Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Angels Landing :: The Finale

By the time I went to bed on Wednesday night (May 5th) I had talked myself into making the climb to Angels Landing. I got up early Thursday morning and caught the eight o'clock shuttle bus to the Grotto stop.

The trail up to Scout's Lookout was just as strenuous as it had been on Tuesday. The uphill grades and switchbacks were still just as steep. It didn't take long before I was huffing and puffing and stopping often to catch my breath. And just like on Tuesday, other hikers started passing me within a few minutes on the trail. I didn't care. I took my time and got there all the same.

Soon I was navigating through Walter's Wiggles and had arrived at Scout Lookout. I stopped briefly for a quick snack, and before I could even think about it was up and over that first peak. Then before me was Angels Landing. Still intimidating. Still awesome. I stopped long enough to get a couple of pictures of the trail, then with a rush of adrenaline, I was on my way. I didn't stop to think about what I was going to do, I just knew that I “had” to try.

The first few steps are the most terrifying. But it is mostly psychological. The trail is several feet wide. The Virgin River is almost 1200 feet below.

Left: This was the hardest and scariest part for me. It was a pretty high step up to the cut-out in that first rock and the chain was down low. And I have short legs. And there was nothing on either side of that rock except air. I “knew” if I could get through this section at the beginning, then I could do the rest of it too.

Right: Going up the “spine” of the peak.

Left: Looking back at where I had gone.
Right: Offering a helping hand.

Left: Getting near the top.
Right: Walking across the ridge at the top of Angels Landing.

This is it! The end of the trail. The top of Angels Landing!

Do I looked pleased with myself? You bet!

The Lower Zion Canyon from atop Angels Landing.

The following four photos were taken on the way down from the top and show a bit more detail of the trail.

The descent down took me about half as long as the climb up. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. You really just concentrate on where that next step is going to take you and you are looking at perhaps ten feet or so in front of you. There were a lot more people on the trail on the way down, everyone was patient and helpful, no one was in a hurry. We all just wanted to get safely down. And we did.

It was amazing! I still find it hard to believe that I DID IT!!

Other posts in this series:


Carol said...


Sue said...

WOW! You are such an inspiration!!

Greta Koehl said...

Congratulations - this is an awesome adventure. You have much to be proud and happy about.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

Fantastic pictures. Congratulations!

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Fantastic! I couldn't wait to read the last post. I'm afraid I'd get up there (maybe) and then I'd be too afraid to come down with those chains. They'd need to call a helicopter for me! Those last photos are incredible.

Michelle Goodrum said...

Fantastic and congratulations! The pictures are incredibly dramatic. I think I'd be stuck up on top with Heather.