would
        > > choose Trail Canyon.
        >
        >
        > Trail might be shorter but is no "walk in the park." One good cliff barrier passed on the right heading down and plenty of thick pinion/juniper forest.

        Hmmm... good to know. Coalpits is, I'd consider, a walk in the park. Just hot and LONG. At least there's water... Getting down from Terry was the only tricky bit. Actually, rapping down from the mouth of Terry would be pretty intense. But beyond my skill level.

        >
        >
        > > Where is Heaps Crossroads and out the top of Phantom?
        >
        >
        > Upon entering Phantom from the head, the valley trends SSE well past the area you exited. When the valley turns due E and entrenches, it gets wet and technical. When it reaches the major N-S- cross joint canyons, just beyond the s in Heaps on the topos....That is Crossroads. One time I came down the N cross joint, a canyon called Gunsight, found my way up to the top of Phantom, into Rt. Fork where the canyon turns west and out the bottom in 4.25 days. We were expected out of Heaps after 3 days. I was in the Terry/Couger area on another trip.
        > Here is the story of my Phantom visit for anyone that has not read it.
        > http://www.math.utah.edu/~sfolias/canyontales/ram/?i=heaps

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