| Taste of the Wasatch (UT) – 2 of 3
Too Timp-ting to pass up
Mt. Timpanogos, 11,749'
Wasatch Mountains, Utah
14+ miles round trip (some sources say 18 miles, but they're inaccurate), ~4,700 total feet of gain, Class 2
In some respects, Timpanogos is like the "Longs Peak" of the Wasatch Front. While it doesn't have the Class 3 aspect, it is a long and arduous climb that seems to garner a lot of attention. Maybe it's because Timp lords over Provo, beckoning people to climb it, just as Longs beckons Front Rangers.
After some people on 14ers.com recommended it, Jen and I were sold.
Most people climb Timp from Aspen Grove. But after doing some research, Timpooneke looked much more appealing because the scenery seemed to be rated similarly (save for some waterfalls), the mileage is similar and elevation gain is slightly less, and the trailhead is 5 miles closer (saving 10 miles of driving on a slow road).
Because of the nasty weather we had to contend with the day before on Pfeifferhorn, we made sure to get a good and early start on Timp. By 5:15 a.m. we were hiking with our headlamps through the dark forest. The time passed quickly.
The trail wasn't necessarily steep, but it gained elevation steadily and consistently.
The steep and wide valley slowly unveiled itself to us.
Meanwhile, the rising sun painted some alpenglow on the peaks behind us.
And then the peak finally showed its beautiful face to us:
About that time, we found ourselves surrounded by a bounty of wildflowers. Every color in the Crayon box fought for attention.
We continued up the easy-to-follow trail, soaking in the views of the mountain before us.
It was nice to finally start working our way to the ridge. It wasn't nice to feel the wind picking up.
Once we gained the ridge, the view to the other side -- Provo and Orem and Utah Lake -- was incredible.
And so was the view of the mountain itself …
Pushing through the cold and relentless wind, we eventually reached the "staircase" of tight switchbacks, which wasn't bad at all. Just Class 2, and more bark than bite.
Here's a look back on our ascent route:
Under a growing deck of dark clouds, we gained the summit at 9 a.m.
We hung out for a few, and I really wanted to stay longer, but the weather seemed to be worsening, so we cruised after signing the register and wolfing down a few pizza-flavored Combos.
Up until that time, we had only seen two other people, which surprised us. But as we descended, we came across quite a few other climbers.
Me hiking back down the staircase:
After getting down to that upper bench, we decided to take the side hike to the B-52 crash site, which we had read about. I was thinking we'd see some wreckage like the plane on "Romancing the Stone." Maybe I'd even come across an old bottle of whiskey or something. But there was nothing. Less wreckage than Roswell.
After that half-hour diversion, we continued the long hike back down to the trailhead, enjoying some waterfalls along the way.
As we hiked back down, the skies cleared and it became hotter and hotter.
Sweaty and tired, we finished at 12:30 p.m.
Some say the mountain looks like a woman lying down, but I don't see it.
Post-hike, all I wanted was some good food and a beer. Unfortunately, because it was Sunday in Mormon Land, nothing was open, so we had a really hard time finding a place to eat. After a few failed attempts, we just went to the only place we knew would be open, Squatters.
For extra credit, a couple days later we toured the caves underneath Timpanogos, which required a 1,092-foot climb to get to the entrance …
I leave you with a shot of the Heart of Timpanogos:
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):