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Thread: Stevenson Canyon, Zion Natl Park, PFD July 14, 2007

  1. #1
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    Stevenson Canyon, Zion Natl Park, PFD July 14, 2007

    TR - Stevenson Canyon July 14, 2007
    Possible First Descent
    Tom Wetherell (Tucson, AZ), Blake Gordon (friend of Lin Alder), Tom Jones (Mt Carmel, UT)

    Stevenson Canyon is the canyon that drops into the Right Fork of North Creek just upstream from the Grand Alcove. The original explorers of The Right Fork named the Grand Alcove "Stevenson Alcove" to honor Adlai Stevenson who had died a few days before the start of their trip. The name did not stick.

    We were part of a larger 3-day trip to the Right Fork that also included Chris Avery, Tanner Avery, Lin Alder and Pearl. We got a crack-of-noon start at the West Rim Trailhead on July 13th, and proceeded down the West Rim trail to Potato Hollow. We followed the trail out the other side, but soon split off, following the meadow west, then climbed over a pass to end up above the south end of the Hammerhead. We circled around to the north end and made our descent from there. The easiest entry to the Hammerhead I have made so far.

    The Hammerhead went well, and we were in the Right Fork in the late afternoon. We wandered downcanyon trying to stay out of the sun, and eventually came to the start of the pothole section. Some scrambling took us by a few potholes, and when we found a pretty good tank of reasonable (pumpable) water, we decided to make camp scattered on flat ledges and wash bottom where we could find it. I considered it remarkable to find a good supply of water after such an extended dry period.

    In the morning, we proceeded downcanyon, soon coming to a short rappel off an arch, then a few other rappels, and a long rappel off a ponderosa log. The canyon was wonderful in the morning light. With only one brief swim and a couple waist-deep wades, we soon found ourselves out of the potholes and into the "normal" right fork.

    At this point, TW, Blake and I split off to do the new canyon, while the rest meandered down the route normale. We climbed up the normal RF bypass route to attain the charming slickrock valley/chute above, then continued north onto the ridge to close to its beginning. A buttress of rock and dirt laying against the mountainside allowed easy (3rd/4th class) access to the slickrock pass. We climbed in the full sun and wilting heat, taking a 45 minute siesta just short of the top of the pass, under a tree.

    Up and over the top, then down the other side, we followed watercourses to the dropoff into a very impressive canyon.
    Scouting the top, we saw a series of trees and ledges that would allow us down to the canyon floor. We chose a large tree at the top and rigged a rappel. I went first - 30 feet down at a small ledge with large tree. It seemed like pulling the rope past this second tree was an opportunity for disaster, so I left a sling and ring for the others to set a rappel with, and continued down. (This ledge was not really big enough for 3 people, and was in the full sun

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  3. #2
    Sounds like a blast. With as well known and well traveled Zion is, it's amazing that there are canyons that may be candidates for first descents.
    Do as you would be done by.

  4. #3
    Thanks for the TR

    Hope the rains are cooling things down in Zion.

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