Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reaching the Top!

If any of you have lived in or ever visited Utah, you've probably heard of Mount Timpanogos. It's a little northeast of our home and is the 2nd tallest mountain in Utah. Last Friday, for the 2nd time together (last one was in 2001), Justin and I set out to hike this majestic masterpiece.

Mount Timpanogos

We got an early start, hitting the trail around 6:15 a.m. Here's the gorgeous view behind us as we started our hike:

There are 2 trails up the back of Mt. Timpanogos, the Timpooneke Trail (American Fork), and the Aspen Grove trail (Provo). Since we had tried the Aspen Grove side about 10 years ago and knew it was a killer hike (I was literally on my hands and knees at one point), we chose the Timpooneke Trail we had hiked in 2001.

It's an 18-mile hike round trip, (some people say 15, but I think 18 seems more accurate!) and the trail takes you up the back of the mountain, a low-key gradual climb in some places. We really made some record time (for us), getting to the "saddle" before 10:00! A short time before the saddle is where the trail starts to get a little difficult.

At the "saddle" with Utah Lake in the background

Here's a look at the trail ahead of us from where we're standing at the saddle. If you look really close, you can see a dot at the top of the mountain - it's a tiny shack on the summit.

Shack is on the far right/top of mountain

Justin had been leading the way the entire hike, shortly after leaving the saddle, we decided to have me go in front for a little while - NOT a good idea! At this point on the mountain, in many places there's not much of a trail. I missed where the "trail" veered off and continued straight until I realized I was NOT on any kind of trail and the ground beneath me was giving way right and left. I was too far to try and go back to the "trail", and I knew if I freaked out, I'd definitely not make it, so I tried to keep my cool and go upwards.

You can't see very well, but there wasn't much to grab onto, and I was climbing on loose sand and rocks.

If you look close you can see me towards the left of the picture with a fairly steep drop beneath me and the sand falling from under my shoes. PRETTY SCARY! Justin was a little ways behind me, so after snapping a couple of pictures for posterity, he went back and traveled the trail to come out above, encourage me, and give me a hand. I think he led the entire rest of the hike!

As we headed up the more difficult part of the hike towards the summit, this next picture was in Justin's view:

Pretty cool, huh? What's even more cool is how they can travel around on narrow ledges like the picture below. If you look close, you'll see all three of them right on the edge.

Three Billy Goats - obviously no acrophobia here!

We reached the summit just before 11:00 - pretty good timing!

Wow! Cell phone coverage on the summit!

A nice couple had brought a sign up with them that said Mount Timpanogos, 11,749 feet, August 29, 2008. They were sharing their sign, so we'd thought we'd get a pic with it too.

We made it!
Mount Timpanogos - 11,749 feet

There's not a whole lot of room up at the summit, and there were 8-10 people up there with us. We took some pictures, rested, ate some lunch, and of course signed the log book in the shack as evidence that we were there!

Some people wonder why I wanted to do this hike again. Several reasons: there's a real sense of accomplishment finish something of this magnitude - I guess you could say a natural high. I love spending one on one time with my children doing something we both enjoy, great memories together. The magnificent views from the summit can't be experienced anywhere but.... at the top:

The pictures don't do justice. You'll just have to come do the hike and see for yourself! After about an hour, we started back down the mountain. I thought the hike down would go much quicker. Guess I wasn't figuring in how tired and sore we would be towards the end. It took us almost as much time to get down as it did to get up! And we were definitely sore, especially our feet! But not too sore to have thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. We had perfect weather, perfect company, perfect scenery. Thanks, Justin, for spending your day with me. It was awesome!

Mother/Son Mount Timp Hike - August 29, 2008


Nicia said...

You are the bomb!! (Does anyone even say that anymore??) That's so awesome you hiked that with Justin. And the pictures were beautiful!!

Stephanie said...

That reminds me of when we would go hiking in Japan. There was one mountain in particular that we did twice - I don't remember its name, it was a very Japanese name. I loved hiking the mountain - the beautiful views and the incredible feeling of accomplishment. What I didn't like so much was the inevitable migraine and sore muscles!

Melinda said...

Way cool accomplishment! And what beautiful pictures, too. I'm sort of jealous...but too out of shape to really be...and amd so excited for you to have been able to do this again!

Nathan and Esther Manwaring said...

You are awesome. Wow. I am so impressed that you did that all. When Emily told us that you had hiked Timp I was really wondering if she was telling the truth. You are awesome.

Karen said...

How totally awesome! Justin you are such a terrific guy to do the hike with your mom! Some guys would think that's pretty geeky:)

Beautiful views from the top! Thanks for the pictures, I am sure that's the only way I'll see those views, cause I'm NOT likely to be on top in this lifetime!!

Grandma Danes said...

Fantastic!! The pictures are great and the fact that you could do this and Justin would do it with you is so great. One on one time is so neat - now I am reduced to looking forward to driving somewhere with one of my children for that kind of time!

Farrell Family said...

Impressive! I always wanted to do that hike but have always been way too out of thanks for sharing the pictures from the top. It's beautiful.

Ritterek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

Oops, there we go. Now it says my name... Anyway, thanks for a great time, Mom -- and for not putting up that photo of me sprawled out on the hood of the car at the bottom of the mountain. But really, I'm glad you wanted to come up a second time; it was a great way to end the summer. Love ya!