Photo of Zion Canyon and the Virgin River from the ridge approach to Angels Landing

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Eventually the paved path ends and you're faced with the scary part as you get to the top of the narrow ridge. I've never really considered myself afraid of heights but acrophobia kicked in big time, fast! I could go no further for a while, having to sit down, rest and ask returning hikers if the fear factor gets better or worse as you go farther. I was told that going only about another 100 yards, I would get a much better view of the canyon but that I probably wouldn't want to go further than that if I was already experiencing vertigo.

After resting for 15 minutes, I grit my teeth, held onto the safety chains provided and proceeded, being careful not to look down for the next hundred yards or so. The advice was correct. I was rewarded with a marvelous view of the canyon and a good spot to set up my tripod for a panorama. Unfortunately, the fear factor and my brain prevented me from reaching the summit as planned. I could not believe the number of people who proceeded past me; most in tennis shoes; few who looked like the mountaineering type. "No brains, no fear" I concluded.


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