Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Violinists Backed Out

I have always loved Christmas music since I was a kid. I was enthralled with Manheim Steamroller Christmas music when I was a kid. I even made up my own arrangement of "Silent Night" that I played by ear based on their version. I think I've since learned about 5 different versions of Silent Night. I learned this arrangement by James Koerts for our church program over the weekend because the violinists backed out at the last minute. It has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas song books.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spry Canyon

Today was the first ever canyoneering experience where I lost track of the number of rappels in a single canyon. Spry canyon is famous for this. The morning began with a brisk walk up the upper section of pine creek to the spry canyon pass. It was a bit challenging with the soreness from the misery canyon hike a day earlier. Today we were carrying a much thicker rope as well and so the added weight wasn't welcome.

Here's a shot of spry pass looking across Zion at the west temple.

As the canyon rapidly narrowed, we were greeted by our first rappel of the day measuring 165 feet. We threw on the wetsuits and made our way down.

This was my favorite of the day. A nice 70 footer into a very dark chasm. It was right out of an episode of discovery channels "planet earth".

The day wouldn't be complete without some november bone chilling water. I honestly don't even remember which rappel this was but the water greeted us at stage two of the 100 footer.

John B descending. (notice the rope bag below)

We were finally able to take off our wetsuits and get dry clothes on before this 100 foot dramatic finish to a great day.

The evening hike out to mt. Carmel highway was magical and the Thai food in town was equally as good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Misery Canyon

Given the title of my post I'm sure you are thinking something bad happened to me on a canyoneering adventure. As it turns out this is the name of the deep slot canyon we explored today just outside the boundary of Zion national park. The only miserable part of the day was the hike out from the river bottom of the magical Parunawheap canyon.

With a wetsuit and neoprene socks the water was much warmer than you would expect this time of year.

My fellow adventure seeker father in law "on rappel".

The end of "west fork misery canyon" meets the parunawheap river which is essentially the east fork of the virgin river. The better known Zion narrows are considered the north fork of the virgin. The scenery down here easily rivals the famous Zion narrows. The park service no longer permits people to hike this canyon inside the park boundary. This photo shot is still outside the park boundary. Our miserable steep 1400 ft hike out was just around the corner.