After a week of the SHOT show and the constant droning white noise of an overcrowded Las Vegas, the ESEE team headed north to spend a few days relaxing in Zion Canyon. It was Shane’s first exposure to Zion and since the government was on shutdown and refusing to honor our reserved Subway Canyon permit, we decided to start our adventure with the iconic Angel’s Landing hike. Having personally done this hike over a dozen times, this was the first time we had ever been at the top without anyone else being up there. This was mainly due to groups turning around on the icy chain route to the summit. After spending a half hour at the top and locating the climbing bolts we plan to use for next year’s rap from the summit to the canyon floor, we decided to make a run out to Water Canyon. This canyon has become a staple route for us to introduce newcomers to canyoneering. This year we did it as non-technical (hiking it up-canyon and down-canyon). The snow and ice made it a stunning hike.
After pointing our vehicles east for two days, we found ourselves back home in the Southeast. A few days later we were back on rope bouncing a couple of pits with our grotto, enjoying the peace and relaxation away from Las Vegas, the crowds, the noise and the long lines.