Every now and then my common sense kicks in! Recently it was helped along by a hip that was complaining bitterly (recovered now).
This all happened in Zion National Park when I decided NOT to tackle the 2.5-mile, 5-hour hike to Angels Landing. I mean, seriously, what business did I have scaling a ‘mountain’ that rises almost 1500 feet and includes more than 20 steep, treacherous switchbacks?
The trail, cut into solid rock in 1926, has an especially challenging last half mile. According to one website, that section of the trail is ‘strenuous and lined with numerous sharp drop offs and narrow paths.’ Luckily most of that last half mile also has well-anchored chains to cling to until you reach the top at 5790 feet (1760 m).
In addition to being physically challenging, the hike tests a person’s mental state. One website advises that ‘people who have a severe fear of heights should not attempt the final stretch but can enjoy the trail all the way to Scout Lookout.’ When you look at the pics, you’ll agree that ‘severe’ isn’t the right word. I reckon ‘any’ fear of heights would apply.
But many in our group were keen to make it to Angels Landing (yes, it has no apostrophe). Maybe they were tempted by the promised views. I so appreciate that they’ve been kind enough to share their pics with me, so you can get a feel for the experience.
When Victoria’s pics came through, I replied that they reminded me that I was very pleased that I hadn’t done the trek. She replied, ‘I don’t know why I attempted it. My legs were like jelly. Was pretty scary.’ So proceed with care.
As a complete aside, on another walk Poor John encountered a fellow who did Angels Landing ‘by mistake’. This guy had two new knees and was halfway up before he realised his error. So he kept going.
P.S. Many, many thanks to Victoria and Fiona for sharing their pics. Two of the three Peters have also offered to share, but they are still sorting pics and I was keen to get this posted.
P.P.S. Poor John doesn’t carry a camera, but he also decided he didn’t need to do this hike.
P.P.P.S. Fellow blogger, Michael Andrew Just, visits Zion National Park regularly. Check out his recent post on the Milky Way.