Third day of canyoneering. Pine Creek is the slot canyon that starts immediately at the top of the long tunnel. The "technical" part of the canyon is "underneath" the cliff with the tunnel above. In some sections it is easy to hear traffic in the tunnel above. Weird. Pine Creek is very wet this year. Lots of swimming. Wetsuits are mandatory.
Our crew getting ready to swim for the first rappel point.
Rap #1. Soon the canyon tightens up. Deep slot. Very dark. Pine Creek has a large catchment area and most of it is slick rock. Very prone to flash floods.
Exiting a cold swim coming off a rappel. Most of the water was "fresh" and cold. Very little floating debris.
Deep inside the slot. It feels like caving.
A couple of short raps down log jams.
Beautiful sculpted walls.
A few shafts of sunlight hit the canyon floor in the middle of the day.
Fabulous rappel into the "Great Cathedral Room."
Checking out the stability of a debris jam. The insides of these slot canyons can change with every rainstorm.
Lots of water sculpted rock, even in the open sections of the canyon.
Next to last rappel, about 70 feet.
Same rappel from below.
On a large shelf above the last rappel. The Zion tunnel is several hundred feet above us on the cliff. Pine Creek Canyon opens up at this point, but there is still a final 100 ft. free rappel, then a tough hike out.
The view down canyon. Trademark Zion scenery.
My buddy on the last 100 ft. free rappel. This is a place for great caution. Several serious accidents have occurred at this spot. Easy landing in gravel near large pool.
I stand by as Eddie gets ready to go. Just below his feet the cliff is undercut, so you gracefully slide down and hang in space. Enjoy the view for 100 feet to the ground below.
The hike out is scrambling over endless car-sized boulders. Gradually gets easier as you descend. Beautiful swimming holes along the way.
At the exit point, on the second switchback of the road leading up to the tunnel. Pine Creek Slot Canyon exits just to the right of the great arch, over the back shoulder of my buddy on the end.
Success. A few minutes before driving back to St. George to gather up the families for dinner out.