A couple weekends ago I climbed a mountain. The second tallest mountain in the Wasatch range to be exact. Mount Timpanogos, known as The Sleeping Lady, sits on the edge of Utah Valley and I’ve been staring up at her for almost 5 years now. She’s beautiful, towering, and impressive.
If you remember my 2011 goals from earlier this year, I mentioned the climb. I’ve been busy and out of shape most of the year, so I thought I’d have to push the trip back to 2012. But last week Brent suggested we just give it a try and see how far we end up. I’m honestly surprised I made it all the way to the top!
Sunday morning we got up at 4:00 AM, loaded our packs into the car and headed for the trailhead. We started hiking at about 6:00 AM, 45 minutes before the sun was up. It was dark and cold, but my sweet husband was well prepared and had me decked out in all the necessary gear – including a brilliant and stylish headlamp.
As the sun rose and our hike got harder we started to lose the layers. The trail was gorgeous and the air was so clean. I struggled every now and then with a random bout of nausea, but in the end never lost it. (I came close more times than I can count, though. Brent was very patient.) I’m not sure if I ate something wrong, or if the elevation was really bothering me.
Once we reached the basin we stopped for a longer break, then headed up the back side of the saddle. That’s where we really started to gain elevation and by the time we reached the top of the ridge I was pretty wiped out. We’d been on the trail for about 5 hours at this point. Once up on the ridge my fear of heights really kicked in. Looking out along the rest of the trail to the summit I wasn’t sure I could make it. The trail scaled a bunch of shale rocks, with a steep drop-off down one side, and the mountain rock on the other.
Let me just say that I have THE BEST husband a girl could ask for. Brent coaxed me out onto the trail, reassuring me I could do it, then held my hand almost the whole way up. I was so scared and dizzy any time I looked over the edge; I had a death grip on his hand. It was all I could do to keep my legs moving forward and prevent myself from hyper-ventilating.
Once on top it was an awesome feeling to have conquered the mountain and see the view from that height. We could see from the south end of Utah Valley, all the way up to Salt Lake Valley – our two homes since moving to Utah. It was breathtaking.
The trip down the mountain was much better than the way up. Our joints obviously took the brunt of the descent, but we made it back to the car in about 5 hours. We were dirty, tired, and extremely happy. It was a wonderful day, and I’m so glad Brent suggested we tackle the trail together. I love that man.
Summit elevation: 11, 749 feet
Time on the mountain: 11 hours
Miles hiked: 14
Water consumed: 5 liters
Times I almost threw up: about 100
Restroom breaks in the wild: 5
Blisters on my feet at the end of the day: 4