North Guardian Angel, South Guardian Angel
By: Harold McFadden
On a recent trip to Zion NP, Dan Warner, Dan Mihaijevich and I climbed SGA and NGA from Left Fork, using several Sage write-ups as guides. These write-ups were very useful, but I felt that the following additional information might be of value to DPS'rs planning to do these peaks.
Any group going into the narrows should be prepared to ford at least two deep pools (five feet plus at low water) without, benefit of logs. The major obstacle is the second waterfall, at present spanned by a very narrow log bridge which will undoubtedly be washed away at the next rise.
Two write-ups describe the route to NGA as starting about 100 yards (or feet) beyond the SGA route exit, near a tall tree leaning at a 4.5° angle. We tried this route and soon found ourselves in an ugly 4th class chute filled with loose debris. Two slings were found in this area hanging from rotten chunks of sandstone - evidence that others had also encountered problems. After considerable exploring, we found that the best route to NGA starts directly opposite the route to SGA. One proceeds almost directly upward (perhaps slightly to the right?) for about 10 minutes, then comes to a small amphitheater on the left (shown on the map). Do not enter this, but continue upward to a rather level area, then turn left to climb a wall. At the top is a moderate 3rd class move; surmounting this one finds oneself on the canyon rim looking directly at NGA for the first time. A large duck marks the spot. From here, simply follow the ridge in a northerly direction (about 343°) until it merges into the southern slope of point 6750, to the east of NGA.
With an early start and some knowledge of the routes, it is possible to climb both peaks in one day, but fresh water might not be available at the route exit points, so plenty should be carried from the springs found after the second waterfall.
Before heading for Zion, get a weather forecast. We assumed we would have fine October weather, but had to endure 1000 temperatures in the outer canyon.
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