Shared Stories Angel’s Landing
We arrived in Zion early Saturday morning after a 6-hour drive from Phoenix to find everything blanketed in a foot and a half of snow. An old weathered ranger
with a beard that rivaled Gandalf’s gravely retorted that this was the most snow he had seen during his lifetime and ominously prophesied that based on our lack of proper gear and attire we were doomed to try to push for the peak. As poor college kids, we obviously lacked proper gear, but made up for it in enthusiasm and peanut butter sandwiches.
We preceded to climb up Zion’s Angel Landing despite the adverse conditions because we had just driven 6
damn hours and would not take no for an answer. Despite the hike being covered with ice, we managed to make our way up the portion after much exerted effort to make our way to the initial first peak. As we marveled in the peak that rose above us, people firmly stated that this was the end of the journey for them. Where their journey ended, the rest of our journey really got started surrounded by a 1500-foot drop.
Wearing our Vans we slipped and slided along the ice having to pull ourselves up by the chain. Our biggest concern however, was when we took steps in the snow, you never knew where the cliff stopped and snow just covered the overhang. Multiple times we would take a step and have your foot fall through to the abyss. When the ledge we walked on was a step on either side to certain death, we wondered, halfway up the chain if we had made a mistake, but we pressed on because
we are filled more with adrenaline than brains. When we fell through the snow, we grabbed onto the chain and clawed our way up fingers in the snow so many times that our hands were turning purple and could only feel the sharp pain of the cold anytime we touched anything. We continued to push as the mountain continued to get steeper and steeper. Finally, we made it to the top and enjoyed what was the best beer I ever had, as we honestly did not know if it would be our last.
We could only marvel at the view for a couple brief minutes, as we had to make our way down while racing against the darkness and fighting against the cold. It was not a matter if we were going to make it down the mountain, but rather if we would make it down walking and breathing or falling and landing like a pancake. We made it back to the base camp in one piece and our lives were changed as being that close to death honestly made us fell more alive.