Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Free Burma Rangers Birch Hollow Canyoneering Near Zion

Free Burma Rangers Karen & Dave Eubank
My friends Dave and Karen Eubank visited this summer from their home in Thailand where they have a ministry that trains the ethnic minority people in Burma, that are being systematically wiped out by their own government, to be physically fit enough to escape.  Dave grew up in Thailand and his parents were missionaries.  By the age of seven he had his own horse, gun and was allowed to go on extended trips solo... often for days. 

Later in life Dave joined the US Army and became an elite Special Forces Ranger.  That training and his love for climbing in the mountains led to he and his wife's amazing ministry sharing Jesus and preparing entire villages to flee the oncoming Burma army troops who routinely shell, burn, murder, rape and sow the village with land mines.

The first time I met them was in 2011 and Dave and I instantly took a liking to each other and shared not only a love for Jesus but also for climbing.  I mentioned that they should come canyoneering some time but knowing that they had arrived the prior night at 2am, woke at 6am and did 2 church services then a picknic (where we met) and had to leave the following evening, I figured that they would be too tired to wake up early and go.  When I finally asked, at the prodding of my wife, if they wanted to go Dave didn't hesitate to say yes.  I expressed my concerns about getting an early start as the July heat can reach 105 degrees by 10am and more than once I've had to help kids out who where struck with heat exhaustion.  Dave replied, "my kids are pretty tough... they're used to walking through the mountains and jungle for up to 30 miles through very rough country often without trails.  Heat is no problem since we're used to it in the jungles of Burma and Thailand." The following day we did a short canyon nearby called Yankee Doodle canyon.  Peter, their youngest at just 5, led the charge out of the canyon and I could barely keep up. These kids are in shape!
Rangers: Dave Eubank, Dave Diegelman, Spencer Kerrigan, Karen Eubank, Ina Amargo, Suuzanne, Sahale and Peter Eubank

So this year I was able to plan a bit longer canyoneering route, Birch Hollow, just outside of Zion National Park.  Dave, Karen, their three kids Suuzanne, Sahale and Peter along with Spencer Kerrigan, a Ranger supporter and friend as well as Ina Amargo from St. George, all embarked on this fun outing on a beautiful July day with smoke filled thunderheads looming on the northern horizon.

Free Burma Rangers Birch Hollow Canyoneering Adventure 2012 Video

More Images from Birch Hollow on

Canyoneering Images of Spry Canyon in Zion National Park

Free Burma Rangers Yankee Doodle Canyoneering Video


  1. The Eubanks have such an awesome story! Thanks for writing this. I have posted this article to the Free Burma Rangers! facebook page... Blessings, Gabe

  2. The Eubank family is such a blessing to see. I hope they can visit each year!