October 31, 2013

It All Started A Goal Part 1 of 5

This post is long over due and I know many people have been waiting to hear the story. For those who don't know, my family is very goal oriented and driven. From a young age we were taught how to set goals and achieve them. On occasion, we would have meetings with my father to discuss our progress. To this day I still set goals, strive to achieve them, and evaluate my progress.

As you drive through Utah Valley, one cannot help but notice Mt. Timpanogos standing off on the east side of the valley. Every time I would drive past the mountain, I would look up at in wonder and say to myself, "I am going to climb that mountain one day." At the beginning of the year I set many goals for myself, one of those goals as you may have guessed was to climb Mt. Timpanogos.

We planned to climb Mt. Timpanogos on August 24, 2013 but decided to push the trip back because of the potential for thunderstorms that day. The new date for our hike was scheduled for September 7, 2013.

That morning we woke up quite early, the sun had not yet risen. We packed up our gear, picked up our neighbor Diana, and headed up Provo Canyon to the trail head. We said a prayer and then started hiking, it was about 6:45 am and it was still dark outside.

The hike was beautiful, the weather was great, and the temperature outside was perfect. I started out hiking wearing long pants over my short and took them off shortly after our hike started. We took our time hiking and stopped to eat lunch at Emerald Lake sometime early in the afternoon. From the lake we could see both Park City and Heber, the view was stunning.

Andy & I.

A view from the trail. Park City is in the distance.

Me & Andy.

Andy & Diana taking a breather.

The view from Emerald Lake.

Another view from the lake.

After lunch we took a moment to look inside the old ranger station next to the lake. There was not much to the ranger station- 4 walls, a roof, 2 open windows (there was no glass in them), an open door, two benches and an old fire place. After inspecting the ranger station we headed out on the trail again.
A view of the lake from the ranger station.

Inside the ranger station.

We walked through some meadows before we came to a large rocky bowl. The trail through the bowl is not very distinct. You have to look for a rock with several smaller rocks stacked on top of it and navigate your way from one stack of rocks to the next. On the north side of the bowl is a steep cliff.

After making it though the bowl we climbed some steep trails. As we walked, we walked under cliff faces before reaching the Saddle.

Once we were on the Saddle we could see 360 degrees around us. The view from the Saddle was not as pleasant as the view we had at Emerald Lake. As we looked around we noticed dark clouds all the way around us except for directly above where we were standing. We spoke with some other hikers who had been sitting on the Saddle for awhile and they assured us that the clouds to the west were moving westward out over Utah Lake. The clouds to the south were moving east and hitting Spanish Fork Canyon. The clouds to the east were moving northeast and the clouds to the north were moving northward. The told us that we were about 30 minutes from the top and that we should be able to make it to the top without any problems.
The view from the Saddle looking out over Utah Lake.

The view from the Saddle looking southward toward Spanish Fork.

Another shot of Utah Lake from the Saddle.

And another shot of the lake.

The Saddle, the Chimney, and the summit. (The summit is the point that looks like a pyramid).

The rocky bowl is down below. The shot looks out toward Park City.

The view to the north.

Me on the Saddle.

Diana on the Saddle.

Another shot of Utah Lake.

The last photo we took of Utah Lake.

The three of us (Andy, Diana, and I) talked for a few minutes and decided what we wanted to do. Diana said she was going to turn back because she was tired and Andy and I decided we were going to climb to the top. Diana said she would wait for us at the ranger station and we gave her a time frame for when to expect us. We then headed our separate ways.

As we started hiking again, I quickly noticed that the air was thinner than it had been before. We took a lot of short breaks so I could catch my breath.

We took our time climbing the Chimney to make certain that our footing was sure. This part of the trail is quite scary looking, it looks a lot like shingles on a roof. You have to be careful because there are cliffs on all sides of you.

Shortly thereafter, we made it to the top of the mountain. At the top of the mountain there is a tin shack that is painted white. The shack has open windows and an open door. I signed our names in the registry book and we made a quick video of our accomplishment. I think I put the date down in the book as the 8th, I'm going to say it was because of the lack of oxygen getting to my brain.

About this time we noticed that the clouds were starting to change direction and thought it would be best to start heading back. We said a quick prayer and started down the mountain.

We walked down the trail about five minutes or so before we ran into three BYU students. They asked us how far they were from the top and we told them about ten minutes (it takes longer to get up than it does to get down). They asked us what we thought of the weather and if it was safe to continue hiking. We told them that they clouds were starting to move and told them to use their best judgement.