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Zion - Angel's landing

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Category: Dyxum Photographs
Forum Name: Open Views
Forum Description: Showcase your work and give feedback on other members' work
Printed Date: 24 June 2024 at 06:50

Topic: Zion - Angel's landing
Posted By: skm.sa100
Subject: Zion - Angel's landing
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 06:12
At Zion Canyon national park (Utah, USA), one particular hike called "Angel's landing" stands out as the most popular hike in the USA.
I did the hike over the weekend with some friends. It's not too bad, at about 4.3 miles round trip with a climb of 1800 feet or so. Maybe it took us a bit under four hours.

1. Verdant canyon floor as we started the hike up.

2. Looking down into the canyon from maybe 300 feet up.

3. A tenuous existence on the canyon wall.

4. Three quarters of the way up.
This is looking at the other direction as compared to #2.

5. The ledge.
A false step to the right would mean something like a thousand foot drop straight down.

6. Climbers on the way up. Over here the path is on top of a thin wall with vertical drops to either side.

7. Down canyon view. The Virgin river, that piddling little stream, has carved out this canyon over millions of years, aided and abetted by snow, ice, rain, and wind.
From the ledge you see, it's pretty much straight down about 1500 feet or so.

8. Where eagles dare.
Without the chains the climb would become far, far riskier and be out of reach for anyone who's not a good climber.

9. The polished post. All the hands that gripped the post have imparted to it a very smooth polish over the years.
I tugged at the chains and posts with all my might before I climbed further. Made me wonder (as a professional engineer) how much stress testing the National Park Service did on those chains!

10. The final ascent.

11. The canyon in its glory - except for the harsh midday light and the haze.

12. The shuttle bus.
View towards the other side from the top. Those are actually two buses hooked together since it's a popular place.

It's an absolutely massive and memorable place with the towering cliff walls. I'm not sure I've done justice to it with my pics. All the haze makes shooting into the sun a bad experience. With the sun on my back the shots are a little better, for example the first one. Unfortunately I forgot to pack my CPL.

A77ii plus 16-105.


More Dyxumer, less photographer.

Posted By: addy landzaat
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 06:46
Lets see what the freedom units are in metric:
4.3 miles are 6.9 kilometres
1800 feet are about 550 meter
The distance is not that impressive, but the climb is. Especially looking at the pictures. Surely not for me as I suffer of fear of heights

These US National Parks are special, your pictures show the beauty of Zion Park. Thank you for sharing, enjoyed them!

Why not follow me on Instagram? @Addy_101

Posted By: Dopol
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 06:59
I was there this summer. Surely didn’t climb this trail (my wife did in the past)
But I do recognize the beauty of the landscape in your pictures. And I too was impressed that the little river has carved out this canyon.
I like #11, showing the canyon in all its beauty.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

Posted By: Hezu
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 07:57
Originally posted by skm.sa100 skm.sa100 wrote:

It's an absolutely massive and memorable place with the towering cliff walls. I'm not sure I've done justice to it with my pics. All the haze makes shooting into the sun a bad experience. With the sun on my back the shots are a little better, for example the first one. Unfortunately I forgot to pack my CPL.
I think your pictures give a reasonable idea of the place, but of course for more unique photos it would been better to have something else than the harsh "tourist light" (eg. sunrise/sunset).

------------- - Galerie Hezu

Posted By: owenn01
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 13:20

You have my utmost admiration for doing this. Forget the 'light wasn't right; wrong time of the day; a seemingly 'diminished scale of the place'. What people may not realise is that this is one of the top, top ascents in any of the mainstream NP's of America and it is not one for the faint hearted (nor height conscious.....).

The images are what Zion is all about - my feelings about the place are that it is great to visit and to take it's grandeur into your eyes and head and to wonder of the process which created it. And yet, and yet..... it's so, so difficult to put that into images which portray that. I think in that respect you've done really well with thuis series to show that grandeur and scale. Add to that the circumstances of the climb (and, for me, the sheer terror involved) then it's a great set and I admire you for doing it (I have hot and sweaty palms typing this let alone being there.....).

Well done and I love every shot!

Take care (!) and best regards, Neil

My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!

Posted By: Roger Rex
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 13:51
One of the great "standard" hikes in America's national parks. By "standard" I mean well known, that is the only thing "standard" about this hike. Congratulations on the achievement. Maybe Photoshop's Dehaze option could work; I haven't used it. Nevertheless, your images do a good job of showing the scale and majesty of the park. As to hikes, the Virgin River, also in Zion, hike where you are in and out of the water is my all-time favorite. I spent a day going out and back with my son a number of years ago and it was incredible and it works for the fear-of-heights folks (that's me ever increasingly with age) and the less fit (that's me ever increasingly with age).

Hatred corrodes the container it is carried in.

Posted By: skm.sa100
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 15:58
Addy, you made me chuckle over my morning chai with Freedom Units.

The distance isn't too bad and anyone who's used to regular exercise can cover it in under 90 min pretty comfortably. Good to have strong legs for the equivalent of climbing a 200 story building but over 4 hrs it's pretty slow paced.

Domien, thanks for your comments. Hope you had a great trip. The American southwest is a special place around the Colorado plateau area. A nature lover could so easily get lost in it all.

Heikki, thanks for your comment. I would have loved to get there earlier in the day but it was a boys' get together and my buddies imbibed a bit too much C2H5OH to be up early! But the benefit is that it wasn't that crowded since we started at 10.30 AM by which time most of the sensible folks are already done.

Neil, thanks for the kind and detailed comments as usual. I share your thoughts about the technicalities of how such a place got created and feelings of awe and wonder at the beauty of it all. This is my fifth visit and I wouldn't mind visiting yet again.

Roger, thanks for your comment. I do want to hike the narrows, maybe about 10 miles at least. I can walk that much without a problem but I didn't plan on the right gear. Maybe next time I'll make that a part of my trip.


More Dyxumer, less photographer.

Posted By: Harm vb
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 16:02
Impressive set with magnificent views! Love them all, with #11, 5 and 7 as my top picks!

In the Netherlands they say: "in the evening a big guy, than also in the morning". So, no excuse for being late there

Harm Dörr60/2,8 Samyang14/2,8 35/2,8+1,8 Sigma150600 Sony 28/2 50/1,8 90MG 1224G 1635G 70300G Tamron 2875/2,8 Viltrox 24/1,8 85/1,8. - Flickr

Posted By: skm.sa100
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 16:16
And to wrap it up, here are a few pictures of the descent.

13. Walk along the ledge.

14. Canyon wall abstract.

15. Zooming in a bit closer to show the size of the place.

16. The shuttle buses - again.
I've never done a good job of landscapes at wide angles for the simple reason that the exaggerated perspective makes it very easy to make everything seem so diminished.
I flaunted the "foreground anchor" rule here so the picture looks a bit cut off at the bottom but it does help show a sense of scale a bit better.

17. Did I already mention I found the colorful canyon walls interesting?

18. Life on perilous slopes.

20. Sheer cliff.
The cliff that rises precipitously to the right is Angel's landing on the top. The smaller cliff towards the center is a mini version of Angel's landing.
Look at the connecting wall between the two cliffs and imagine walking along that to get to the top of the smaller cliff. That's exactly what trekking up to Angel's landing is.
I couldn't capture it well since I was on the trek itself but this is a very good visual.

21. Back to the verdant canyon floor.
With the sun to my back! I was surprised at just how saturated this image is SOOC.

That's all, folks!

More Dyxumer, less photographer.

Posted By: skm.sa100
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 16:20
Also, to the folks who aren't in love with high places, I totally get it.
I'm mildly claustrophobic and the intense emotional reaction I get when I'm in tight spaces is something else. I can easily imagine myself panicking if I were to go into a tight, dark cave for example.

I can stand on the ledge and look straight down 1800 feet without an issue. I've always been quite reasonably surefooted so I don't usually need to crawl or reach for support with my hands as I clamber up and down easily enough.
So thankfully vertigo and other height related issues were non issues for me.

More Dyxumer, less photographer.

Posted By: Fred_S
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 17:36
What a beautiful place and well captured Sashi!

------------- - My Flickr - My Instagram

Posted By: owenn01
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 18:09
Hi Sashi,

I used to be like you but no longer; I can stand the height but age (like Roger) has started to catch up with me and I wouldn't feel at all safe up there.

But, with the second set, you capture what has finally 'connected' with me and Zion - #'s 14, 17 and 18 for the wonderful colours and textures on the canyon walls. I could have taken a whole portfolio of those when we were there a few years ago!

Thanks for sharing a few more from this wonderful location.

Best regards, Neil.

My Mantra: "Comment on other's work as you would wish to have yours commented upon". Go on - it's fun!

Posted By: Mestari
Date Posted: 03 October 2023 at 20:07
Beautiful! I can feel that heat though, must have been difficult in that sun.

Posted By: mihai-ian
Date Posted: 04 October 2023 at 13:17
my feet are itching - amazing trek

Posted By: skm.sa100
Date Posted: 04 October 2023 at 14:18
Harm, thanks! Luckily I'm not Dutch so I can afford to be a big guy only one time during a day.

Thanks, Fred. Glad you like the set.

Pfft, Neil! What're ya talkin' about? Next time I'll set a race between you and Roger. Whoever gets to the top first and shouts out "Look, no hands!" wins.
Seriously, though, I'm gonnna reach fifty next year and that gives me a bit of wistful melancholy. I used to be quite an athletic young man and sports gave me some of the greatest joy in my life. I regret the passing of my youth so I know exactly what you mean.

Thanks, Mestari. It was in the 60s and 70s F. That's about 18 to 25C for those who don't get Freedom Units. So it was actually pleasant. We also did it at a leisurely pace. Fun!

Mihai, if you do visit, I'd absolutely love to see your pics. I admire your eye for composition and processing so it would be a joy to see what you come up with.
The American southwest is a great spot for someone like you to visit. There are many good national parks, some of which are world famous and many smaller state parks and hidden gems that aren't that well known. You'd love it over there.


More Dyxumer, less photographer.

Posted By: Jadom
Date Posted: 04 October 2023 at 21:32
Originally posted by Fred_S Fred_S wrote:

What a beautiful place and well captured Sashi!


Jack.SigmaDP1x,DP2M,SonyA7M2,Min: MC35F2.8, AF50F1.7, 70-210F, SL16-35F4, KironKine 80-200F4Macro, Promaster MC28F2.8, Rokinon 85f1.4, Samyang 14F2.8, Tamron: SP AF 28-75F2.8XR Di LD, 70-300 F4-5.6Di

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