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Ascent of Angels Landing on 2015-11-11

Climber: bob l

Date:Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Angels Landing
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:5790 ft / 1764 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had heard about this great hike many times and it seems to be clanking around in a lot of bucket lists so I was excited to have the chance to finally do it. My beautiful daughter was ready and willing to brave this one too and we got it started at the Grotto trailhead. The air was cold and the temperature was below 40. We crossed the cute, but crickety bridge that starts the hike and once on the other side, you can see the Landing high up in front of you. Picturesque for sure. The trail initially wanders adjacent to the creek then veers towards the 2 monster canyon walls, one of which makes up the side base for the Landing. With the help of engineering marvel, the trail scallops up the actual side of one of these canyon walls. It's steep here and there and the views are neat. About 3/4 of the way up the wall, the trail scoots into a huge crack and canyon area. They call this area Refrigerator Canyon and the trail flattens here. After a short resting walk then a sharp turn, you reach the wiggles. These are tight switchbacks that look like they go almost straight up. Once these are navigated, you reach a nice resting area or turn around area, known as scout overlook. Up to this point, the trail is interesting, but it is man-made so there is a missing feeling of that brawl with nature, but here's where the hike gets more entertaining. The summit landing area is only 1/2 mile away, but the trail looks ominously narrow as it juts up the steep, rocky approach ridge. The eye perceives a possible deadly fall off either side of the trail in several areas as you stand here contemplating taking the summit. Once you bravely start forward, however, you realize that the engineers have saved the day again. There are properly placed chains to aide you as you fight your way up the ridge. You can hold onto the chains, pull yourself up with them, and rest against them. Don't get me wrong, it's challenging but the chains certainly make this section do-able. There was a covering of snow on the ridge when I did it and the slipperiness added an element. I doubt I could have made it without the chains on this particular day. The Landing area is flat, expectingly beautiful and perfect. This hike has man made elements which make it more possible for hikers like me, but it still has a natural beauty to it. There's no place like Zion.
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