Angels Landing is not just a great hike, it's a seminal hike. It's a Zion icon. It's a Zicon! (Okay, I'll stop.) Angels Landing is breathtaking, exciting, dangerous - there are few superlatives too super to use in describing this beautiful five and a half miles of red rock wonder. But perhaps the most amazing thing about the Angels Landing experience, at least to me, is how many people opt to go ahead and do it.
This is one of those adventures, like Half Dome in Yosemite, that, despite the relatively frequent loss of life (six in the last ten years) has gained a reputation and become a must-do. And it is certainly much-done. So when we planned for our three day weekend in the park, Angels Landing was at the top of our list of prospective hikes, but with a qualifier - something along the lines of: "Let's just see how it goes..."
I wouldn't say we were fearful of the climb. We'd been on too many hikes listed as precipitous or dangerous or too strenuous that turned out to be quite manageable. But we had looked at a number of videos, and read a few accounts. The visuals were staggering (and the reality is no less impressive) but the subject of fatal falls cropped up often. So it was with a niggling bit of trepidation mixed into the excitement that we hopped on the Zion shuttle bus and headed out for the early morning hike.