Thursday, 1 November 2012

#4 Double O Arch and Dark Angel, Arches

#4 Double O Arch and Dark Angel, Arches

Distance - 5.2 Miles
Ascent - 110m

Overcoming a hurdle which has stopped you in the past is always a victory no matter how small the hurdle!  In this case the hurdle was a short but steep scramble up a rock 'fin' that halted me last year.  It wasn't much but I just couldn't see myself getting back down without slipping, even though the sandstone grips like sandpaper.  This year I came, I saw, I conquered (even with a little knee wobble and bum slide off a big step!).

Landscape Arch
The first mile of the walk is along well maintained trails to Landscape Arch, the longest in the world apparently.  There are a few side trails to other Arches and the whole area is great for exploring.  After Landscape arch the trail becomes more rough and ready (and natural) and climbs up and over fins of rock.

The red rock and hot sun make this a harder walk than it probably should be.  Don't forget your sun hat... just because it was snowing and raining only a few days earlier... like I did!

Up and Up

The route is marked by little cairns to show the way, and they add to the low key feel.  Double O arch is climbable, though like all arches it is slowly eroding away!  The path is rough and has a few short scrambles but isn't actually that bad. 
Up and Over

A short extension to this walk involves a 1 mile round trip to Dark Angel, a big (150ft) rock pilar rising out of the desert.  The walk takes you out into the desert amongst the scrub and despite the time of year it was still very warm.  In the summer this walk would have to be done early or late as there is very little shade.
The route we took was a straight out then back along the same route, and I was feeling the heat towards the end.  The lack of a sunhat was a silly mistake that on other days could of been a big problem.  Another lesson learnt!

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