February 2014 Newsletter

CAC Looks Ahead to 2014

2013 Achievements

2013 was a great year for the Coalition of American Canyoneers (CAC) and we appreciate all the dedicated canyoneers who contributed to our efforts. A few of the highlights:

• In April a team of nine canyoneers, along with Forest Service land management representatives, worked to maintain Yankee Doodle, a high-traffic canyon that is extremely popular with beginners. The crew, led by CAC member Michael Schasch, improved trails and helped close off paths through sensitive areas, in addition to cleaning up the canyon.
• The CAC held back-to-back fundraising events in Flagstaff and Tempe for the Coconino County Search and Rescue units. Working in conjunction with the Arizona Hiking Shack, Imlay Canyon Gear, Babbits, Petzl and Trimble Outdoors, we raised over $5000 for training and equipment for the SAR teams. Coconino County has hundreds of slot canyons, including many of the best technical routes in the world. FIX and Dan Ransom generously donated their incredible films, Down the Line and Last of the Great Unknown, and canyoneering pioneer Joe DeSalme shared his experience making the first descent through Insomnia Canyon. (more…)

By |4:55 pm|General News|

June Newsletter

canoneering in arches np

Call to Action for All
American Canyoneer Members:

Arches National Park:
There are important changes to canyoneering management in Arches National Park that could affect your access.

The National Park Service (NPS) is accepting comments to their Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan for Arches through July 9, 2013. American Canyoneers has carefully examined the NPS documents, reviewed the impacts of the plan and has formulated the following draft response: American Canyoneers Position Statement. We ask that you consider the position outlined and provide comments to American Canyoneers for incorporation into the final position statement by Sunday, June 30th. American Canyoneers will provide comments to the NPS on behalf of our members. It is also extremely important that American Canyoneers’ members, and the broader canyoneering community, comment individually.

Numbers matter!
Please support the American Canyoneers’ position and/or voice your own comments with the NPS here: NPS Document: Arches Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan (more…)

By |9:52 pm|General News|

Search and Rescue Poster

As technical canyoneering has become more popular, rescues have unfortunately been increasing. Last August, the Coconino County Sheriff’s and Sedona Fire Department SAR teams pulled off one of the most difficult rescues ever in Insomnia Canyon.

Insomnia Canyon Rescue Keeps Arizona Responders Up All Night by Tom Vines

In an effort to inform the public about canyoneering safety the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue organization teamed up with guidebook author Todd Martin to create a poster that will be widely distributed around Northern Arizona gear shops and canyoneering destinations.

We say Bravo! Thanks for the hard work and we hope to promote this idea to other SAR organizations around the Colorado Plateau.

SAR Poster

By |8:20 am|Education, Safety|

May Newsletter

sierra canyoneering
In this newsletter, four topics will be addressed:
• The Grand Canyon
• Fundraising
• Canyoneering rules and regulations
• Elections

By |9:51 pm|General News|

New NPS Policy Authorizes Fixed Anchors in Wilderness

bolts for canyoneeringDirector’s Order #41: Wilderness Stewardship
7.2 Climbing
For the purpose of this Order, climbing is defined to include rock climbing, snow and ice climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, and caving, where climbing equipment, such as ropes and fixed or removable anchors, is generally used to support an ascent or descent. The NPS recognizes that climbing is a legitimate and appropriate use of wilderness. (more…)

By |12:44 pm|Access, Conservation, Education, General News, Safety|

Grand Canyon – Backcountry Management Plan – Joint Comments

group2-4Grand Canyon – Backcountry Management Plan
River Assisted Backcountry Travel Joint Comments

Dear Superintendent Dave Uberuaga and Wilderness Coordinator Linda Jalbert,

Since November 2012, Rich Rudow, board member at American Canyoneers and Dave Mortenson, board member at Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, have been jointly working through the issues concerning RABT (River Assisted Backcountry Travel), for the upcoming Backcountry Management Plan. RABT is the much preferred term to packrafting because we feel it better implies our mutual position and philosophy in regard to backpackers relying in part on river travel.

• Read the letter:
  Backcountry Management Plan – River Assisted Backcountry Travel Joint Comments

By |9:04 pm|General News|

April Newsletter

glen canyonOn March 22-23, 2013, the Board of Directors held the first American Canyoneers board retreat graciously hosted by Mike and Gary at the “Saddle” in Boulder, UT. Every board member was in attendance. Over a two- day period, we meet for a total of 9 hours. Meeting notes are posted on American Canyoneers web site for those of you interested in the general discussion.

Highlights: (click on Read More below) (more…)

By |8:37 pm|General News|

Board of Directors Retreat • March 22-23, 2013

bodMarch 22

The meeting was opened by a message from Board President, Wolf Schuster welcoming everyone to the meeting and thanking all of the participants for scheduling time to attend.


The first question raised was, “Why join this group?”

• One of the main benefits discussed was the fact that an organized group is better able to access/have conversation with public and private land managers.

• An organization is better able to support/contest an issue than an individual.

• An organization can cultivate an active an ongoing collaboration with a land manager or agency that can outlive a personal handshake relationship between individuals. (more…)

By |11:41 am|General News|

January News


photo: Steve Ramras

Welcome to the start of 2013.
The Board of Directors has been busy so far this year dealing with Access.

We divided the country into 21 canyoneering areas and have filled several of the liaison positions. Rich Rudow has posted a Grand Canyon page, which will serve as the template for the other areas. The only addition to the template will address rescue information and the location of medical facilities in the surrounding areas. (more…)

By |6:17 pm|Access, General News|

NCRC 2013

NCRC Rescue Training

NCRC Rescue Training

There is quite a bit of overlap between caving and canyoneering. The environment can be almost identical when dealing with slot canyons in Utah. Even though it technically is a canyon, there is no going “up” in the sense of “up the canyon wall.” The roof of the canyon is too tight. Hence one must ascend or descend the canyon. In essence it becomes a cave. Rescues in this environment always begin with the people at hand. (more…)

By |5:48 pm|Education, General News|