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Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:05 am
by Death Valley Dazed
Scale the Manly Beacon to soak in a sunset lighting up The Red Cathedral, Golden Canyon, Zabriskie Point, Twenty Mule Team Canyon, and the Borax Benchmark - September 2018

This is not a casual scamper. It's much more difficult descending than ascending. This is my third time atop Manly Beacon and mother nature did not disappoint. I was very lucky to have the great light and landscape at my feet. Sorry for some of the dust on the lens and some shaky video but I was in a mad rush to the summit in time for the sweet spot of sunset light.

I was also lucky to have a calm evening. If the wind had been gusting on that knife edge summit ridgeline I may not have been able to get these gorgeous shots. I hope that you will enjoy the video as much as I did shooting and editing it.


Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:50 pm
by Randy O
Very nice! Looks like the footing up on top was a little sketchy, was it as loose as it looked?

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:12 pm
by Death Valley Dazed
Randy O wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:50 pm
Looks like the footing up on top was a little sketchy, was it as loose as it looked?
Thanks, and yes the footing was sketchy towards the edges. That's why I took a twelve-foot painter's extension for a camera boom, to get those over the edge shots down the Golden Canyon saddle trail. Returning down was actually scary because of the foot and hand holds being eroded and slick.

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:07 am
by D.A. Wright
Wow! Gorgeous colors! And that ridge scared the s**t outta me! Thank you for your efforts and risk.

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:55 pm
by JesPortland
Dazed you are pretty brave. I only climbed it once. When I was sixteen, March of 1973, the bad way which was just walking across the hills from Zabriskie Point, making bad tracks. With a bag of cheap red wine around my neck and something else in my lungs. I thought it was pretty risky then, had to crawl up and down parts of it. Looking at the west side of it now when hiking up from Golden Canyon I ask myself, would that be safe now? Not sure I should do it. Do you recommend it? Should I try it in a few weeks when I'm back?

Cheers!

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:01 pm
by Death Valley Dazed
JesPortland wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:55 pm
Looking at the west side of it now when hiking up from Golden Canyon I ask myself, would that be safe now? Not sure I should do it. Do you recommend it? Should I try it in a few weeks when I'm back?
Cheers!
The approach to the saddle that separates Manly Beacon from Red Cathedral is steep but not technical. The challenge is scaling the knife-edge ridge as the saddle turns into Manly's north ridgeline. People have scratched out and scaped foot and hand holds but they erode and the gravel like skree adds some slippage. Getting up is a non-technical challenge for anyone over 5' 5" but the trick is returning because unless you're very limber it will take some blind foot placements with some suspect handholds. Juggling my camera boom complicated my descent somewhat. I did this with average quality hiking boots by Vasque. Crampons would make this much easier. If it's wet, forget it!

And yes, the colors were over the top in that sunset light.

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:47 am
by MojaveGeek
Nice photos!

Any comparison between the ascent from Zabriskie vs. your your route?

Re: Manly Beacon Light Show

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:01 am
by Death Valley Dazed
MojaveGeek wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:47 am
Any comparison between the ascent from Zabriskie vs. your route?
Thanks and sorry for not making the route more clear. The only way to summit Manly Beacon is from the Zabriskie Point side toward the east side of the saddle. Head west from Zabriskie, turn left or northwest on the Golden Canyon cut off, take the next right or the one after that (can't remember for sure) into a large side canyon due north and it will lead to the base of the saddle and then scramble up.