Saturday, June 01, 2013

South Ariel Peak

I've hiked around the bottom flanks of Zion's South Ariel Peak many times, always getting spooked by the very steep slope.  Previously I've only been a little higher than 'graffiti rock' - where selfish people have carved their initials into the sandstone.  

On my last trip to Zion, I decided to hike to the summit from the back side.  This route was surprisingly easy.  I'd say it is class 2 with two very short sections of class 3.

I just hiked around to the saddle between South Ariel and Aires Butte.  The slot canyon had people inside, so that was fun to watch and listen to them for a bit.

When I got up near the saddle, I saw a couple people climbing Aires Butte.

I turned left and headed up to the saddle, then straight up over the ridges to the final summit.

Here's a shot looking down toward the road and the slickrock apron where the tourists explore.  I tried hard to not dislodge any rocks, since that might ruin the day of somebody hundreds of feet below.

This shot looks south toward Nippletop.

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