Monday, May 07, 2012

Zion Day 9: Angel's Landing


I love the trail up Angel's Landing. I think it is one of the greatest short trails I've ever done. In only 2.5 miles it goes along a babbling Virgin river, switchbacks up a sandstone wall, goes through a steep, cool canyon, up the famous Walter's Wiggles, and finishes with an extremely exposed via ferrata to an outstanding summit in the most awe-inspiring sandstone canyon in the world. I've done it many times and run it for time 3 or 4 times before. Each time my goal is to break 30 minutes. Last year I made it with just two seconds to spare.  I warmed up by running the 2.5 miles to the Confluence bus-stop again and then got off at the Lodge so that I could run another half mile over to the start. 

I went hard, but paced myself. Perhaps I paced myself too comfortably, as I didn't really suffer until the last five minutes when I feared I might not break the half-hour mark. I touched the top of the summit boulder in 29:37. I didn't linger at all, since I needed to get in 12 miles of running and drive 11 hours home today. I descending quickly, returning to the bridge just 51 minutes after leaving it. I got a quick drink and then ran back to the campground, finishing up with 13.5 miles and nearly 2000 vertical feet.

And that was it. That was my week. We bid goodbye to Opie and Loobster and I drove off for Grand Junction and then I took it solo back to my house in Superior. It was a very productive and enjoyable week, mostly because of my great companions. I'm still not done with Zion. There is lots more to do there. If I was a better climber there would be even more to do...

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