I recently watched a documentary that I feel fits very nicely with what I do around here. It is called Gorging and I recommend it to anyone.
What is Gorging?
Gorging is a documentary about he birth and legacy of Canyoneering.
What is Canyoneering?
That my friends is one of the funnest activities you can ever do in Utah/Arizona. Canyoneering is the process of moving through narrow slot canyons, preferably going down with them. With this process one will hike, and mostly likely do one or all of the following: Swim, scramble, rappel, boulder, climb, shimmy and wade. (there might even be a few more to this list)
As you can see it is an activity that is full of challenging interactions between you and the rock.
Moving back to the movie though. My first impressions about it was that is began kind of un-exciting but became much more interesting as it went along.
The documentary begins with the history of canyoneering which began in the mid 70’s by a few daredevils who where seeking new adventures. Some of the first canyons ever to be descended were in Zion National Park. Places like Echo Canyon and Mystery Canyon.
From this time the sport grew into a new and ever popular activity. With popularity came a new breed of people who push their bounds and eventually got hurt.
Towards the latter half of the show this becomes one of the big topics. The show does not focus too much on tragedies, but on people who get them selves into situations above their skill set, or who push the limits of reason and safety and end up getting seriously hurt or killed. We have heard about some of these, probably the most famous was the man who got his arm trapped by a boulder. He later had to cut off his own arm in order to survive.
I have to say, after watching this documentary I felt like I have a better understanding of what canyoneering is all about. It also made we want to go out and explore even more. Not like Steve, the crazy guy who decided to go do a X rated canyon. It took him 9 hours of stemming (holding your self above the ground from canyon wall to wall). But I want to go out and gain more experience and knowledge to go explore some of these amazing places around southern Utah.
I encourage you to watch the film. You might gain some understanding.