Keyhole & Pine Creek
This past weekend I took the ACA course in Cedar City and met a few more people who love canyons. On Monday I had arranged to meet with Ram and his group to do one final canyon with them before they disbanded. Unfortunately it was a little rainy on Monday so we climbed North Guardian Angel instead of descending Oak Canyon (I have no photos of this climb). The views were outstanding overlooking the Left Fork (Subway) and Kolob Terrace. We each were able to sign the log book at the top. Our group consisted of Ram, Hank, AJ (www.meet-outdoors.com), Denise (from St. George) and Bette (from SLC, who took the ACA course). We finished early enough in the afternoon so that AJ, Bette, Denise and I were able to see the Shackelton movie on the Imax screen and eat dinner at Oscar's.
On Monday night at the Zion's VC, I met up with Bette, Andre, Jake (each took the ACA course) and Jake's friend Brooke. AJ opted to descend Behunin with some other folks because he had done Pine Creek the previous Friday. Andre is touring the western US in a massive deluxe RV, so after a hot shower, some drinks from his fridge, and declining some dinner Andre was re-heating in his microwave, I crashed on his pullout couch.
We met the others the next morning and after dropping off Jake's truck at the exit of Pine Creek, we headed to the Keyhole parking spot. I was excited to use my virgin wetsuit for the first time...yes, it has now been christened...twice. Keyhole was very short but a great introduction. Pine Creek greatly exceeded my expectations. I understand why this is a classic. We took our time and enjoyed ourselves. I had a great time all around and made some new friends. Pictures below.
05-28-2006 11:58 PM
Nice pics, Betty was one of the first people I did a canyon with. We ran into her and her son in Echo last year. She's a fun lady to hang with. So how was the water? Putrid or pretty clean? Lots of swimmers or mostly wading? We're taking a couple newbies down Echo and Pine in two weeks, just wondering what to expect. If we're lucky we'll get a nice storm to clean things out and fill them up.
Bette was a riot. She had more experience than the rest of us put together. She mentioned meeting you in echo and was happy she did.
Both Keyhole and Pine Creek were wet, with swimmers. The water was cold (I was happy to have a full wetsuit) but fairly free from crap. The weather was cool for Zion (low to mid 70's) and really cool in the darkness.
Two weeks ago, when AJ was doing Pine Creek he was passed by one of the guides from Zion Rock & Adventure (not ZAC). This guy was downclimbing, bypassing or jumping all of the rappels in Pine Creek without a rope. He was wearing only a swimming suit. I think the water has dropped since then.
You will have a great time. I hope to do echo and the other Zion canyons soon.
Hey nice photos btw!!
Originally Posted by hike2kolob
Yeah not rappelling.... it's quite sketchy but it can be done. The second to last rappel can be bypassed rather easily and makes getting to the final rappel much quicker.
The last rappel, however, is very difficult to bypass. There is a superexposed route (short cliff) against the south wall which is aided by a sketchy looking plank. if you are in the circus and good at balancing, you can walk the plank and make it to the top of a moderate slope, downcanyon and reaching to this wall. Personally i wouldn't try it, unless it were an emergency, but this is most likely how the last rappel was bypassed.
anyone successfully traverse this plank?
Next time I do pine creek, I will look for the plank (but still do the rap ) It sounds like you have quite a bit of experience in these canyons. I hope to meet up with you sometime.
Originally Posted by stefan
Bottom Tier Superhero
I've seen Pine Creek done without a rope. Water has to be high and the jump that bothered me was the Cathedral (double arch alcove). The guys I was with ran down the flute to the right and jumped the last half. If you trip on the running portion you are toast.
personally I'll take the nice safe rope. I'm to old to spend sheet time in the hospital. I did walk the plank once about 7 years ago.
Happy you had a good time.
Nice shots Jason. Glad to see that you all had a good time.
I'm off to Zion today. Gonna do two short hikes in Glendale and Orderville, then Pine Creek, Keyhole and Mystery.
First time poster in this group.
Last year i was in Pine Creek and we cought up to a party at the Cathedral. There were two guys getting ready to simul-rapel. They both lean back and the one guy takes off like a marine out of a helicopter, just zips down the rope as fast as you can. His buddy looks over at us and says "showoff" then starts to go down. He gets about 6-10 feet below the anchor when his buddy reachs the bottom and rappels off the end of the rope. I'll never forget watching that guy drop 40 feet like a rock. He kind of bounces off the wall on the way down and hits the water on his back. Couple of seconds of breathlessness as we wait to see if he survived. He pops up, lets out a huge scream of ectasy and asks us to biner block his rope so he can jug and do it again. Crazy. We rapped down his rope and left. A huge splash like this guys was absolutely deafening in that chamber.
I'm with you.
Originally Posted by Iceaxe
Wish I could join you. Have a great wekend!
Originally Posted by bruce from bryce