Thursday, July 19, 2018

Narrow fin, Zion NP, Utah


I would have loved to make it to the top of Angel's Landing, but frankly, I was satisfied quite well by the view from the saddle just before it, looking down the same precipice over the river, across the narrow fin at center of the bend below.

Waiting in line for Angel's Landing, Zion NP, Utah

And this is why, in the end, I didn't make it to the top of Angel's Landing. The last stretch is quite narrow and steep, with thousand-foot drop-offs on either side, so there are chains on the rocks that you climb to make your way up. So far, no problem. But with such dense crowds, what that translates to in practice is standing in line, cooling your heels and waiting for the people in front to you to move. I waited for about 15 minutes, advancing something like 20 meters, and decided that I'd had enough. I hike to feel myself moving through the wilderness, not to stand packed in a human traffic jam. I turned around and made my way down, some helpful fellow line-standers jeering at me on the presumption that I was overcome by fear or vertigo.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Overcrowded Angel's Landing, Zion NP, Utah


Angel's landing is an extremely popular hike, and the trail quite crowded. From here on this narrow saddle, through the mall-density mob, you can see the line forming for the final ascent up the steep fin to the summit.

Up Walter's Wiggles, Zion NP, Utah

After a walk through a narrow canyon, the next steep climb up to Angel's Landing is a set of brick-walled ramps known as "Walter's Wiggles," for the park ranger who arranged their construction.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Carved cliffs up Angel's Landing trail, Zion NP, Utah

Here is what it looks like when you are actually hiking up the switchbacks carved into the cliff wall on the way up the Angel's Landing Trail.

Carved cliffs up Angel's Landing trail, Zion NP, Utah

The trail up to Angel's Landing climbs a canyon wall too steep for ordinary switchbacks, so early in the history of the park they carved into the canyon wall instead.  If you look closely, you will see little colored dots of people climbing up below the rough-hewn overhangs.

Monday, July 16, 2018