Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Photo Journalistic Account of My Attempt to Hike Mount Timpanogos

On Monday, October 4 , Mr. 1313, my cousin Amy, and I decided to hike Mount Timpanogos. Unfortunately, Monday was also the first day that the streak of record breaking warm temperatures and beautiful sunny skies came to an abrupt halt.

We reached the trail head at about 8:00 a.m. and began our hike. At this point the weather was actually quite nice, a bit brisk, but otherwise exactly what you'd expect an overcast Fall morning to feel like. It wasn't long before the act of hiking had warmed us up enough to want to lose our jackets.

We continued on, enjoying the beautiful Fall colors and stopping for the occasional photo.

We joked that we were a bunch of pretentious yuppies with our high end outdoor clothing and gear. We might as well have stepped out of an REI catalog. It began to rain, and suddenly our catalog perfect image was replaced with something a bit...weirder.

You have to admit, I look pretty fierce with no makeup and a trash bag vest.

Eventually the rain, which turned into hail at one point, subsided and we ditched our creative rain gear.

It was about this point that the weather took a turn for the strange. Ghostlike whisps of clouds began to appear.
Still undeterred, we continue on hiking above the treeline and entering the large basin below the saddle. The summit, which is usually visible at this point was shrouded in clouds.

It was 12:00 and we figured that this was an excellent place to sit down and eat our lunch. As we sat and ate our sandwiches the temperature began to drop. In spite of my synthetic down jacket, I was shivering.

The wind began to pick up and clouds rapidly filled the basin.

It didn't look good.

Thunder cracked over head followed by a bolt of lightening and then came the hail. This wasn't like the hail before, this was the kind of hail that blows sideways and stings your face. We quickly retreated for the treeline. It was so frustrating to turn around without having made the summit, let alone the saddle, but we weren't stupid.

The return of the trash bags.
We made it back to the car a little after 3:00 p.m. Once we left the canyon we were surprised to discover that the whole face of Timpanogos was covered in snow!

While I am, admittedly, disappointed that we didn't make the summit, we had a great time and it was quite the adventure. We've already planned on hiking Timpanogos again next year but probably in the Summer when the weather isn't so extreme.

1 comment:

Amy said...

This is a true story. You did leave out the part about the decomposing big horn sheep on the side of the trail, that for a second we thought was a dead body. And the part about the strange old man who offered you a garbage bag, but you have to "reach in my bag to get it, cuz I don't know where its' at..." Then I think they might have threatened us with a knife, it all just happened so fast.