Crisp air licks my skin. Smells of melting snow and wet dirt permeates fill my lungs. It’s so nice to be able to get out and enjoy early spring weather. I have been anxiously waiting spring. The warm weather gets me excited. I don’t know about you but when winter is particularly long or cold I get a little stir crazy. Like a prairie dog prematurely awaking from hibernation I keep poking my head out of my burrow hoping that the next day will be warm enough to play.
This past November a friend took my canyoneering. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this practice. Canyoneering is the sport of descending canyons. These canyons usually require anchors, ropes, down and up climbing, and other technical skills. Needless to say my experience with canyoneering was very positive. I was hooked. Recently I gathered as much information as I could about the subject. I devoured books and surfed the corners of the internet to find as much information as I could. I took a class through the ACA (American Canyoneering Association). The class was well taught by experienced instructors and gave me a good foreknowledge of what I should know getting into this sport. I began acquiring the gear at the beginning of the year. This last week, the final key piece fell into place, I bought my rope.
My nerves twitch in anticipation of trying out my new rope. Deciding a place to play with the new equipment plagued my mind. I eventually stumbled upon a great place for basic repelling. I traveled to a place called Red Ledges. Excitedly I climbed the red rocks. After scrambling up the coarse sandstone I cast my eyes about looking for any anchor points. Eventually my eyes caught hold of a couple shiny metal bolts placed in the rock. I traversed the rock ledges and sat on top of the rocks. I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my skin. My hands began practicing what I learned. Setting up multiple different anchor setups, practicing my knots, and utilizing the technical skills required. I set my rope threw it over the edge. My heart raced as I heard the rope thud against the ground below.
Apprehensively I leaned back. I held my breath as I laid my entire body weight against the rope. “Here we go” I thought. Adrenaline fueled me as I lowered myself over the cliff edge. After I stepped over the edge I lowered myself down the rope. About half way down I stopped and practiced several technical skills that could be required while descending a canyon. Eventually I continued lowering myself to the ground. I spent the next several hours climbing back up the mountain and rappelling down. This summer I hope to bring you more of my adventures. I will share with you the beautiful sandstone canyons of Utah.