Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

Creek boating: kayaking, canyoneering routes in flood stage

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on May 3, 2016

As canyoneers we have wondered what it would be like to be in many of the canyons we explore in flood stage. Cody Howard is one of those people who has seen it first hand, having run first kayaking descents of Salome Jug, Christopher Creek, Upper Salome and others, during super high flows. With the 2016 winter being a predicted banner El Nino I was assigned for my job as an Arizona Republic staff photographer to shoot stills and video of Cody during his creek boating, aka creeking, aka steep creeking adventures around Arizona. I met Cody for the first time at his Scottsdale home so we could get to know each other and get some interview footage. The El Nino never left much of an imprint on Arizona and even after spending an entire day with Cody and his pals searching for white water in the Bradshaw Mountains of central Arizona, I was left with no footage. Fortunately, Cody had plenty of his own video from over the years and I was able to use his it to produce the above video. If you like the video, check out the amazing story “Up a Creek with a paddle: Desert kayakers chase the water” by Arizona Republic reporter Ron Dungan.



2014 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on January 5, 2015

Chris and Scott in beautiful light.

Seven years in the sport. This year ventured into new canyons in familiar ground and went out to all together new territory. From Colorado Plateau skinnies to Class C gems to family outings in narrow places it was a wonderful year.


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Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on September 1, 2014



As professional photographers Laura and I are both used to seeing our images published in print. From the pages of the New York Times to the Arizona Republic to USA Today our photojournalism and portraiture is printed on a regular basis. Our canyoneering photography has always been more of just a weekend warrior labor of love, so when we get these images published its kind of exciting. In the last four months we have had quite a few of these photographs published in various publications, including Arizona Highways, Red Bulletin magazine, Phoenix Magazine and the Arizona Republic. Check out the slideshow and in the captions you will be able to link to the trips these images came from.

One footnote, the story in the Arizona Republic was about the 50- year anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. Arizona alone has 90 wilderness areas at over 4.5 million acres. Arizona Republic reporter Ron Dungan and I explored what lead to the United States becoming perhaps the first nation to designate land to preserve it solely for its wild character. We also looked at the conundrums of wilderness today and why wilderness is important for future generations. To read Ron’s story, a video I produced on four perspectives of people deeply connected to wilderness and a slideshow of my images highlighting Arizona’s magnificent wilderness click here.


2013 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on January 6, 2014

Eric, Mark and Cody traverse a ledge in the Temple Butte narrows in Olo Canyon.

Another year. Six years now actually that I’ve been lucky enough to partake in this sport and the amazing places that it allows one to witness and experience. Along the way some new partnerships and friendships have been forged. Highlights included: a multi-day trip into the tight slots of Ticaboo Mesa near Lake Powell. An overnight backpack with Laura and my son, Wyatt, in Aravaipa Canyon. An all business four day trek through some of the best technical slots of the Grand Canyon. Getting to share with Laura one of my favorite descents in Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park. And a 45- mile paddle filled with fun and relaxation down the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon. The year ended right with back to back cold, watery descents in the final two weekends of the year in the Mazatzal Mountains. Before leaving for the final trip, Wyatt, now three asked me, “You going canyoneering? I want to go too.” Another year. Here is a look back.


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2012 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on February 4, 2013


2012 was a very special year in the canyon lands. Crossing the Atlantic for our first international descents to a successful run at Poe Canyon may have been the highlights but there were many other equally special moments in between. Below is a collection of those moments in our favorite photos of the year. We hope you enjoy.

– Laura and David


2011 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on January 13, 2012


Another year. This one was strikingly different from those before. As 2010 came to a close and 2011 began, our son Wyatt was just a month old. While this effected the number of canyons we got out to explore, particularly for Laura, it did not effect the quality of exploration ranging from pushing hard, physical and technical canyons in new territory to venturing into the canyonlands with Wyatt, along. We will see you in 2012!

2010 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on January 5, 2011


I may be a little late in posting this but give me a break, I have been busy. On 11/26/10, the day after Thanksgiving, Laura gave birth to our son, Wyatt Aaron Segall Wallace. This is not a baby blog so I’ll let you watch the show, but stay turned for an upcoming blog post on Wyatt’s first canyon exploration. Oh yeah, 2010 was an amazing year exploring the canyon lands.

David & Laura

24- hours in Wilderness First Aid

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on October 18, 2010

Several years ago I took a basic first aid class that lasted three hours at a public library. I figured with all of the time that I spend in the outdoors it would be good to have at least a little bit of training in first aid. As could be expected the class did not delve that deep and I did not leave feeling that I would be prepared to deal with the myriad of situations that could arise during the course of my adventuring in the wilds. On a recent canyoneering trip, my buddy, Clint, talked about how he was trying to organize a wilderness first aid class to be taught by the Wilderness Medicine Outfitters.

In late September the class was held over three very hot day days at Roosevelt Lake. Our instructor, Marc McDonald, was excellent during the intense 24- hour course. Just some of the topics we covered were anatomy and physiology, patient assessments, bleeding control and bandaging, splinting, hypothermia, spinal immobilization, bites and stings, legal issues, extrication and what to have in your first aid kit. One of my favorite things about the class were the number of scenarios we enacted and dealt with as if they were real life situations. It was also great that all of the students in the class and our instructor, Marc, are all technical canyoneers, so much of the course was geared towards what we could face. I highly recommend this class, particularly to those of you are out there playing hard in some remote places. Check out Wilderness Medicine Outfitters’ website.


Climbing & canyon rescue practice between canyoneering trips

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on April 2, 2010

Pinnacle Peak Park

On the weekend between two significant Utah canyoneering trips, we decided to leave the wetsuits at home, not fill the gas tanks all the way and head to nearby Pinnacle Peak Park for some climbing and canyon rescue practice. John, Eric and myself worked on haul systems and converting a static rappel block into a lowering system. These would be used for a person either stuck or injured on rappel or if not enough rope was deployed to reach the ground. After successfully working these systems on the ground we worked them with one of us actually on rappel off the ground. It was great practice and we squeezed in a few climbs as well, including a difficult 5.10 crack climb.


2009 Year in Photos

Posted in Uncategorized by canyoneering on December 30, 2009
After pressing play on video, press pause & allow a minute for video to load & buffer before viewing. Thanks!


In the tradition of the all the end of the year lists you may be seeing in websites, newspapers, magazines and television, we have put together a video montage of our favorite 2009 “Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places” photos. It was an amazing year exploring canyons: from the epic to the relaxed, from the classic route to the first descent, from swift water to sideway squeezes. We worked hard, learned news skills, made new friends and had a blast along the way. A new year is here and we can’t wait to experience what lies ahead in the canyon lands.

-Laura & David