I was standing on top of Angel’s Landing. The highest peak in Zion's National Park in Southern Utah.
I have a brother that lives in St. George and a number of years ago (quite a number actually, back when I was a typical, arrogant, dumb teenager as you will see) while visiting him and his family we decided to hike to the top of the enormous cliff.
The hike is 5 miles long round trip, and there is a 1500 foot elevation change.
We knew it was going to be a full moon so we decide it would be cool to go up in the evening, watch the moon rise, and then hike down by the light of the moon (this is discouraged by park officials but it was totally worth it).
The hike is visually stunning from start to finish, but there are a number of spots, and towards the end most of the spots, in which there is a very real possibility of falling off the cliff.
And I don’t mean just slip and slide down the mountain a little ways until you catch yourself. I mean fall off this thing and you could almost starve to death before you even hit the ground.
So as a safety precaution they have driven big steel stakes into the mountain and stretched large chains from stake to stake so people have something to hold on to as they are hiking in the treacherous parts.
Well, one of the people that was hiking with us and I decided that we didn’t need any stinking hand rails and that we were going to ascend and descend without using the chains.