Winter Storm In the Narrows

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Howells Outdoors

Adventure is my middle name...actually it's Keith.
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
444
@JamesM invited me to hike the Narrows, just bottom up to check what it is like in a few inches of snow. Then the Weather Service issued that massive winter storm warning for pretty much all of Utah and we thought, "Hmmmm...might be a bit colder than planned."

We went anyway!

Probably the only time you can get a wilderness experience in the main canyon of Zion.

We stopped by Zion Outfitters and got drysuits and some other gear. We wore two pairs of 5mm neoprene socks (the life-saver).

Heading up the canyon we found it empty (basically). We saw 4 or 5 vehicles and in the whole day we saw about 10 people; none when we were in the Virgin River.

Zion was gorgeous under a blanket of snow.
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Angel's Landing:
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Turkey and deer were out in force

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Then we got to the Temple of Sinawava and things got a bit icy on the Riverside Walk. Every little seep was frozen over and huge icicles were dangling from the red rocks. At this point we knew he had to use caution during the hike and watch the cliffs above for falling rocks and ice. None came, but little snow avalanches were everywhere.

As we entered the river the double neoprene socks did their job well. Couldn't feel it at all.

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Mystery Falls:
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Welcome to Orderville Gulch:
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We only went to this point in Orderville Gulch. @JamesM did climb on top, but didn't go much further.
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We only went this far. The walls being so close and there being about 5 more inches of snow from when we first started, we didn't feel safe with the amount of snow falling from the cliffs. We turned around here after snapping a few photos.

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On the way back we hiked pretty fast. Tired and starting to get a little cold and worried about the road conditions (we had to drive back to Cedar City) we quickly left the canyon without taking many photos.

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Then as we passed Mystery Fall and we were at the narrowest section of the canyon right there a huge pile of snow came down on us. As it cleared we saw this monster heading right towards us (sadly our cameras were pretty well frozen and wouldn't work well):

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That buck was just the most spectacular thing. We decided to give him the shallow part of the river to avoid getting an antler to face.

He was gorgeous!

All and all it was an amazing trip in the Narrows. With the right gear we were plenty warm and had a great trip. The winter storm delivered an amazing trip into the Narrows.

From www.mountain-dude.blogspot.com

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nonameiwant

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Jan 25, 2012
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Amazing! Now that I think about it, yours was the comment I saw on one of KSL's Facebook post. I had a friend down in Zion who started hiking Observation Point yesterday. They decided to turn around at one point only to have to dig through numerous avalanches that had fallen on their way back. She still said this is one of her favorite times in Zion because she has seen plenty of wildlife and hardly any crowds.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Mar 3, 2013
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Way neat pics........ the deer in the river is cool.

I thought we did some crazy extreme things but this is right up there.:frantic:
 

Howells Outdoors

Adventure is my middle name...actually it's Keith.
Joined
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Messages
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Amazing! Now that I think about it, yours was the comment I saw on one of KSL's Facebook post. I had a friend down in Zion who started hiking Observation Point yesterday. They decided to turn around at one point only to have to dig through numerous avalanches that had fallen on their way back. She still said this is one of her favorite times in Zion because she has seen plenty of wildlife and hardly any crowds.
Yeah we thought about any of those trails that are along cliffs...scary! Unless you had full on mountaineering gear.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Bad ass!!! You guys killed it! Great shots too. Wow!

So what's next? I was really tempted to do the Subway for Christmas this year after seeing these pics from @ratagonia and @ram 's trip last year, but I can't do it. I think you guys should so we can live vicariously through you again. :)

[picasa]https://picasaweb.google.com/aramv14/ALeftForkChristmas2012[/picasa]
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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Bad ass!!! You guys killed it! Great shots too. Wow!

So what's next? I was really tempted to do the Subway for Christmas this year
It's not crazy, Nick. It's just different.
I already planned to hike the Subway in January. I really want to see it in snow and ice, must be so cool.
So just go and have fun!!
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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It's not crazy, Nick. It's just different.
I already planned to hike the Subway in January. I really want to see it in snow and ice, must be so cool.
So just go and have fun!!

Hmmm.. I never said it was crazy. It certainly takes a high level of preparedness to head into these deep, wet canyons when they are full of ice and snow though. Definitely not something to take lightly. ;)

Subway from the bottom wouldn't be too hard though. Is that the route you're taking in January or are you going in from the top? Now that looks spicy!
 

Howells Outdoors

Adventure is my middle name...actually it's Keith.
Joined
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Messages
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It takes some mad preparation. But I'm game @Miss Buffalo to head down there and see the Subway. Basically the only way you'll ever get to see it to yourself.
 

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Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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Subway from the bottom wouldn't be too hard though. Is that the route you're taking in January or are you going in from the top? Now that looks spicy!

just from the bottom up again as I'm going by myself again.
And then my Narrows trip in January as well, just a few miles in and back.

But I agree, top down is another story and way harder and requires a lot more preparation and skills.
Due to lack of canyoneering skills I do the Subway bottom up again. After I've seen pictures of it in ice and snow months ago I want to see it that way.
 

Laura

freespirittraveler
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Oct 1, 2012
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Seriously awesome! It's a different world in the snow-what a fantastic experience! I'm hoping for snow for my upcoming February trip-last year Zion was 60 degrees in February :cry:
 

Dan_85

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Jul 25, 2013
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Incredible trip! Saw this report earlier after @VisitUtah linked to your blog on Twitter. To see that Buck coming up the river towards you through the snow must have been awesome. Great pics!
 

steve

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Dec 11, 2013
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awesome. Did the temps require any special gear? What clothing (pants, socks, shoes specifically) did you wear to make it bearable? Did you all have wetsuits?
 

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