Snow Hike up the West Rim, December 15, 2019

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,989
I have to admit that I simply love winter and snow. Especially here in Zion, it is my time of the year, where I can finally get out and hike. Summer is just too hot and dusty, and I suffer a lot with my chronic lung disease and severe asthma. But as soon as winter is here, I'm out on all the trails you can imagine.
I woke up this morning and saw it snowed in Hurricane, just a bit outside of the park where I live. I quickly checked the Zion webcam and then grabbed my gear and headed to the park with a big smile on my face.
I decided to hike to the West Rim again. I was still snowing pretty hard, and everything was covered in fog and mist with the lowest visibility possible. It didn't bother me at all. I was well prepared, had additional gear, food, emergency blanket, and extra layers for emergencies, plus I strapped on my crampons and attached my snowshoes to my backpack.
I was excited to see what I would encounter on my hike. Up to Scouts Lookout, it was just slushy snow.

wintry%20scene%20just%20before%20scouts%20lookout%20copy-XL.jpg

first slushy snow in Refridgerator Canyon

foggy%20canyon%20walls%20copy-XL.jpg


But soon after I turned onto the West Rim Trail, it was all fresh snow, and I was the first to step on it.
For the most part, everything was covered in thick fog and mist, and it was an eerie and really cool experience. I hiked through the fog and couldn't see anything at all in most spots.

snow%20pine%20copy-XL.jpg

snowy pine trees and low visibility

foggy%20view%20copy-XL.jpg


slickrock%20sign%20copy-XL.jpg

find the trail on the slick rock and in the fog

no%20view%20copy-XL.jpg



Closer to Little Siberia, the fog finally lifted a bit, and some of the surrounding cliffs and peaks were visible again.

snowy%20west%20rim%20copy-XL.jpg


covered%20in%20clouds%20copy-XL.jpg


hiking%20up%20west%20rim%20copy-XL.jpg

working my way up

Little Siberia is one section where you have to be extra careful in winter because of the steep drop-offs and the avalanches that come down the cliff and pile up on the narrow ledge of the trail. I had a whole bunch of snow to cross, but it was pretty packed and not loose at all. The angle was steep but okay to traverse, and I strapped on my Katoolas for some extra traction.

snowdrifts%20copy-XL.jpg

the picture doesn't pay justice, but it was pretty steep going down

The trail kept climbing, and the steep drop-off to the right was definitely not where you want to slip and fall down the cliff. I was extra cautious because a lot of sections were really icy. It finally cleared out and the sun was peeking through the clouds.

snowy%20zion%20scenery%20copy-XL.jpg

it starts to clear out

cliff%20walls%20copy-XL.jpg


behunin%20canyon%20view%20copy-XL.jpg


The last half mile was pretty steep, and the snow soft, so I had to be careful not to slip. In addition, there were some icy spots.

the%20trail%20keeps%20climbing-XL.jpg


The last few switchbacks to the trail junction with Telephone Canyon and campsite 2 was just deep snow, and I was glad to have my snowshoes with me.

west%20rim%20sign-XL.jpg


west%20rim%20view%20from%20site%202%20copy-XL.jpg


I%20made%20it%20copy-XL.jpg


I wished I had more daylight, but since I had to go through Little Siberia again and it was getting late, I had to turn around here at campsite 2 instead of exploring a bit more beyond that point. For the hike back down the steep trail, I needed some extra time, because the snow was getting pretty soft and slippery and walking through the slide area of Little Siberia.
Closer to the trail junction with Angels Landing, I got some really good views of the wintry Zion Canyon and the Great White Throne.

wintry%20zion%20copy-XL.jpg

rewarding views on the way back

last%20light%20in%20zion%20canyon%20copy-XL.jpg


I gained almost 3600 ft of elevation, hiked a total of 13 miles round trip, but I made it all the way up to the West Rim and to campsite 2 and the spring. It was a great experience in the snow. Since we barely get a lot of snow down here, I have to take all the chances I have and play as long as it lasts. Since then, we didn't have any more winter weather to play, which is pretty sad. I hope I'll get another chance again soon.
 

Janice

Member
.
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
806
I have to admit that I simply love winter and snow. Especially here in Zion, it is my time of the year, where I can finally get out and hike. Summer is just too hot and dusty, and I suffer a lot with my chronic lung disease and severe asthma. But as soon as winter is here, I'm out on all the trails you can imagine.
I woke up this morning and saw it snowed in Hurricane, just a bit outside of the park where I live. I quickly checked the Zion webcam and then grabbed my gear and headed to the park with a big smile on my face.
I decided to hike to the West Rim again. I was still snowing pretty hard, and everything was covered in fog and mist with the lowest visibility possible. It didn't bother me at all. I was well prepared, had additional gear, food, emergency blanket, and extra layers for emergencies, plus I strapped on my crampons and attached my snowshoes to my backpack.
I was excited to see what I would encounter on my hike. Up to Scouts Lookout, it was just slushy snow.

wintry%20scene%20just%20before%20scouts%20lookout%20copy-XL.jpg

first slushy snow in Refridgerator Canyon

foggy%20canyon%20walls%20copy-XL.jpg


But soon after I turned onto the West Rim Trail, it was all fresh snow, and I was the first to step on it.
For the most part, everything was covered in thick fog and mist, and it was an eerie and really cool experience. I hiked through the fog and couldn't see anything at all in most spots.

snow%20pine%20copy-XL.jpg

snowy pine trees and low visibility

foggy%20view%20copy-XL.jpg


slickrock%20sign%20copy-XL.jpg

find the trail on the slick rock and in the fog

no%20view%20copy-XL.jpg



Closer to Little Siberia, the fog finally lifted a bit, and some of the surrounding cliffs and peaks were visible again.

snowy%20west%20rim%20copy-XL.jpg


covered%20in%20clouds%20copy-XL.jpg


hiking%20up%20west%20rim%20copy-XL.jpg

working my way up

Little Siberia is one section where you have to be extra careful in winter because of the steep drop-offs and the avalanches that come down the cliff and pile up on the narrow ledge of the trail. I had a whole bunch of snow to cross, but it was pretty packed and not loose at all. The angle was steep but okay to traverse, and I strapped on my Katoolas for some extra traction.

snowdrifts%20copy-XL.jpg

the picture doesn't pay justice, but it was pretty steep going down

The trail kept climbing, and the steep drop-off to the right was definitely not where you want to slip and fall down the cliff. I was extra cautious because a lot of sections were really icy. It finally cleared out and the sun was peeking through the clouds.

snowy%20zion%20scenery%20copy-XL.jpg

it starts to clear out

cliff%20walls%20copy-XL.jpg


behunin%20canyon%20view%20copy-XL.jpg


The last half mile was pretty steep, and the snow soft, so I had to be careful not to slip. In addition, there were some icy spots.

the%20trail%20keeps%20climbing-XL.jpg


The last few switchbacks to the trail junction with Telephone Canyon and campsite 2 was just deep snow, and I was glad to have my snowshoes with me.

west%20rim%20sign-XL.jpg


west%20rim%20view%20from%20site%202%20copy-XL.jpg


I%20made%20it%20copy-XL.jpg


I wished I had more daylight, but since I had to go through Little Siberia again and it was getting late, I had to turn around here at campsite 2 instead of exploring a bit more beyond that point. For the hike back down the steep trail, I needed some extra time, because the snow was getting pretty soft and slippery and walking through the slide area of Little Siberia.
Closer to the trail junction with Angels Landing, I got some really good views of the wintry Zion Canyon and the Great White Throne.

wintry%20zion%20copy-XL.jpg

rewarding views on the way back

last%20light%20in%20zion%20canyon%20copy-XL.jpg


I gained almost 3600 ft of elevation, hiked a total of 13 miles round trip, but I made it all the way up to the West Rim and to campsite 2 and the spring. It was a great experience in the snow. Since we barely get a lot of snow down here, I have to take all the chances I have and play as long as it lasts. Since then, we didn't have any more winter weather to play, which is pretty sad. I hope I'll get another chance again soon.
What incredible scenery you experienced! It must be nice to know a trail so well that you're able to do it successfully in these conditions. Brave!
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,989
What incredible scenery you experienced! It must be nice to know a trail so well that you're able to do it successfully in these conditions. Brave!
It was the third time I went. ButI experienced whiteout conditions, extremely dense fog, and mist almost every week when I worked as a lava tour guide in Hawai'i, so it wasn't new to me. You just need to make sure not getting too close to the edge, lol. And I knew what I was getting into. But I love these extreme moody conditions a lot.
 

Perry

Formerly Cuberant
.
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
2,071
Oh my gosh Yvonne those last two pictures are gorgeous! What a great day out.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,404
Fantastic views.
Snow + Yvonne photographing = Unbelievable, so amazing photos!
 
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