SAFE CANYONEERING - Red Desert Adventures
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The rope is your friend.  Canyoneering ropes actually take abuse quite well, however, all possible precautions should be taken to minimize damage and protect the rope.  (Photo) Englestead Canyon 1st rappel.

Englestead Canyon | Zion National Park

Don’t drop the rope  Losing a rope in a canyon should always be a serious concern. Before setting out you are responsible to understand the consequences for partial and/or total rope loss relative to the objective canyoneering route.

Englestead Canyon | Zion National Park

While it’s actually quite simple to thread the rope through an anchor and clip in to rappel there is absolutely no margin for error.

Water Canyon Rappelling | Zion National Park
Water Canyon Canyoneering Route | Zion Area

With a few exceptions canyoneering routes in the southwest do not involve swift water or strong water currents.  Canyoneering routes in Utah and especially Zion can involve very cold water.  Hypothermia is the #1 killer in all outdoor recreation.  In a deep dark canyon that never sees sun, the danger of hypothermia from exposure to cold water can be felt right through to the bone.  Wet suits and Dry suits are mandatory for some canyons.

Kolob Creek Canyon | Zion National Park

At least one death and several serious injuries have resulted from the incorrect set-up of a blocked rappel.  One of the best applications for a blocked rappel is setting the rope length for rappels into deep water.

Too Wet Canyon | Zion National Park

With or without a rope bag it is important to manage your ropes efficiently while in a canyon.

Birch Hollow Canyoneering | Zion National Park
Kolob Creek Canyoneering | Zion National Park

Oppositional down-climbing (right photo) is accomplished by applying opposing forces to both sides of the canyon walls.  Friction down-climbing (left photo) is less secure and requires a combination of footwork and balance working together with proper footwear.

Orderville Canyon | Zion National Park
Orderville Canyon | Zion National Park