|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – November 2011
Explore wildly sculpted rock.
*(+) = Low effort, low risk (+++++) = Get a lesson and life insurance
» Simplify navigation challenges by hiking slots out-and-back.
» “Don’t go down what you can’t come back up,” says Aaron Johnson, owner/guide at Grand Staircase Adventure Guides in Escalante, Utah.
» “Avoid jumping off stuff,” Johnson adds. The tilted, rock-littered surfaces make landings risky. Instead, ease yourself down by “stemming” (pressing into opposite walls with your hands and feet).
» When crossing angled slabs, place the entire sole of your shoe on the rock (low-cut hikers, with good ankle flex, make this easier). In steep, narrow sections, make a “body bridge” (with your feet on one wall and your hands on the other).
» Be careful around chockstones. “They got there by falling, and they might not be done falling,” says Johnson.
» Check the forecast: Rain can produce flash floods a day after the storm.
» Identify bailout points on long routes.
» Utah Spooky/Peekaboo Canyons offer a three-mile loop that gives a taste of all-fours travel and 12-inch-wide spaces. Like it? Hit nearby Little Death Hollow/Wolverine Canyons loop for a 17-mile weekend. Contact: ut.blm.gov/monument