She “told two friends where I was going and when I’d be back, bought my permit from the Zion backcountry office, [and] set up my SPOT locator beacon to track where I was. “And I did what one always does when venturing into a slot canyon, I checked the weather report. With a mere 20% prediction of precipitation and nearly 150,000 acres to choose from, I had nothing to worry about.”
Webb plowed ahead, yet around the four mile mark of her 10-mile roundtrip hike, she saw rain clouds. And by the time she reached the “dark, undulating tunnel of the [slot canyon] Subway with its deep pools and trickling waterfalls,” she smelled the rain. Soon she heard the thunder and “without pausing to think I turned and ran full speed through the tunnel, making my way through the stream and up a sandy bank.” Within the narrow and now muddy canyon, Webb tried to tread carefully but at times ran, at one point tripping over an exposed root. With four miles to go before reaching the canyon exit route, she regrouped and eventually made it out. She reminded herself “why I turn guests on my trips around at the first sign of rain. Travelers seeking an off-the-beaten path Zion adventure with me may be aware of the risks, but they depend on me to show them the way.”
Melanie runs Sol Fitness Adventures, a fitness and adventure company recently named to Outside Magazines 2011 Travel Hot List. Sol specializes in training travelers for their quests mentally and physically and leads exclusive outdoor fitness trips near Zion National Park and to Sundance Resort, Utah.