We quickened our pace. We passed through a sloping section where it would be possible to completely overlook the precarious nature of loose dirt and scree (collection of broken rock fragments). Only a quick look to the left revealed that one misstep and a slip would take you right over the edge.
We smiled and tucked away that knowledge for the trip down.
We passed over a narrow, exposed, saddle section leading to the peak. The rain began. It was light at first, but there was no denying the storm was upon us. We could see lightning strikes in the distance taking aim at the flattop mesas.
We were about as high as you could get, so we didn’t take our situation lightly. The group made quick work of photos to document our successful trip to the top, but the rain became steady. So we stowed our gear, threw on our backpacks, and headed back the way we came.
While the storm carried plenty of uncertainty along with the rain, it offered a much-needed break from the high temperatures and direct sun we encountered on the way up. The rain fell heavily, but soon tapered off. We were not eager to depend on footholds in wet, slippery sandstone.
Moving down the endless staircase was certainly much easier and quicker than ascending, but each step required care. While our pace had quickened in anticipation of a home-cooked meal, we slowed in order to view key panoramas and document those incredible views of Zion Canyon.
Our rope was carefully set up at the key passages, and we all performed our individual rappels nicely. We soon found ourselves back at the Moki steps and found our solid footholds and handholds to the bottom.
We could hear the gentle roar of the Virgin River as we finished the last few steps on the trail. It’s always a good day when it ends by soaking weary feet in the cold, refreshing river water. Stories emerged about what we had seen, heard, and accomplished that day.
Adventures such as this build friendships and bonds that transcend time!