Archive for July, 2013

Trip Report Part 2: Zion and Las Vegas

We drove to Zion National Park, which is located in south west Utah. Our original plan was to spend three nights in Zion and do two large hikes- Angels Landing and The Narrows. Both hikes were deemed ‘strenuous’ and anywhere from 6-10 miles round trip. The first night we stayed right outside of the park due to arriving there too late for a camp site. We did a short hike in the Emerald Pools. Some pictures here:

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The day after, we secured a camp site in the early morning and did Angels Landing first. Angels Landing is a big hike that is characterized by the last section- a big rock scramble in the middle of the Zion park valley. The first 2 miles are brutal and filled with very steep switchbacks. The later part is the rock scramble. The trail is marked by chains along the side of the mountain and you are literally 10 feet from the edge of the cliff at times. Those afraid of heights should not attempt going on Angels Landing. Here are some pictures:

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After finishing Angels Landing, we decided to do the Narrows as well. We ate lunch and then went back on the bus, hiking to The Narrows trailhead (essentially just the river). The Narrows hike is truly unique and one that I have not experienced outside of Zion. The entire hike is almost entirely in knee deep water. It’s almost like canyoneering to some degree (something that I would love to try one day).
The hike itself is gorgeous- seeing the vegetation inside of the deep canyon walls and valley is a fantastic sight.

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We did not finish the entire hike (roughly 9.5 miles round trip) and headed back early. We were super tired and slept easily.

Due to us not taking two nights for Zion (and doing it all in one stretch), we decided to head to Las Vegas, our final destination. Rock climbing in Red Rocks Canyon had a very high reputation for great climbing and I was excited to check it out.

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We climbed in a small area called ‘The Black Corridor’. It was a narrow canyon that had ample shade relative to the rest of the areas. It took us a while to find initially; and I wasted a ton of energy on the approach (it should have only taken about 10 minutes but instead took 40).

Unfortunately there aren’t any climbing photos simply because Amanda cannot belay me AND take photos.
That climbing was AWESOME. The rock was interesting; almost like hard sandstone. There were big huecos in the rock as well (giant holes) that allowed for some very interesting moves. My favorite climb of the trip came here and it was essentially gym climbing- big moves and decent holds.
We stayed on the strip for the next 3 nights due to our camping spot (Red Rocks Campground) being closed for the summer. I can only imagine it due to the heat.

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We climbed again the next day and continued in the Black Corridor. We made the mistake of starting too late in the day (10am) and it got very hot.

Overall, I loved Vegas climbing and I will return. I’d love to try some of the big trad multipitch once I learn one day. We had some fun on the strip and then drove home in a straight shot, which took about 24 hours (we stopped for a few hours at a rest stop to sleep).

I was happy with the way this trip went. Other than the car overheating and us having to spend a bit of extra money in some spots, it was excellent. The weather all around was good, the climbing was great, and the gear all held up.

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