Monday, August 31, 2009

Orderville Canyon in Zion

On Saturday, the 29th, 12 hikers navigated through Orderville Canyon, a semi-technical canyon in Zion. It is similar to the Subway, which is also in Zion. This canyon has a little bit of everything: scrambling, swimming, hand lining down ropes and great scenery.

Kathy and I did not wear wetsuits for this canyon. I was fine. The water was cold, but did not take your breath away like the water in the Subway. There were a few more obstacles in this canyon than the Subway, but they were all very easy to overcome. I recommend wearing canyoneering boots. You can rent them at Zion Adventure Company.

We camped at Watchman campground in Zion. I like this place. It has spacious and very flat campsites, no bears, restrooms with running water and lights, and drinking water to fill your bladders. The free shuttle bus stops at the Visitor Center, which is a two minute walk from the campsite.

On Sunday, Kathy and I did Mummy the Hard Way, the southern route to Mummy Mountain. We followed Ed's direct route once up high. This is much better than the standard route and has some fun class 4 climbing. Yes, it was windy, but only as we climbed above 11,000 feet. We made a quick dash for the peak and descended the first (southern most) chute, which is well cairned.

I am busy planning our week long trip to the Sierra. We start with the North Face of Lone Pine Peak, one of the best routes in the Sierra. Kathy and I will then backpack into Hungry Packer lake and bag Picture Peak and another close by peak. We then might drive up the the Sawtooth Range for one last attempt on Blacksmith Peak, my third attempt.

Last year on this date Mark and I finally bagged Mt. Corcoran. It had taken us four attempts. We could not figure out the route through Tuttle Creek. We got smart and did the traverse from Mt. LeConte to Corcoran. It was very well cairned. This route along with 348 routes are available for download. For more information, click here.