FAT MAN'S MISERY (WEST FORK), ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH

June 20, 2017

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
Growing up and living in Chicago was a flight, a week off of work, and a car rental to the majestic Zion National Park Canyons.  Now living in Vegas, it can be made into a weekend trip! If you know me, you might know that it is important to me to share experiences with people and a unique experience is when people try caving, canyoneering, climbing, or diving out for the first time.  Zion National park has some great options for more straightforward trips. that can be challenging yet a lot of fun.  This time around I took Andy Orr to Fat Mans Misery Canyon 3BIII for a long day on Zion's south end and into a unique canyon.
 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
I met up with Andy on a hidden campsite just outside of Zion where we went through gear and camped for the night.
Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We woke up early so we could get a morning start from the heat and once we got to the trailhead, there was a party of 9 and a party of 6 working their way up the trail.
 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
Fatman's Misery is technically not in the park so you don't need to get permits but you start off inside the park so it can be done as a day trip.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We hiked past the groups and through the pass of checkerboard hill which took us out into the desert petrified sand hills.
Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
Its a beautiful place with all of the pine trees and different color sandstones that line the walls.

 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We traverse across a few washes until we get to the west fork drainage and start our descent down the canyon until we get to the first drop.

Andy Orr rapping into the main fork in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
The drainage is a easy trek down to the first rap and the hike across the desert is pretty straightforward, yet you can get a bit turned around in the heat if you done associate yourself to the terrain.
Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

The first rap was only about 20 feet down into the canyon which was a perfect first drop for Andy.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We got our kits setup and Andy made his first descent down into a technical canyon.

Andy Orr approaching Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
I know this must be an exciting experience for Andy and there is not really any climbing up like in caves, its all down rope and great practice in a straightforward canyon.

Andy Orr in Fat man's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

After we worked our way down we worked around some logs keyed into a nice molded slot canyon and down climbed a bit until we broke back out into a wash and into the sunlight.

Andy Orr in the swimmer in Fat man's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

We came up on another section of slot canyon and worked our way down some chimney routes and some stemming spots.

Andy Orr hiking out of Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
There were some small drops in a slot section and we popped out into open wash once again.

looking into Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

The slot turned into some pot holes that we were able to bypass and the other group caught up to us since we were going a bit slow and taking pictures while moving along.

 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

The other group missed a rap station and set up another rap station in a section where there was a bit of canyon to traverse.

Andy's first rap in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We worked our way down into the main fork and than we got to the last section of narrows.

 Fatman's Misery coming into Parnunweap Canyon. Zion National Park, Utah

This was really beautiful as it had a series of natural arches and some beautiful ambient light coming through the ceiling that lit up the place and gave some significant darkness to other places.
Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah


This was the highlight for me and after jumping into pools of water, the last pool was a warm spring.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

This was interesting to see as the water was coming right out of a crack in the rock face.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We hiked a bit more and got to the flowing stream of the Parunuweap canyon narrows.

 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
We took a bit of a break before hiking down stream and into the very impressive corridors of the canyon.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

We bypassed the exit and hiked to the falls where it would have been a technical climb to get back out.

 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
This place was beautiful and very impressive as we hiked back to the exit point and prepared for a 4 mile hike up hill in 95 degree heat.

Andy Orr in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
I soaked in the cold water before starting the hike out which helped quite a bit.  I highly recommend bringing your body down a bit before the first segment.

Andy Orr at the warm spring in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

After a few breaks and a swarm of bee's passing by, we made it back to the main trail and hiked out and back to the car.

 Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah

It was a bit of a push in the heat but we took a few more breaks and took it slow. This canyon is fantastic for beginners and a unique section of narrows for anyone to enjoy.

Andy Orr navigating in Fatman's Misery. Zion National Park, Utah
MORE PHOTOS HERE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/exploration-worldwide/albums/72157682220357532

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