Angel’s Landing

For our thrill-seakers, Angel’s Landing can be a great option and Kyle is our resident ANGEL to help you get up there! Take it away Kyle:

Angel’s Landing gets a bad rap as a scary or dangerous hike. Anything in life is scary and dangerous if you don’t properly prepare! It’s not that physically challenging, but mentally it can seem extreme due to the steep switchbacks and drop-offs. If you have a fear of height or narrow passages, this is not the hike for you.

You should probably avoid this hike if you have a fear of heights, vertigo, or any special condition that can cause lapses in consciousness.

For anyone else, Angel’s Landing offers a beautiful 5-mile trek, breathtaking views, fascinating manmade aides, and a physical challenge that won’t kick your ass.

One suggestion I have for anyone wanting to do Angel’s Landing is to book a Glamping Spot nearby and make a weekend of it. Angel’s Landing is really just a morning activity often best followed-up by a cold glass of champagne in a bubbling hot tub at your lodging.

Let me know what kind of trip you’re trying to take, and I’ll make sure it happens!

Disclaimer (of sorts)

We do occasionally have to temper peoples’ plans. We’ve had some older folks popping up wanting to hike Killy or Angel’s Landing, and we’ve had to really assess their health and fitness to determine whether it’s an option.

We certainly don’t like tempering anybody’s goals and hopes, so instead of saying NO, we love to make better more fitting suggestions. For this reason, we’re willing to work with any people or groups in any configuration. We’ve planned 3-day Bachelorette Parties, weeklong family trips with little ones, and most recently, a lovely woman’s 65th Birthday Party Weekend.

Part of the information referral slip you’ll fill out initially will include this type of information. This will allow us to set you up with the most knowledgeable and applicable Expedition Leader on our team. And of course, if your plans change halfway through, we’ll get you set up with someone else.

We want you to have the best mountain experience you can, without any concerns, worries, or unknowns.

Appalachian Trail

The AT is a great way for Americans to spend some time seeing nature, growing closer as a couple/group or stronger as an individual, enjoying the great national parks, and meeting a challenge that few people even attempt. While completing the AT in one go is a noble goal, many people prefer to do one segment or a bunch of chunks staggered over time until it’s completed.

We got an email from Elizabeth stating that she was taking a gap year, wanted to spend it on the trail, didn’t know where to start. Here’s her description of how we were able to support her on her journey.

When I finished grad school and didn’t have any immediate plans, I knew I wanted to do something challenging in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. I had been in school most of my life, I had been intellectually challenged for years, and I was ready to challenge my body as much as my mind. As soon as I decided to spend 6-9 months on a trail, I knew the AT was the one. I don’t know why, but it just felt right.

UE Mountaineers had helped a friend of my on the John Muir trail and heartily referred them. She was not wrong! From the initial conversation, they were completely open and transparent about challenges, costs, expectations, and the kind of support they could provide.

My Expedition Leader Kerri helped me make all my pre-departure arrangements – even the little things you wouldn’t think of like, telling friends and family and letting them know how to stay in touch with or support me during my trek. Beyond that, they helped with the practical logistics like packing, timing, travel arrangements, and setting realistic expectations.

They also helped support me during my trip. They pre-arranged care packages to meet me at predetermined stops along the way. So every week or so, I’d stop in a little town where a package would be waiting for me from Kerri with snacks, gear, and the occasional little unexpected surprise. I always knew there would be kind bars, jerky, socks, and sun screen. But I was often surprised to find a book or seasonal treats. It was nice to know that someone who knew exactly what I was going through was anticipating my needs from afar.  

She also had a check-in option that I took advantage of. She and I had a check-in process where every time I’d pick up a package, I’d send back a letter that she could scan and share with a group of people I had provided before I left. They could mail letters back to her which would come back to me in the next care package. And I turned on my phone for 20 minutes a day that she and I had arranged so that if there were any emergencies, she could let me know.  

This way, I was able to complete the trek, keep my family posted, but feel somewhat that I was off the grid.

It was such a great mental reset, a very cool way to transition from grad school life to adult work life, and it taught me just how much I’m capable of! It changed my life, UE Mountaineers helped make that happen, and Kerri and I are still in touch to this day!

I started work at The Hadley Law Firm two weeks after I got home and there was something very reassuring about starting a scary job after having just completed a VERY SCARY life event. It put things in perspective and made me a more confident woman.

Rainier

Whether you know exactly which mountain you want to climb and when or if you just know you want to hike a mountain, we’ll help you get set up.  Our Expedition Leader Rian just took a group of friends up Mount Rainier. Here’s his description of the pre-trek experience.

I received a message from a guy stating that he and four of his closest friends wanted to hike Mount Rainier but that nobody was ready to pull the trigger on planning. It was perfect. Pulling the trigger on planning a mountain trek is literally my bread and butter. He assured me that they were all fit, adventurous, and agreeable.

The first discussion point – which would fuel much of our planning – was when they wanted to go. I typically suggest September for people who want to spend the summer training and then hike with fewer other folks on the mountain. The snow is firmer at the top which can make the hike a little more challenging. But the sky is a treasure in the late summer. For this group, we decided upon early June – one of the guys is a university professor and wanted to be sure he wouldn’t be teaching and they all decided that July and August were probably too busy for them.

They set a goal of climbing it in 3 days but allowed for a fourth if they couldn’t meet their goal. And I suggested they plan a few days afterwards to spend in Seattle and debrief.

Once we had determined the timing, number of days, and I gathered the information from all the guys – I got to work. I sent weekly “Tasks List” to the group that included booking airfare, gathering gear, and some exercise tips.

Every group of trekkers has the option for their Expedition Leader to join them and act as the Trek Lead/Sherpa or to just have us facilitate all the prep work. These guys graciously invited me along with them and wow they were fun!