It takes six months lead time to get a campsite here…as though these “boondockers” decide where to sleep more than a few hours in advance. We decided that a great day trip exploring Arches was better than missing it completely. We arrived early, parked near the longest and steepest trail and set off with lots of water.
It is amazing that the National Park Service lets you loose to “friction climb” these very steep surfaces. Where are the liability lawyers screaming about the risk? Once again, we are happily allowed to assume the risks, like downclimbing the wall below (yes, that IS the trail) without ropes and Royal Robbin climbing shoes.
Signs of earlier cable rails on exposed, sheer walls are now just sawed off bolts. Because the sandstone rock is so “sticky”, it is safest to scramble up and down with your full weight on your soft soles…unless you get scared and elect to sit on your butt, which is more dangerous, per less friction!
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