Beerhead, here's a tip that helped me get through this game: BEFORE you pick up a bahos stick - Save Your Game! Because your lifeline starts to dwindle the minute you pick it up. With your game saved, you can find your way to the canyon, and find the correct puzzle on the wall (not always an easy task). Then if you die on the way, you can easily reload your game, retrace your steps, until you're sure you can get into the canyon quickly.
There are also spiral symbols on the walls of the canyon, that will give your lifeline a boost. But don't use them too often, as there are a limited number of them. Have fun - I loved this game!