Jul 11, 2012

Summiting Mount Timpanogos

This summer I am going to hike Mt. Rainier in WA state with my Dad and siblings.  In preparation I decided to hike Mt. Timpanogos.  The hike is 14 miles round trip, with a destination at the top of the mountain being 11,750' in elevation.  We climbed 4800' in elevation to get there.  Mount Rainier (14,410 ft), is the highest volcano in the U.S.  Rainer will be a 9000' elevation change over an 8 mile summit.  So, basically twice as steep as Timp...

Ken and Raegan hiked with me and I was glad to have such good company.  We were able to hike and talk and really enjoy the scenery. 
This hike was unique to me for several reasons.  In the 3 previous climbs I had climbed the Timpooneke trail.  Here we are on the Aspen Grove Trail, which was breathtaking.  There were snowfields and waterfalls during the entire first half of the trail.  Also, this is the first time I did the hike in the daylight!  During my BYU days, we would start hiking at 1 a.m. with the goal of watching the sunrise from the summit, which was spectacular.  I loved those experiences, but I feel like my body will protest an all night hike with no sleep.   Too old for those kind of shinanigans.  

There was much more snow than I thought there would be since we hiked early in the summer season.  The largest took us an hour to cross and was a bid scary due to the sharp rocks below on a few of the steeper sections. 
Here we are looking back.  We can see Deer creek resevoir and Midway/Heber from here.
Lunch time!
Raegan blazed the trail across this monster snow field.  This took us right up the "the saddle," which is a rock formation that marks the final stretch along the ridge of the mountain.
I heard Ken say, "John, look up!"  These mountain goats were about 15 feet away, just hanging out.  Pretty cool. 
Lunch at the summit.  You can see Provo in the background.
We opted to slide down the glacier to save time.  We ended up taking a bogus trail, which led to some hairy rock climbing/descending.  Here is ken wearing his windbreaker jacket as pants.  Awesome. 
It doesn't look all that steep from here, but it was crazy.  Sliding down was surely one of the highlights of the trip.  Racing down the snow was so nice, since the downhill part ended up being the hardest part of the trip.  My knees!

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