I am still stunned by the fact that Zion National Park received 14 inches of snow in one day and at the same time I am glad to have been there to witness this event. When I first heard that a storm was coming to the park I was under the impression that the news man knew what he was talking about and the park would get 2-3 inches of snow.
I thought this would be a great time to hike The Narrows and do a little snow photography as an advertisement for winter trips offered by Zion Outfitter. I definitely received far more than I had expected. Due to the mass amount of snow in The Narrows it was almost impossible to get a decent photograph. Camera lenses kept fogging up and mini avalanches of snow would fall and blur out imagines. Obviously thousands of snow flakes landing on the lenses did not help out the cause. Needless to say between the 4 of us on the adventure team we were able to compile a few images for your viewing pleasure.
The day started out fairly mellow and most of the good shots were taken in the first hour of the trip. The more we walked into the canyon the worse the storm became and the larger the avalanches became. Once we reached Orderville we figured we better head back, every time we talked a large amount of snow would come crashing down into the canyon. I could write for hours about what an amazing experience this was, but if you have not experienced The Narrows in winter I don't think you could possibly comprehend the beauty and danger of this hike. In closing I do offer a few suggestions for anyone that may attempt a trip like this.
- If you are not a seasoned winter hiker you may want to consider a guide.
- Double up on the neoprene socks, We wore two pair of 5mm any less would have been uncomfortable.
- TAKE A FULL BODY DRYSUIT, waders will not cut it.
- Dress warm, Down is your best friend
- Bring Yaktraks or similar type of crampon.
- Keep your head up. I mean that in a literal sense. Snow accumulation on the canyon walls can and will fall. Falling snow can carry rocks, ice or other debris from over 1,000 feet above the canyon floor.
Stay safe out there!!