Over the Edge: Rappelling at Kolob Terrace

We've volunteered to be victims in a high angle rescue course this weekend (that post will come later).  Well, after meeting our friend and course instructor Kevan Jorgensen to learn what we'd be doing as victims, he suggested we head up to Kolob for some real fun.  We gladly accepted.

We'd never been up Kolob Reservior Road before and found the scenery to be absolutely beautiful. The look and feel is very similar to the rest of Zion National Park, but has it's own unique spirit.  Kevan drove us to a little spot near a friend's cabin on Kolob Terrace.  We hiked up to to edge of the cliff we were to rappel.  Kevan had not been there in several years, so we were unsure if our rope would actually reachthe bottom.  Our rope was 80 meters (just over 260 feet) and the cliff was large enough that we couldn't see the bottom so the only way to know if the ropewas surely long enough was to go over the edge and head down.  Scary?  Yep, just a bit.

Looking out over Kolob Terrace

So, Kevan walked me (Josh) through the necessary steps should I actually run out of rope.  I learned the best knot to use when tying two ropes together and rehearsed the steps to disconnect from the rope and reconnect below the knot.  With my new found skills and just a smidgeon of confidence, I headed out over the edge.  It turns out that the cliff was full of cracks and trees for the rope to get stuck in and I ended up stopping several times along the way down, having to unhook and untangle the rope the whole way down... still unsure if it would hit the bottom.  It turns out the rope hit the bottom with just a couple feet to spare.  Guess you'll have to wait for another post to see me tie ropes and bypass knots.

Meisha halfway down the rappel

After I reached the bottom and gave the "all clear - no knot" signal, Meisha daringly hooked up and headed down the massive cliff as well.  For those new to this blog, bear in mind, Meisha has Achromatopsia (Click for more info) and is legally blind.  She moved smoothly down the cliff with spectacular confidence.  She made it down safely and we triumphantly made the hike out.

Don't worry, we got some video coverage.  Check it out:
The views from the top were absolutely spectacular.  Here are a couple of the cool shots we captured:
And here's the satellite view of where we were:
What's next?  Guess we just need to find a bigger cliff...
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