Friday, June 6, 2014

Lady Mountain - ZNP

Suzy's brother Jason has been talking up the "Lady Mountain" climb in Zion National Park for over a year, and I finally had a chance to climb it with him.  It lived up to the hype.

It's less than 2 miles to the top of that mountain (from the Zion Lodge parking lot), but you climb 2,675 feet in that short distance.
And I do mean climb.  Here's Jason navigating one of the climbing sections.

And, of course, this is Zion National Park, so it's stunning from top to bottom.

OK, mom, maybe don't look at this next picture.  Jason took this of me climbing the "ramp" section about 1,500 feet above the valley floor.  Exhilerating.

And, evidently, falling deaths are much more common on other Zion hikes, like the extremely easy, and mostly paved, Emerald Pools trail.  From the Zion National Park FAQ page:

Q. How many fatalities from "falling" have occured in Zion National Park?A. Below is a list of fatalities from "falling" in Zion National Park, dating back to the parks establishment. The info below is incomplete. The below list includes only incidents where suspicious activity was not involved.
Angels Landing 5
Cathedral Mountain 1
Emerald Pools 7
Lady Mountain 2+
Mt. Kinesava 1
Mt. of the Sun 1
Observation Point 2
Watchman 2
East Rim Trail 1
Checkerboard Mesa 1
Crazy Quilt Mesa 1
Deer Trap Mountain 1
Hidden Canyon 2
Canyon Overlook 2

OK, those stats may be a bit deceiving, since it doesn't show how many people hike those trails.  Compared to the thousands of people on the Emerald Pools trail, and the hundreds on the Angels Landing trail, we didn't see anyone else on the Lady Mountain climb, and evidently that's typical.
The Lady makes you work for it, but boy is it rewarding.  (Below: looking down the canyon.)

This one is looking up the canyon.  For those of you familiar with the Park who want the orientation, Observation Point is the ridge on the horizon, and Angels Landing (half as tall) is the ridge in front of that.

This is a picture I took 6 years ago from Observation Point looking down the canyon.  In this picture, Angels Landing is the first ridge, and then Lady Mountain is the tall one behind that (on the flat-looking ridge, the fourth bump from the right).

Anyway, this is a super fun climb and definitely one I'll be doing again.  In a nutshell, I would describe it twice as tall as Angels Landing, 4 times as hard, 100% less European tourists, and 7 times as rewarding.

No comments: