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Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

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Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby Luciano136 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:21 pm

I might have some time to hike up the peak on Thursday or Friday. Looks like it will be pretty cold and there is a snow storm coming through tonight. How tricky is this scramble with ice/snow? Suicide or no biggie :) ?
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:29 pm

My opinion is that it's fairly tricky. There are chains at most spots of exposure, but not all. You can ask the rangers at the Visitor's Center, but they have been known to give overly sanguine opinions.

You could always take the well-maintained trail to Scout's Overlook, then decide from there (where the trail gets much rougher). You will also likely see footprints if it is the least bit feasible to go on.

Observation Point is a little less exposed, but still has places where a slippery trail (even though it is well-engineered) could be a little dangerous.
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby regehr » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:53 pm

I've done Observation Point around Thanksgiving with some snow and ice and it was OK, but there are certainly places where you don't want to slide off the trail. Did Angel's Landing this October and the scariest thing was the crowds, not the exposure. But still, I'd probably give Angel's Landing a miss if there was much snow or ice.
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby jackstraw0083 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:45 pm

I was there Sunday and already the snow had began to pile up on the peaks. I wouldn't have done it then, and with the additional snow/nasty storms that we've received and are still getting hit with, I wouldn't do it now.
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:26 pm

Let's put it this way: I would not do Angel's Landing with substantial snow and ice, of my own free will. If forced to go, I would wear a harness with some kludge of 2 slings with biners, so I could clip in to the chains. And the chains may be under snow in places, where they lie close to the rock.

People do it in bad conditions:
http://www.summitpost.org/snow-covered- ... 8/c-150599
http://www.summitpost.org/angels-landin ... 9/c-150599
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby 96avs01 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:32 pm

Went up last March with lots of snow/ice. Definitely 2-3 spots that were sketch (with no chains for aid), where I wish I had an axe. Didn't have crampons, but used some Yaktrax and was glad I had them. Brought a harness and a few runners/biners/cord for my girlfriend in case she got freaked and needed to be secured to get her wits about her at any point. She punted at the saddle and chose to have lunch and wait, so I opted to take the little bit of gear with me. Came in handy in a couple of places where other people en-route (only about a half dozen made it all the way out) would not want to yield on the chains (no matter who was in the sketchier spot), so I would just clip myself in and let their self-centered asses pass. YMMV
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby Luciano136 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:51 pm

Sounds like it might be too much of an undertaking for a quick up and down then. I'm there with family, so I was hoping to sneak up there real quick in the morning but it will most likely take too long.

I'll have to do some research on other short little hikes. I just want to enjoy the beauty of the park, so if there are any 'must-dos' that don't take too much time, feel free to let me know :) . We'll take a day to explore Bryce as well.

Thanks!!!
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:23 pm

The hike from Wildcat TH to the "shoulder" of North Guardian Angel is about 7 miles RT. All of it is at a higher elevation than the top of Angels Landing. If you see snow on the top of Angels Landing, there will likely be more snow on the hike from Wildcat. Since the last 0.1 miles up to the shoulder is N-facing and steep, it will probably hold the snow longer. Wildcat Trailhead is at ~6900'; I don't know the current condition in the park, but you can guess the rest.

Sounds like other folks have made some decent suggestions -- yaktrax or Katoola microspikes, and carbide-tipped poles will probably give you a lot greater feeling of comfort if you venture into the snow.
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:30 pm

1000Pks wrote:My quick look at live cams and checking weather

This cam seems to suggest a fair bit of snow coverage.

At least it did before the storm moved in -- snow was down to at least 4000'.
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Re: Angel's Landing with snow/ice?

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:44 pm

1000Pks wrote:Most of that snow wasn't there last afternoon, and I am told that it melts pretty fast. While we do have a cold front moving south up here, weather in Zion is not a specialty of mine. btw, DPS Guide says "6" to the top of North, and minus say a quarter mile to the top from the shoulder, that makes it 5.5 r.t.


The GPS says 7.0 +/- 0.2 (to the shoulder, bottom of the class 4), on two tracks. The tracks are pretty direct. The DPS printed guide was written before there was a trail down to the Northgate Peak overlook, and before the use trail, and consists of several straight line segments. The descent that DPS shows off the overlook ridge, for example, is much more direct than the actual trail (though I doubt one could find the use trail easily in snow, anyway).

The weather cam points at the S sides of the peaks. The last (class 3) section of the Angel's Landing trail is on the N side. The last section of NGA use trail, to the shoulder, is on the N side.

But if the roads are plowed and one is prepared for some snow, a hike to the Northgate Peaks overlook (from Wildcat) would be shorter, and would provide a beautiful overlook, without any scrambling.
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