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Re: Barracks boulder obstacle

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  • hwstockman
    I m surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I m not too sure I d trust these rented items either. Here s a
    Message 1 of 24 , Apr 10, 2013
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      I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.

      Here's a thought:
      1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.

      2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.

      3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).

      4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.

      Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.

      First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).

      Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...

      Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.



      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@...> wrote:
      >
      > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
    • Glenn Ray
      Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos
      Message 2 of 24 , Apr 10, 2013
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        Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.

        The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.

        I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).

        I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/


        --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@...> wrote:
        >
        > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
        >
        > Here's a thought:
        > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
        >
        > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
        >
        > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
        >
        > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
        >
        > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
        >
        > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
        >
        > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
        >
        > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
        > >
        > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
        >
      • Cliff
        A big pack would only be a problem when going under the chockstone, and there you could take it off and lower it, if you are going downstream. It might be a
        Message 3 of 24 , Apr 10, 2013
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          A big pack would only be a problem when going under the chockstone, and there you could take it off and lower it, if you are going downstream. It might be a bit more difficult if you are going up.
          Cliff

          --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "jdg17" <jdg17@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thanks so much for those pictures. I too didn't spot the bypass last time I was there, but that was in 2009 and going over the boulder wasn't an issue.
          >
          > How would the bypass be for someone with a big pack? What if that someone was solo with a big pack?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > - Jamal
          >
          >
          > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
          > >
          > > I added a few more pictures of the route through the bypass, and labeled the pictures to make it easier to identify them.
          > > Cliff
          > >
          > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Glenn -- I'll miss you by a few days; I'll be out the week before. I've been down in Pweap several times, but always like going back to smell the roses. Check out the photo at 7:44 in that video. That's the tell and matches Cliff's description of an obvious bypass from downstream that involves hiking/scrambling under a few boulders. The trouble for me was finding it from the upside, but knowing more about what to look for now (scrambling up the south side just above the boulder looking for a gap in between boulders), I bet you'd find it. I'm dying to see it for myself as well. It's a much better bet than doing any sort of rappel or downclimb over the falls, especially if you intend to return the way you came.
          > > >
          > > > Sounds like you have a fun adventure planned. As always, let us know how it goes! I'll report on my trip as well if I hit Pweap this time. -Joe
          > > >
          > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Coincidentally-enough, today I found a YouTube video (slideshow, actually) of a family that hiked the Barracks in 2011 and actually highlighted the Boulder Obstacle:
          > > > >
          > > > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBS6P6rJCUM
          > > > >
          > > > > Jump to 7:23 of the video to see their trek through it. I'm still not entirely sure where that chute is, but they made it look relatively easy.
          > > > >
          > > > > Erik:
          > > > > I hope to be out there May 10-18. I wanted to spend three days in Parunuweap, camping near the parking area that Bo & Tanya describe in their book (Elephant Butte Exit). Day One would be down to the Barracks - maybe Labyrinth - and back. It's about seven miles round trip, so that leaves a lot of time to explore (i.e., "get lost alot"). Day Two would be a hike along the southern rim to two enormous sandstone cliffs that are split with a deep, narrow cleft (they are visible directly south of the Checkerboard Pass saddle). The eastern edge is razor-thin and I am considering a rope-assisted hike down that to overlook Labyrinth Falls from above. That hike is about nine miles. I posted a Google Earth screenshot of my planned hikes in the Files section here ("2013-05 Barracks-Parunuweap.jpg").
          > > > >
          > > > > Frankly, I'd love to hike all the way to Transview Mountain via Dennett Canyon, but I don't think I'll have time. Nor do I think one can camp overnight in that part of the park (not clear from the backcountry info on the NPS website or maps).
          > > > >
          > > > > The rest of my trip isn't finalized. I want to re-visit Hidden Canyon and trek past the end of the maintained trail. I also want to hike the Timber Creek trail to Kolub Arch. I may visit Valley of Fire on the way back to Vegas.
          > > > >
          > > > > I'll send you an email and we can pick up the conversation there.
          > > > >
          > > > > -Glenn
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Erik" <erik.sandhu@> wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Do you have a trip planned to continue to explore Parunuweap? It would be fun to join you as I am starting to develop somewhat of an interest in that area as well. It is a remote, infrequently visited area and would be much safer to explore with a companion. With a rope and harness the obstacle should not be a problem. I am also interested in locating the bypass. I have been considering hiking in from checkerboard Mesa and heading up canyon from the Powell plaque to check out the obstacle from the bottom.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > I am about three hours from Zion and try to get up there at least once a month.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo. I may have to be content with the sights upstream. Of course, if I'm fortunate enough to find fellow hikers, I might give it a go.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > @ Joe: Yep, just a little obsessed with Parunuweap. :-) The hike to the canyon last November was the highlight of my ten-day trip to Utah. That crevasse on the southern rim has really got my imagination; there's a lot of bare rock there.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > > Yes, from the river at that point, look to the left and scramble up that coulier. From up there you would look for the passage under the rock in the photo. I hope that is the only difficulty in finding the route. From the other direction it is so obvious that it never occurred to me that it would be hard to find coming downstream.
          > > > > > > > Cliff
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > > > Cliff -- Thanks for that extra photo; that's a good clue. Your second to last photo in the album looks familiar and I've been there. That's the end of the upstream bypass that I know that puts you close to the top of the boulder obstacle. I think you're saying that from the point of view of that photo, if you look up to the left, the scrambling route up is there? And then you get to a point where you crawl under a boulder and make your way through to the exit downstream? I'm dying to get back there to figure this out.
          > > > > > > > >
          > > > > > > >
          > > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Glenn Ray
          I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man s Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the
          Message 4 of 24 , Apr 26, 2013
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            I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man's Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the obstacle using webbing.

            This was a guided tour from Seldom Seen Adventures out of Kanab.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeYHn93fRyM

            Start around 6:33 in the video; lasts for about 3 minutes. Does not look like something I'd want to do solo.


            --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@...> wrote:
            >
            > Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.
            >
            > The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.
            >
            > I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).
            >
            > I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/
            >
            >
            > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@> wrote:
            > >
            > > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
            > >
            > > Here's a thought:
            > > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
            > >
            > > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
            > >
            > > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
            > >
            > > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
            > >
            > > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
            > >
            > > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
            > >
            > > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
            > >
            > > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
            > >
            >
          • Cliff
            From the video it looks like the obstacle will not be as much of a problem as it has been. The water levels have been about twice what they normally are when I
            Message 5 of 24 , Apr 26, 2013
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              From the video it looks like the obstacle will not be as much of a problem as it has been. The water levels have been about twice what they normally are when I hike it, so when the level drops it could be easy. I am looking forward to finding out.
              Cliff


              --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@...> wrote:
              >
              > I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man's Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the obstacle using webbing.
              >
              > This was a guided tour from Seldom Seen Adventures out of Kanab.
              >
              > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeYHn93fRyM
              >
              > Start around 6:33 in the video; lasts for about 3 minutes. Does not look like something I'd want to do solo.
              >
              >
              > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.
              > >
              > > The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.
              > >
              > > I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).
              > >
              > > I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
              > > >
              > > > Here's a thought:
              > > > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
              > > >
              > > > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
              > > >
              > > > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
              > > >
              > > > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
              > > >
              > > > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
              > > >
              > > > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
              > > >
              > > > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
              > > >
              > > > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Joe Braun
              Nice to see that video. GoPro Hero cams often make things look easier/smaller due to their fisheye effect, but I dare say that the logjam does in fact look
              Message 6 of 24 , Apr 29, 2013
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                Nice to see that video. GoPro Hero cams often make things look easier/smaller due to their fisheye effect, but I dare say that the logjam does in fact look lower and more manageable. Also note that water is again flowing under the boulder on the north side (as it was before 2009), so not all the flow is going into that narrow chute on the south side. That's good news! When the spring runoff is over (maybe 1-2 weeks from now?), things may look much simpler.

                Still if I'm backpacking, I'd look for Cliff's bypass as the safe alternative.

                --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@...> wrote:
                >
                > From the video it looks like the obstacle will not be as much of a problem as it has been. The water levels have been about twice what they normally are when I hike it, so when the level drops it could be easy. I am looking forward to finding out.
                > Cliff
                >
                >
                > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                > >
                > > I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man's Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the obstacle using webbing.
                > >
                > > This was a guided tour from Seldom Seen Adventures out of Kanab.
                > >
                > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeYHn93fRyM
                > >
                > > Start around 6:33 in the video; lasts for about 3 minutes. Does not look like something I'd want to do solo.
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.
                > > >
                > > > The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.
                > > >
                > > > I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).
                > > >
                > > > I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
                > > > >
                > > > > Here's a thought:
                > > > > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
                > > > >
                > > > > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
                > > > >
                > > > > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
                > > > >
                > > > > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
                > > > >
                > > > > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
                > > > >
                > > > > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
                > > > >
                > > > > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
                > > > >
                > > > > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • Cliff
                I guess I should just let this topic rest until we have a real update, but I couldn t resist. I just posted a picture of Tanya at the obstacle from our hike in
                Message 7 of 24 , May 5, 2013
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                  I guess I should just let this topic rest until we have a real update, but I couldn't resist. I just posted a picture of Tanya at the obstacle from our hike in 2004.
                  Cliff

                  --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I added a few more pictures of the route through the bypass, and labeled the pictures to make it easier to identify them.
                  > Cliff
                  >
                  > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Glenn -- I'll miss you by a few days; I'll be out the week before. I've been down in Pweap several times, but always like going back to smell the roses. Check out the photo at 7:44 in that video. That's the tell and matches Cliff's description of an obvious bypass from downstream that involves hiking/scrambling under a few boulders. The trouble for me was finding it from the upside, but knowing more about what to look for now (scrambling up the south side just above the boulder looking for a gap in between boulders), I bet you'd find it. I'm dying to see it for myself as well. It's a much better bet than doing any sort of rappel or downclimb over the falls, especially if you intend to return the way you came.
                  > >
                  > > Sounds like you have a fun adventure planned. As always, let us know how it goes! I'll report on my trip as well if I hit Pweap this time. -Joe
                  > >
                  > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Coincidentally-enough, today I found a YouTube video (slideshow, actually) of a family that hiked the Barracks in 2011 and actually highlighted the Boulder Obstacle:
                  > > >
                  > > > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBS6P6rJCUM
                  > > >
                  > > > Jump to 7:23 of the video to see their trek through it. I'm still not entirely sure where that chute is, but they made it look relatively easy.
                  > > >
                  > > > Erik:
                  > > > I hope to be out there May 10-18. I wanted to spend three days in Parunuweap, camping near the parking area that Bo & Tanya describe in their book (Elephant Butte Exit). Day One would be down to the Barracks - maybe Labyrinth - and back. It's about seven miles round trip, so that leaves a lot of time to explore (i.e., "get lost alot"). Day Two would be a hike along the southern rim to two enormous sandstone cliffs that are split with a deep, narrow cleft (they are visible directly south of the Checkerboard Pass saddle). The eastern edge is razor-thin and I am considering a rope-assisted hike down that to overlook Labyrinth Falls from above. That hike is about nine miles. I posted a Google Earth screenshot of my planned hikes in the Files section here ("2013-05 Barracks-Parunuweap.jpg").
                  > > >
                  > > > Frankly, I'd love to hike all the way to Transview Mountain via Dennett Canyon, but I don't think I'll have time. Nor do I think one can camp overnight in that part of the park (not clear from the backcountry info on the NPS website or maps).
                  > > >
                  > > > The rest of my trip isn't finalized. I want to re-visit Hidden Canyon and trek past the end of the maintained trail. I also want to hike the Timber Creek trail to Kolub Arch. I may visit Valley of Fire on the way back to Vegas.
                  > > >
                  > > > I'll send you an email and we can pick up the conversation there.
                  > > >
                  > > > -Glenn
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Erik" <erik.sandhu@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Do you have a trip planned to continue to explore Parunuweap? It would be fun to join you as I am starting to develop somewhat of an interest in that area as well. It is a remote, infrequently visited area and would be much safer to explore with a companion. With a rope and harness the obstacle should not be a problem. I am also interested in locating the bypass. I have been considering hiking in from checkerboard Mesa and heading up canyon from the Powell plaque to check out the obstacle from the bottom.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I am about three hours from Zion and try to get up there at least once a month.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo. I may have to be content with the sights upstream. Of course, if I'm fortunate enough to find fellow hikers, I might give it a go.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > @ Joe: Yep, just a little obsessed with Parunuweap. :-) The hike to the canyon last November was the highlight of my ten-day trip to Utah. That crevasse on the southern rim has really got my imagination; there's a lot of bare rock there.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Yes, from the river at that point, look to the left and scramble up that coulier. From up there you would look for the passage under the rock in the photo. I hope that is the only difficulty in finding the route. From the other direction it is so obvious that it never occurred to me that it would be hard to find coming downstream.
                  > > > > > > Cliff
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Cliff -- Thanks for that extra photo; that's a good clue. Your second to last photo in the album looks familiar and I've been there. That's the end of the upstream bypass that I know that puts you close to the top of the boulder obstacle. I think you're saying that from the point of view of that photo, if you look up to the left, the scrambling route up is there? And then you get to a point where you crawl under a boulder and make your way through to the exit downstream? I'm dying to get back there to figure this out.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Glenn Ray
                  Back from my trip and still in one piece, but not without a few cuts and bruises, many of them from the boulder obstacle bypass! This was not pleasant to do
                  Message 8 of 24 , May 21, 2013
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                    Back from my trip and still in one piece, but not without a few cuts and bruises, many of them from the boulder obstacle bypass!

                    This was not pleasant to do solo, but the route was quite obvious to find even coming from upstream. Cliff's notes helped. :-)

                    I should point out that the river runs north at this point, so "south" is really "west" - kinda like New Orleans! So, I'll avoid using compass points to describe direction.

                    I had plenty of webbing and considered using it to go over the obstacle from above, but the one large branch on top that might be used as an anchor made me nervous. Plus, I really wasn't confident about my ability to hang on through the water going down (Eric's tale came to mind).

                    So, I sloshed back upstream about 20 yards and found the scramble on the right (going upstream; left, facing downstream). The rocky scramble actually travels back upstream up to the first level about 30 feet above. It was a little tight in places with my pack (Granite Gear Virga with 30-liter drysack inside), but I didn't have to remove it to get up there.

                    On top, one turns almost 180 degrees to proceed down some boulders, across a flat sandy level, and then back up some more rocks to get to the entry of bypass. Cliff's photo #11 of his set shows the entry perfectly. I had to remove the pack to do this, but anticipated this and roped up my pack to lower ahead of me.

                    The first drop off into it was okay, but the second one was a doozy. About ten feet down, with a single piece of 4-5" slick driftwood used as a ramp. I put one foot on it and after a couple seconds, rejected it. I broke out the webbing and wrapped it simply around a large stone at the top of this drop. I lowered the pack, then used the webbing to assist down the wood. I left the webbing there for the return hike.

                    The rest of the scramble down was tight, but easier. I eventually ended up on a ledge that is even in height with the top of the falls and could walk around and see/photograph it. The whole traverse took about 15 minutes.

                    On my return hike, the bypass was more-manageable, but I had a hard time with the webbing-assist back up the driftwood-ramp. My fault: I didn't prepare it well and it kept shifting around the rock. But, I did make it through faster this time (less than 10 minutes).

                    I'll be writing up a complete TR later (and will add photos of the obstacle and bypass), but wanted to drop a note about it to this thread.

                    -Glenn

                    --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Nice to see that video. GoPro Hero cams often make things look easier/smaller due to their fisheye effect, but I dare say that the logjam does in fact look lower and more manageable. Also note that water is again flowing under the boulder on the north side (as it was before 2009), so not all the flow is going into that narrow chute on the south side. That's good news! When the spring runoff is over (maybe 1-2 weeks from now?), things may look much simpler.
                    >
                    > Still if I'm backpacking, I'd look for Cliff's bypass as the safe alternative.
                    >
                    > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > From the video it looks like the obstacle will not be as much of a problem as it has been. The water levels have been about twice what they normally are when I hike it, so when the level drops it could be easy. I am looking forward to finding out.
                    > > Cliff
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man's Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the obstacle using webbing.
                    > > >
                    > > > This was a guided tour from Seldom Seen Adventures out of Kanab.
                    > > >
                    > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeYHn93fRyM
                    > > >
                    > > > Start around 6:33 in the video; lasts for about 3 minutes. Does not look like something I'd want to do solo.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Here's a thought:
                    > > > > > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • Cliff
                    I just posted A picture of what the obstacle looks like this year. Not as imposing, but still not as easy as a few years ago. Water levels were normal for this
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jun 2, 2013
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I just posted A picture of what the obstacle looks like this year. Not as imposing, but still not as easy as a few years ago. Water levels were normal for this time of year.
                      I also put in a photo of the bypass from the bottom, down stream side. You can see why Glen had problems with it. Still, for me, it's the better option.
                      Cliff

                      --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Braun" <joe@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Nice to see that video. GoPro Hero cams often make things look easier/smaller due to their fisheye effect, but I dare say that the logjam does in fact look lower and more manageable. Also note that water is again flowing under the boulder on the north side (as it was before 2009), so not all the flow is going into that narrow chute on the south side. That's good news! When the spring runoff is over (maybe 1-2 weeks from now?), things may look much simpler.
                      >
                      > Still if I'm backpacking, I'd look for Cliff's bypass as the safe alternative.
                      >
                      > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Cliff" <kol84b@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > From the video it looks like the obstacle will not be as much of a problem as it has been. The water levels have been about twice what they normally are when I hike it, so when the level drops it could be easy. I am looking forward to finding out.
                      > > Cliff
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > I just found another YouTube video that was posted only last week of some folks hiking Fat Man's Misery/The Barracks and it looks like they hiked through the obstacle using webbing.
                      > > >
                      > > > This was a guided tour from Seldom Seen Adventures out of Kanab.
                      > > >
                      > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeYHn93fRyM
                      > > >
                      > > > Start around 6:33 in the video; lasts for about 3 minutes. Does not look like something I'd want to do solo.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Oh gosh, it never even crossed my mind to rappel in the Barracks. But I really do appreciate the warning and advice. The good news is that the latest photos and descriptions of the boulder obstacle bypass are really helping clarify that.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > The reason I planned to rent some equipment was so I wouldn't have to ship/fly it all out there from Texas (I have a BD harness, a helmet, some QDs and locking biners) . Zion Adventure rents harnesses and helmets; I just assumed I would be able to rent rope as well (or buy). Oddly enough, I don't have a belay device; guess I should go ahead and get one.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I was going to use the climbing gear - plus 60-70 meters of rope - to use for climbing assistance down a narrow and steep ridge on the southern rim. This doesn't go into the protected area; just a finger that juts into the canyon right over Labyrinth Falls. (I've been calling it "Fallen Angel's Landing" because of the similarity of the ridge in width and grade).
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I'll probably save myself a lot of trouble by skipping this route completely. :-/
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "hwstockman" <hwstock@> wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I'm surprised anyone will rent harnesses and rappel devices, or rope, for liability reasons. I'm not too sure I'd trust these rented items either.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Here's a thought:
                      > > > > > 1) you can buy a large locking carabiner and a Black Diamond ATC XP for $25-$30 as a set.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 2) I'm guessing that you don't need a really fancy harness, since you aren't going to load it with hardware (gear to place). Basic harnesses cost ~$25, and with 15' of 1" tubular webbing, you can tie a comfortable (just to waist) Swiss seat. What do you envisage the harness for? Will you belay, or just rap? I'll assume the latter.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 3) the biggest obstacle didn't seem all that high, so I'm wondering if you need more than 100' of rope (50' drop, doubled for rap so you can pull it later).
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 4) I doubt you'll be doing more than a rap (i.e. not protecting the leader climbing above you), so static line will do. You can usually but good static line off the spool (e.g. from Stirling rope or Bluewater), cut to length. I have 100' of 8mm sterling and 120' of 9mm sterling -- each cost me about $50.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Be aware that there are lots of problems with rapping through a waterfall.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > First, rope is heavier when wet, and behaves quite a bit differently. Wet rope is weaker (though the oft-cited 70% strength loss is from drop tests of dynamic rope over an edge, and is hard to transfer to the type of stress a static rope has in rappels).
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Second, there is a greater tendency for the rope not to work smoothly, and a greater tendency for snags. Along with that, there are greater consequences for hitting a snarl mid-rap, while in water-- it doesn't take too long in 55F water to lose dexterity (so you can't untie knots) and then become hypothermic, then...
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Don't let a rap in a waterfall be your first rap.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > --- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn Ray" <glennlray@> wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > @ Erik: Your experience at the obstacle is making me reconsider trying to tackle that. I've got my own webbing and was going to rent a harness and rope for another part of my trip, but even having those items, it seems like it's quite tricky doing this solo.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
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