Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter in Zion National Park

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!!

Back of Beyond Expeditions

Back of Beyond Expeditions

1 comment:

  1. Hi James,

    My name is Amanda Milster and I am with the Endangered Species Coalition. I discovered your blog and I wanted to contact you to see if you might be interested in writing a post about an issue that we have been working on. We are very concerned about the federal proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections from wolves and are trying to get the word out as much as possible. Patagonia, Black Diamond, Dansko and several other companies just publicly released a statement against the federal proposal as part of the public comment period. These businesses are concerned about the economic implications of losing gray wolves, as they have a major positive impact on outdoor recreation and tourism revenues. We've heard strong arguments for protecting wolves from sportsmen, scientists, and conservationists, but this strong statement by business leaders is very important, as it shows a new side of the argument.

    There were also 1 million comments from the public against this delisting submitted. When the comment period ended on Tuesday, we held a candlelight vigil directly outside of the Department of the Interior as we delivered all of these comments to the building. We were also able to work with another organization, the Illuminator, to project a message directly onto the building urging Secretary Jewell to protect wolves. We worked with a photographer and have great photos from the event. I would be more than happy to talk about this further with you. We also have press releases available about the delisting proposal and I can send them your way if you're interested.

    Thank you very much and happy holidays!