Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Zion: Angel's Landing

Day two in Zion brought a 70% chance of rain but I had a plan in my head and refused to submit to the weather. The plan was to get up really early to hike Angel's Landing so that we could head out that afternoon to another locale. Morning brought angry clouds and at 6 am, it was barely light enough to see. By the time we got to the trail head, it was already raining. I had a poncho, but some of my sisters where less keen at hiking in the rain. It wasn't that cold (my only deterrent) and so we started up the trail.

The trail switchbacks steeply for the first 2ish miles and then follows a ridge out and up the top. It was a beautiful view and I personally thought that the storm made it more stunning. We saw a HUGE tarantula on trail which didn't seem to worried about us.

The end of the first part of the trail is this ridiculous switchback section where you are basically going straight left/right/left/right on top of each other. I climbed ahead to take some pictures of the rest coming up. The white stumpy looking person is my sister.

At this point it had been raining pretty much the whole hike and it was only getting harder. We got to the cable part of the hike and it as pretty obvious that this was going to be more interesting in the rain. The cables were very wet as was the rock and you just had to trust your feet and hands not to slip. Here is my sister coming around the first corner on the cables.

After the first cable section, we were treated to a view of the rest of the climb to the top. Very steep and obminous looking in the rain. I can see why many people were turning around here. My fam opted out but Tom and I wanted to continue to the top. It is funny how everything seems pretty tame compared too our adventure during the Four Peaks Motherload. Off we went with plans to meet them back at the campground.

We are starting up this ridge to the top most place in this picture. You can see me in the yellow poncho.

The hike up the ridge took us about 30 minutes. It was wet with some areas of exposure but really I didn't find it that bad. Just amazing amazing views all around and a feeling of the power of nature as the wind and rain whipped around us.

We were alone at the top of the mountain as everyone else seem to think that hiking steep ridges in the rain was foolhardy. Which is great because this hike is really popular and usually full of people. I think the rain added a lot more excitement to an already exciting hike. We saw two other people coming and waited to ask them to take a picture of us before heading down.

Looking back along the last part of the hike on the top of the ridge. Not really as or narrow as it looks.

Tom led the way back down the ridge. We flew down the trail and finished the whole hike in around three hours which was counting stopping numerous times on the way up to wait for fam and take pictures. And it finally stopped raining right as we finished. Of course. I give this hike an A for "absolutely must do while in Zion".

1 comment:

Karen Travels said...

Fun Fun!! You really captured this hike in these pictures - I felt like I was peering over the edge!!