Here, just have a look at the picture below. See how skinny that ridge is that you have to climb up? See the sheer drop-offs? There is a reason why they call it Angels Landing. Angels have wings. It is so much easier to get to the landing if you can fly. Plus, death really isn't a problem if you're an angel.
Sure, there are chains anchored along parts of the climb to help you pull yourself up. But still, if you lose your grip or your balance, you would fall a long way down.
Still not convinced? Have a look at this picture. If you slip, it sure is a long way down.
I think you can understand why I waited down below at Scout's Lookout while Scott hiked up to Angels Landing. It was fascinating waiting there and watching people. I felt so much better about myself as I watched more than a fair number of people take a look at the start of the climb to Angels Landing and chicken out themselves. There were a few people who started up, but then quickly came right back down. And there were other people like me, whose partners were making the climb while they waited down below. We all cheered each other on for having made it to Scout's Lookout, which isn't a small feat in and of itself. After all, to make it to that point, you have to climb two miles with an overall elevation change of 1,050 feet.
Here, let me show you. You start off at the Grotto, cross the bridge over the North Fork of the Virgin River and then head up the West Rim trail. You climb up through a wooded area through a number of switchbacks. The path is well formed and wide so you never feel like you might accidentally stumble and fall off the edge. Here is what it looks like from further up on the trail.
After you've been at it for about a mile, you get one of those wonderful reprieves - a flat section of trail called the Refrigerator Canyon. You walk along the trail between Angels Landing and Cathedral Mountain and rejoice in the shade as you get a chance to catch your breath and cool down.
But like all good climbs up a mountain, it doesn't last too long. Next up are Walter's Wiggles. These will make your legs burn. 21 short, sharp and steep zig-zags up to Scout's Lookout.
And then, finally you make it to Scout's Lookout and it is time for snacks! You've made it! I wonder how many of these people made the final climb to Angel's Landing and how many chickened out?
This guy's mother would be horrified to see him sitting so close to the edge.
This is where Scott and I parted company. He got to see views like this.
I got to see polar bears.
If you've chickened out about climbing up Angel's Landing, please let me know. It will make me feel so much better about myself. If you've climbed Angel's Landing, email Scott directly and you can give each other virtual high-fives.
Scott climbed Angel's Landing and I chickened out on Thursday, 6 November 2014.
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