Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sticking to Decisions...Good Idea

Last year I hiked Mt. Timpanogos for the first time. Kim and I both hiked it with the singles ward that we were in at the time. It was quite difficult, but with several rest stops we were able to make it up the 11,749 foot mountain. The trail is about 7.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 1 mile. After our trip last year we decided that once was enough and we were happy to check off that adventure and never do it again. Kim was smart and has stuck to that decision. Yesterday, I was not as smart and decided to climb it again.

My previous roommate, Dusty, has always wanted to summit Timp, but was foiled when he attempted 4 years ago. Snow still covered the treacherous trail to the summit and he reported to the MTC the next day. Determined to not let the mountain win, he set a goal to reach the summit before leaving Utah. Yesterday he accomplished that goal. I went with him.

Dusty, Lane (another roommate), and I left Provo at midnight and headed up to the trail head. About a mile away from the trail head we found some hikers on the road. They flagged us down and asked if they w
ere going the right way to get to the summit. They weren't so we took them back to the trail head to try again. They took off while we were still getting our gear all together.

We took off down the trail only to realize about 15 minutes into it that w
e were actually going down in elevation, not up. It turns out that we had made the same mistake that the hikers on the road had made. We turned around and made it back to the real trail at about 1:45am. Once again the hike was long, and a little painful, but we made it to the summit at 5:45am. It was quite cold at the summit so we huddled together in the summit shack and tried to nap until the sun rose.

(Sorry about the "will you marry me?" graffiti)

The sun was beautiful as it rose. Pinks and oranges, purples and reds, it was absolutely amazing. The picture below is my sad attempt at trying to capture it. You could see for miles in every direction, it was awe inspiring.

On our way back down the mountain we we took a detour to find parts of a plane that had crashed into the mountain over 50 years ago.

The rest of the trip down was uneventful. The sense of accomplishment was great! The view was unlike any other. It was an incredible experience, just like last year. You may stop reading now, but I must write a few of the less pleasant details so that I can remember next year why I do not want to hike the mountain again.

Going up is hard. The burn will start in your calves and move up to your thighs, then your lungs start to burn. You heart will begin to pound, some because you need more blood moving and some because you are terrified of falling off the huge cliff next to you. Once you get to the top, you are only halfway. Going down is harder. Your knees will hurt, your feet will hurt you will stop talking with your friends because all you want is to get back to your car and back to your bed. It takes nearly as long to come down as it does to go up. Having said all of that you should go again because God made mountains to be climbed and the view from the top to be enjoyed!

1 comment:

  1. In about 15-16 years from now your son is going to do this thing called a 50 mile hike. And guess what, you will be the first one in line to go with him. I think at 40 all we remember is the view and forget about the feet--at least until the end of the first day! Regardless it will be worth it!