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Zion Conditions
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mainline


Nov 8, 2004, 4:20 PM
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Zion Conditions
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I heard that Zion received quite a bit of rain this fall, and that many of the climbs are covered in or turned to mud. I also heard descents are difficult. Can anyone verify this for me?


iamthewallress


Nov 8, 2004, 4:29 PM
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Re: Zion Conditions [In reply to]
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I heard that Zion received quite a bit of rain this fall, and that many of the climbs are covered in or turned to mud. I also heard descents are difficult. Can anyone verify this for me?

I just spent last week there. Can't compare the climbs or descents to before the rain as for me there was no before, but they were OK. The summits were definately still a tad moist and care was extra warrented when yanking on knobs on the moist seeming rock. There was a bit of trickle of drainage here and there. I thought the descents were difficult, but I don't think that was necessarily because of the water, although crossing the wet (albeit nearly flat) slabs on one of the descents was thrilling and I squealed like a piggy till I got across.

Granted, we weren't anywhere especially obscure, but nothing that we encountered on the vertical would I classify as 'mud'.

However, and here's the big however, it was chucking rain again for hours when we left yesterday... Prediction said rain possible for tomorrow too.


rockprodigy


Nov 9, 2004, 7:59 AM
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Re: Zion Conditions [In reply to]
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This has been a really wet fall in Zion this year. The problem is that it's been raining so much that the rock is saturated, now when it rains the rock does not soak up the water as it usually would, it runs off. Basically it's not the best year to be climbing in Zion. If you must, you should wait for at least 3 full days of no rain before getting on a route.


dangle


Nov 11, 2004, 1:33 PM
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Re: Zion Conditions [In reply to]
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Thank you for showing concern for the integrity of the routes here. Unfortunately there are no cookbook formulas for determining when a route is not compromised by precipitation. There are just too many variables like amount of sun, time the moisture had to soak in, angle of rock surface, temperature, wind, lines of drainage, yadda yadda yadda.

Bottom line is use (and please excuse the oxymoron) "common sense".

Things ARE pretty spongy now though but we need the moisture. Six years of drought have left many trees in the canyon dead. It may also be that, or the calm from closing the road, or perhaps expansion of the prey base, but the lions are back BIGTIME. I've been up on the walls and seen cougars checking out tourons on the trails from less than 100m! Someone said that a lot of pets are reported missing from the campground so maybe they're acquiring a taste for "tourist sushi".
Anyway when you look at the clouds don't forget to look around first...
Piton Ron


Partner tim


Nov 11, 2004, 2:27 PM
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Thank you for showing concern for the integrity of the routes here.

Thanks for putting a significant number of them up! ;-) Hopefully people will, as you say, use some common sense and not damage these popular routes.


rockprodigy


Nov 11, 2004, 4:43 PM
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I'm just trying to spread the word. Three weeks ago when we had the monsoon, I saw parties on Lunar, Moonlight, Spaceshot and Touchstone on the Saturday right after the Virgin peaked at 3500 cfs, so apparently a lot of people still haven't gotten the memo.


iamthewallress


Nov 11, 2004, 5:12 PM
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I'm just trying to spread the word. Three weeks ago when we had the monsoon, I saw parties on Lunar, Moonlight, Spaceshot and Touchstone on the Saturday right after the Virgin peaked at 3500 cfs, so apparently a lot of people still haven't gotten the memo.

FWIW...We saw a party of FIVE continuing up Iron Messiah (from low on the route) in a downpour last Sunday. They were bailing when we cam back down the road though. Another party seemed to be forging ahead higher on Tricks of the Trade. Another party was getting hammered two pitches off the summit of their route, so they were probably just trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to get off ahead of the storm. A 30% chance of rain was forcast.

Question for the sandstone cognoscenti, does rapping (fixed pins and bolts) once it starts raining compromise the rap stations?


rockprodigy


Nov 11, 2004, 5:39 PM
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The problem is more when the rock has been soaking in water for 5 days and then you go climbing on it. When it starts raining, it takes a while for the rock to absorb the water and get soft. I don't know if the water affects the anchors, I'm more worried about holds breaking or gear blowing out and creating big nasty scars.


iamthewallress


Nov 11, 2004, 6:07 PM
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The problem is more when the rock has been soaking in water for 5 days and then you go climbing on it. When it starts raining, it takes a while for the rock to absorb the water and get soft.

Even though it had been a week since the last rain, there was a dampness to a lot of the rock that we ran into...moreso on the summits or the softer stuff. I'd have been worried that it wouldn't take much given the recent weather to get it good and soaked.


dangle


Nov 12, 2004, 1:32 PM
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Just an update for those considering Zion over the weekend.
Although there was hazy sun 'til now, the clouds are now moving in and precipitation is forecast. Sorry. Keep your powder dry.
Friday, 14:30


deerhunter


Nov 13, 2004, 6:07 PM
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be optimistic, Zion is in southern UT, High Desert tundra and this can work for or against you. I have spent the night on the wall over Thanksgiving, on Touchtone. Nothing like Wild Turkey and instant mashed potatoes n gravy. Get'r done


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