"Another fatality has occurred on Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, with a woman falling approximately 1,000 feet to her death Friday...Pocatello, Idaho, resident Tammy Grunig, 50, was hiking the steep and narrow trail when she fell. "
Here we were on Angels Landing, Zion UT, last week discussing the danger of said trail segment. I think Park Service rigging like Angels Landing and Half Dome are a heightened, unnecessary danger to average, or sub-average, hikers who wouldn't otherwise be able, or even consider, placing themselves in such a position. The danger is heightened, too, by convincing these hikers to compromise personal risk assessment, not to reply upon themselves, but instead upon some unfamiliar system of cables or chains for a false sense of support.
Rather, day hikers should be looking at a route, a known route, without a scrabbling, wagon train of folks, plus the Park Service, telling them "Can Do, Just Don't Look Down". Where they'll independently say, "Damn, that's cool but I can't climb and I don't have gear". And they'll walk away with a grand view and an admiration for the experience and courage of others.
I know the arguments, it's always about personal responsibility. But would you place a cross-walk across a busy, 65mph, 6-lane free-way and claim, "Well, there's painted lines, and a warning sign, and this button that flashes a yellow light. Traffic will stop. We say go fer it, just remember: death happens."