Published in the Financial Times | June 2012 | By Darrell Hartman

In the Utah desert, the first thing you notice is the rocks; the sculpted domes, arches, canyons and flat-topped mesas aren’t merely spectacular to behold, they are also a gorgeous, occasionally dangerous, playground.

Arriving with just a rucksack to my name and a cool 40 hours to spend, I am in pursuit of vertigo-inducing views – and face the very real threat of bodily damage, dehydration and even rattlesnake bites. But I’m about to scramble vertically up, shimmy down and narrowly squeeze through some of the most awe-inspiring monumental sandstone formations in the whole of the Americas.

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