Angel's Landing, Zion NP, USA

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We traveled to Zion NP this past November for the fifth time over the past thirty years. We've climbed Angels's Landing every trip and I've never come away with images that reflect what I feel when I'm there. I've captured decent images of Angel's Landing from the valley floor, and decent images of the valley from the landing itself. But nothing that gives a sense of what it's like being up there. But this time I came away with something that is at least personally satisfying. It must mean something that my wife asked me to have a large print made of it.

For those unfamiliar with the location and interested can find more information at this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Landing

1) The location in this shot is near the bottom of the last pitch up to the landing. There is a sheer drop of about 1200 ft to left of frame and slightly less than that to right of frame. The figure with the white hat at center of frame is my bride on her way back down from the top. In spite of being married to a photographer she rarely dresses in colors that enhance landscape imagery :(
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And a few lesser images more similar to my previous efforts.

2) Here's a shot of part of the trail up the mountain. It's a set of switchbacks called "Walter's Wiggles". This was shot from the West Rim Trail from a quarter mile or so away.
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3) This also shot from the West Rim. The Wiggles are just visible at bottom right frame. Angel's Landing itself is at upper left of frame at the left tip of the wall of rock. The trail runs right along the ridgeline with sheers drops on one or both sides in several places.
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4) A shot up the trail towards the Landing. Wide angle isn't my forte.
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5) A juvenile California Condor. They had a successful hatch in the canyon last year. This one flew by within just a few yards of me where I lay on a rock. But by the time I could sit up and swivel around this was the best I could do.
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Fabulous series, Dan, and congrats on the successful capture. As for the white hat-toped bride of yours, just be glad she didn't dress in Utah Red Sandstone—the white makes her visible.
 
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Well done, Dan! The first photo is the best I've ever seen of the Angels Landing hike. No wonder the two of you like the image. Makes me wanna return to Zion so I can do the hike.

My wife almost always dresses in the "proper" colors. Heehee. Doing so improves the slide shows when we return.
 
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Excellent photos that show it well. My wife and I didn't make it out that last pitch to the landing. My heart was in my throat. We started out that last bit of trail shown in your #4 and got as far as the chain when I called a halt.

I have read that people die there every year. I didn't. Apparently you didn't either so congrats on your courage and your survival.
 
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Fabulous series, Dan, and congrats on the successful capture. As for the white hat-toped bride of yours, just be glad she didn't dress in Utah Red Sandstone—the white makes her visible.
Thanks, Nick. Yeah the white hat was better than nothing to be sure.
Thanks for taking us along Dan. Well done.
Thanks for commenting, Bill.
Well done, Dan! The first photo is the best I've ever seen of the Angels Landing hike...My wife almost always dresses in the "proper" colors...
Thanks, Mike. That's quite a compliment. We hadn't been to Zion for several years and were astonished at how many people were there compared to past trips. To make matters worse a couple of the other main hiking trails were closed due to a recent rock slide. So the number of people on Angel's Landing was crazy.

Unfortunately I wasn't yet into photography when we got married. Otherwise I'd have insisted on a pre-nup with the condition that appropriately photogenic attire be worn at all times :D
Beautiful set Dan! Thanks for sharing your pictures of an incredible place.
Glad you enjoyed the set, Bill
Excellent photos that show it well. My wife and I didn't make it out that last pitch to the landing... I have read that people die there every year...
Thanks for the comment, Jim. I didn't do the last pitch this time either. I had a backpack full of gear and there were too many people with too little sense to comfortably negotiate the narrow spots. But it worked out for the best because had I gone out I wouldn't have gotten the best shot. After frustrating myself with a wide angle lens for a while I gave up and found a spot to set up with the 70-200 and waited to catch my wife coming back down the trail. I'm much more comfortable working with longer glass.
These are wonderful! I will never go there myself but love to see the photos of those who have done it!
Glad you enjoyed them, Terri.
 
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These are good. I've done it twice and also found it a challenging place to photograph. It's tough to capture the sheer drop offs on that last pitch. Plus, you're better off focusing on your footing and the chain while climbing up and not your viewfinder.
 
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These are good. I've done it twice and also found it a challenging place to photograph. It's tough to capture the sheer drop offs on that last pitch. Plus, you're better off focusing on your footing and the chain while climbing up and not your viewfinder.
Thanks, Mitch. When I had the wide angle on the camera I was all wrapped up in trying to get the whole scene from top to bottom. Then when I studied the scene through the longer lens it finally occurred to me that to give the sense of the drop/void it isn't necessary to show the bottom.
Stunning images, Dan! I love seeing them because I'll never do that hike. Too out of shape and way too afraid of heights! LOL! I did do some of the crazy hikes on Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) in China in 2000. But I felt very uncomfortable just walking between the swaying towers of La Sagrada Familia! :eek: :oops:
Thanks Karen. I checked out the link. Looks like an interesting place.
Very nice. Visited 3 times - Did Angels Landing only once when I was younger.
Thanks for commenting. I hope the pics brought back fond memories.
Never been there but enjoyed the images.
Glad you liked them, Allan.
great photos, I had a hard time finding the white hat in the first photo. assuming she is a normal sized human that is a very large piece of rock, she is tiny.
Yes it is a big pile of rock. Thanks for the comment.
Very enjoyable series Dan, thanks for sharing.
Glad you enjoyed the post, Binnur.
 
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