Up at 4am to be at the airport for 6am flight...it does not get much better than that my friends.
I arrived safely in the City of Sin (Vegas) and picked up the super sport wagon for the trip cross-country.
I picked up a pass for all the national parks that last a year. Seems like a good deal as I will be hitting 6 this week and at $20/Park, even I can figure out that the $80 card is worth the expense. I grabbed a campsite and headed for the trail head. It was about 2:30 when I got started, leaving 3 hours of light, so I picked a short tough trial. The description said that it contained a bunch of switchbacks and not for those who are scared of heights....I don't like heights...so I took it.
It was called Angel's Landing and started easy enough. I decided to take a self portrait about this time.
Well, shortly after this, it became a little steeper, as you can see by installment 2 in the self portrait library.
Along the way I saw this guy free climbing the face of the mountain. Here is a picture. If you click on it and enlarge you might be able to make him out in the bottom right...crazy stuff.
Once I got near the top, I took a few nice shots to add to the collection
This is when it became a bit crazy. Once reaching the summit, or what I thought was the summit, I started seeing people way up above me on a ridge. I could not understand how they got up there, and then I saw it, this steep winding staircase going up the side of the mountain. In some parts there was a guardrail, but the path was 3 feet across with 1,000 foot drops on either side. I thought it was crazy, they actually have this as part of the trail? Tons of people must fall off here every year (I later learned 1 every other year). It was at this point that a 10 year old girl with flip-flops bounded past me up the incline. The gauntlet was thrown down. I climbed along the ridge, focused intently on the chain and my footing and a small 3 foot field of vision in front of me. Once I got to the top I took these pictures looking down. On this first one, if you enlarge you can barely see a couple with blue jackets near the bottom, showing the path, it was intense.
After getting down in darkness. it was back to the campsite to set up shop. Note to self, next time you go out and buy a tent, set it up in your yard, or at least in the daylight before heading out into the woods, huddled over a light trying to read and remember 4th grade Spanish in order to decode the directions. Lets just say I had a lot of extra parts, so we have our fingers crossed.
Weather is decent and I fixed a hearty meal of Ramen noodles and Couscous (quite sure I spelled that wrong). Anyway, off to bed, for tomorrow is a hike through a stream in a part of the park called the Narrows. Below I attached a PDF of Zion if interested.