8.23.2009

Hiking Mt. Timpanogos

Eww!!
Even though:
  1. A poorly (strategically?) placed hole twisted my ankle
  2. A night of hiking threw off my sleep schedule for a good week
  3. A razor sharp glacier sliced up my forearms and bruised me all over leaving marks that make it seem that "slid down the glacier" is some euphemism for being thrown down the stairs
  4. At least three times during the 11 hours up and back I would call the emotion I felt "bored"
  5. A good 60% of the hike up I would call the emotion I felt "freaked out of my mind"
  6. I was perpetually leaned to one side (to bring my center of gravity towards a 'safe' mountainside and away from imminent death over the cliffs)
  7. A missed (freaking nonexistent) trail marker forced me nearly crawling upward, clinging to shifty rocks for dear life
  8. My stomach is just now recovering from trail food
There is a plus side:
  1. I made it. Alive. Intact. Awake.
  2. I love conquering my fears (most of all that obnoxious fear of heights and falling)
  3. A view of Salt Lake, Utah and Heber/Midway valleys - all at once, twinkling
  4. Good company
  5. Reaffirmed my confidence in my athletic ability. I may suck at/hate running and most forms of exercise but I can hold my own on an incline
  6. Deep (at times panting) breaths of fresh, non-smog/inversion/polluted/Geneva-steel-and-exhaust valley air
  7. Checked it off the list of local treasures to take advantage of before I graduate and leave Provo behind [(biking the Provo River trail is next. Planning's gotta start soon) (any recommendations welcome)]
  8. My battle wounds make me look tough and adventurous, and thankfully don't hurt that bad
  9. Looking down the mountain at a pilgrimage of headlamps winding through the trail was pretty empowering
  10. A slide down the glacier was a rush, and gives me the courage to finally try out the steep slide at 7 Peaks
  11. I finally have a reason (a big fat right cheek hole) to replace my 5 years old, children's sized, elastic waistband, zip-off Columbia hiking pants I've been holding onto for longer than I should
  12. I pitied the morons hiking up in the daytime (blistering heat) and was grateful for a chilly breeze and constant shade (aka darkness/lack of sun)
  13. Stars shining brightly (shining for the whole world to see....) especially the Pleiades Cluster, which is hard to see in any level of light pollution
  14. I'm a sucker for a sunrise, and this one makes my list of lifetime favorites (post to come)
I took this picture!
Some quick facts about good old Timp:
  • Mt. Timpanogos is the 47th-most prominent mountain in the contiguous United States. Sounds made up, but isn't. Check out Timp's contemporaries here. (Way to go Mt. Rainier for kicking every other mountain's less geomorphically active trash
  • To explain Timp's layout as the shape of a reclining woman, legend has it that an Indian maiden died of grief after her lover was killed. This legend (but not the ballet it inspired) may actually be made up
  • There is also debate among professionals (probably Geographers) as to which kind of glacier the Timp glacier actually is. I personally don't really care either way
  • From 1911 to 1970, there was an annual "Timp Hike" some time in July where thousands of hikers would make the climb together and get badges for success. My dad participated several years and talks about old men who had dozens of badges as a tribute to their years of participation. They stopped the tradition due the damage 1000+ hikers can cause to a mountain in a day
  • Timp is my dad's mountain. When he dies he (sometimes seriously, sometimes jokingly) wants to be cremated and have his ashes scattered at the top. I say, Why not?

4 comments:

Jodi said...

Now you know what a feat it was for me to do this alone :) I love this. Great adventure.

Anonymous said...

I got Timp Hike badges in the summers of 63', 65',67',and 68'. We always left at midnight and arrived at the summit to see the sun rise. I went to Timpanogos Elementary school as did my father, and when I die (in about 40 years) I hope that Kami still has the legs to take my ashes to the top and send them to the wind.
MK

Melanie Beth said...

Way to go, hiking is the one thing I could never wrap my brain around - and I certainly can't hold my own on an incline. It's hard work, you should be proud! You headed back up to WA any time soon?

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