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121

Dienstag, 30. November 2021, 20:33

Two canyoneers rescued and one fatality at the exit of Heaps Canyon in Zion National Park

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This weekend, the Zion National Park Technical Search and Rescue Team responded to an emergency call at the exit of Heaps Canyon. Rescuers found two canyoneers stranded on a rock perch about 280 feet above Upper Emerald Pools. They also found one canyoneer suspended from a rope about 260 feet above the pool (20 feet below the perch). The canyoneer who was suspended, 31-year-old Andrew Arvig of Chesapeake, Virginia was lowered to the ground and later pronounced deceased by a doctor. The Zion Technical Search and Rescue Team assisted the other two canyoneers with rappelling safely to the ground.

The group started their trip early on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 27 and had been following their permitted itinerary through Heaps Canyon. They had difficulty negotiating the last few rappels in the canyon which delayed their exit.

Mr. Arvig, the first to exit Heaps Canyon, rappelled past a small rock ledge where he needed to land and re-anchor his rope in order to then rappel the remaining distance to the ground. The other members of the group used their “pull line” to rappel to the perch. Mr. Arvig was unable to ascend the 20 feet back to the perch. Rangers began rescue operations early Sunday morning when the canyoneers on the perch contacted Washington County Dispatch by cell phone after several failed attempts to connect because of poor reception.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the National Park Service are still investigating the cause of Mr. Arvig’s death.

“All of us at Zion National Park extend our sympathy to the Arvig family for their tragic loss,” said Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh.

The park’s response involved more than 30 rescuers including a technical rescue team, a helicopter dispatched from Grand Canyon National Park and a Life Flight helicopter and crew from St. George, Utah.

The Upper and Middle Emerald Pools Trails, which had been closed due to rescue operations, are now open.

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122

Sonntag, 5. Dezember 2021, 20:49

War ja schon angekündigt - ab 1.4.22 braucht man für den Angels Landing Trail ein Permit:

You'll soon need a permit to summit Angels Landing. Here's how to get one

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Hikers wishing to see the surreal vista of Zion Canyon from atop Angels Landing will soon need a permit to do so.
Zion National Park officials announced Friday they will move forward with a plan to use a permit lottery system to allow people to complete the full Angels Landing hike. Permits will be required beginning April 1, 2022.
"Angels Landing is one of the most iconic destinations in Zion National Park and issuing permits will make going there fair for everyone," Zion National Park Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a statement. "The system we've put in place will reduce crowding on the trail, address safety concerns and make it easy for visitors to plan ahead."
People will be allowed to enter the lottery for a permit online beginning Jan. 3, 2022. It'll cost $6 to enter the lottery and $3 per person among lottery winners of a group. The initial lottery will close on Jan. 20, 2022, for permits between April 1 and May 31, 2022.
Another lottery window will begin April 1, 2022, for permits between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2022. On July 1, the window will open for permits between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31, 2022. Permits for Dec. 1, 2022, through Feb. 28, 2023, will first go on sale on Oct. 1, 2022.
The $6 application fee is nonrefundable, according to park officials. Lottery winners can receive a refund for the $3 per person if they cancel two days before their permit date.
Park officials say people will need to print or download their permits before they get to the Angels Landing trailhead. A ranger may ask for a permit at the Grotto, Scout Lookout or along the trail. They may turn a hiker around if they do not have their permit with them.
The new permit program is in response to safety concerns and congestions along the hike that have risen in recent years. Last month, preliminary visitation data shows Zion National Park, at over 4.5 million, has already broken its visitation record this year.
The figure, through October, is about a 60% increase from visitation numbers reported in 2011. With 2021 trends at Angels Landing mirroring 2019 trends, when the park began counting people going up Angels Landing, officials said they knew it meant they needed to do something to address overcrowding on the trail.
Rangers started testing out the system during the summer holiday season in an effort to manage the number of hikers especially along the chain section of the hike, which posed safety concerns. Park officials then proposed the concept as a mainstay in August.
The plan received close to 1,000 responses during the public comment period and enough support that they moved forward with the idea. A spokesperson for the park said that since the permit lottery is a pilot program, the National Park Service will monitor it and make adjustments “as needed.” Officials also plan to seek feedback on the plan after it is implemented to see what does and doesn’t work.

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123

Dienstag, 19. April 2022, 23:11

Graffiti grips Zion National Park

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Zion National Park Ranger Colton Johnson said that the park is seeing an increase in various types of vandalism, as rangers carefully scraped away graffiti using sandpaper.
“A very small number of visitors do things that diminish Zion National Park’s natural beauty. We want you to understand the ways they hurt the park so that you recognize and can help stop when it’s happening,” Johnson said. “We also want you to understand how the National Park Service rehabilitates damaged areas so that you can enjoy them again.”
Johnson said rangers and volunteers are spending many hours trying to restore places marred by graffiti, rock carvings and scratches, stickers, permanent markers, and spray paint. It can often to up to 35 hours to clean up an area.
“Vandalism like this not only greatly impacts the visitor experience in the park, but it is also extremely difficult to remove,” Johnson said. “This piece covered 150 square feet and took 35 hours of work. It took seven rangers and volunteers that had to be taken from their regularly scheduled duties in order to help with the repair.”
Graffiti ruins Zion National Park’s character and damages its natural and cultural resources. Johnson said visitors need to leave plants, rocks, artifacts and other objects alone so that people may enjoy them in the future. Over five million people visited Zion last year.
The Zion Forever Project, the park’s non-profit partner, also supports the dedicated team of rangers, trail crew, and staff, said Mark Preiss, the vice president of the project.
“They work tirelessly to conserve this resource. We strive, through our outreach, to spread the important message of stewardship in these cherished public lands. It’s going to take all of us working together, and that is at the core of our mission,” Preiss said.
Zion National Park rangers suggest instead of vandalism, visitors can take a photo, write a letter or postcard, draw a picture, and share their experience on social media.


Visitors: Leave No Trace Behind by following these tips
Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Protect vegetation and fragile cryptobiotic soils by staying on established trails.
Dispose of waste properly: Carry out all trash, including food wrappers, fruit peels, and nut shells. Dispose of waste in a proper trash can or dumpster.
Leave what you find: Leave the park in a natural state for others to enjoy. Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.
Minimize campfire impacts: When permitted, fires are only allowed in established fire rings in the campgrounds.
Respect wildlife: Zion is home to many wild animals. Help keep them wild and healthy by viewing them from a safe distance.
Be considerate of other visitors: Let the natural sounds of Zion prevail. Use headphones when listening to music and avoid using loud voices.


Johnson said that vandals who harm the park might be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by six months in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.
“We need your help to make sure visitors can enjoy Zion today and forever,” Johnson said. “Do your part in protecting national parks for future generations by leaving no trace. Take only pictures and leave only footprints.”

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124

Freitag, 13. Mai 2022, 23:45

Zion National Park is improving accessibility at Kolob Canyons Visitor Center

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The National Park Service (NPS) is working to expand and improve the restrooms at Kolob Canyons Visitor Center on the northwest side of Zion National Park. The new facilities will double capacity, improve accessibility, and reduce water use. Site preparation is underway now, and the NPS anticipates finishing the project in fall 2022.
Staff at the visitor center will continue to provide services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Visitors can use portable toilets at any time while the expanded restrooms are under construction.
Construction will only happen in the area next to the visitor center. The NPS does not anticipate the project will affect the Kolob Canyons Road. NPS biologists will work with the project contractor to protect native species and restore the landscape when work is complete.
This project complements previously completed projects to increase restroom capacity and improve accessibility in park campgrounds, at trailheads in Zion Canyon, on the east side of the park, and along the Kolob Terrace and Kolob Canyons Roads. It also builds on previously completed long-term planning and construction projects at Kolob Canyons.
Since 2010, the National Park Service has done work at the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center to proactively:
Increase water main capacity.
Expand the septic system.
Improve accessibility by reducing the steepness of the parking lot in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration.
Update signs on I-15 in collaboration with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT).
The National Park Service is proactively working to identify other opportunities to improve visitor services in the park. Zion recorded about 2.8 million visits in 2011 and more than 5 million in 2021. As the number of people who visit Zion continues to rise, the NPS is preparing a plan designed to sustain high quality visitor experiences and sustainability manage park resources. We plan to share an update on the plan and ask for your feedback about it later in 2022.

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