Sunday, October 25, 2009

Surviving a deadly hike on a trail with no name

By Dave Stancliff

For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/25/2009 01:27:19 AM PDT

August 2009 -- Nancy Maltez fell 1,000 feet to her death while hiking in Zion National Park. The California woman was with her husband and three children. They were hiking the Angels Landing Trail, one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the U.S. National Parks.

It wasn't a trail for the weak of heart. Or the inexperienced. It slithered along a narrow rock slice with dizzying thousand-foot drops on both sides. There were chains embedded in the rock to give hikers extra hand-holds.

This was a trail for experienced hikers and climbers. Maltez was neither. Should she and her family have gone on this trail? I don't think so. When I read about this terrible accident it took me back to another time.

November 1965 -- I was 15 years old. I held on to the chaparral for dear life. Only minutes before I had been at the top of the trail with my two friends, John and Chuck, brothers who wanted an adventure. We all had empty canteens and were thirsty. Strong winds made it hard to hear each other.

Read the rest here.


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