This past 2 weeks has been absolutely insane! Mostly in the Pain department. We did finally hike Timp (Mt Timapanogos) but I will say it was both a success and a failure. Success being that I learned a lot about hiking trips for a person at my age and condition as well as a reminder of some good old basics from the scouting days. Also we did accomplish a lot considering the circumstances. The Failure comes from the fact that we did not get to the peak of Timp. So, Here is the story. The initial plan was to leave the trail head between 3-4 so that we would have the time necessary to get to Timp basin before dark and have adequate time to set up camp, eat, and just prepare for the night. In reality, we left the trail head at about 5:30, an hour and a half late. So we were hiking in the dark for about an hour using flash lights that we had only bought the night before. One of them was pretty good but the one that I was using was , well…. POOP! It would have been alright but the buttons only worked about half the time and even with it being a LED light, the battery started to die after the first hour.
Next because we were so ill prepare and SOOOOOO out of shape we drank most all of our water before we even reached camp.. had I been smart, I would have topped off the water at the last water fall going up the trail but,…. We didn’t. when we got to camp, we hurried and setup, tried to cook some dinner and went to bed. Cooking was a mess as well. The stove we decided to take was nice and small, perfect for hiking but in the end it was a fail in itself. It would light and have to be either on HIGH or it would blow out and if the wind happened to blow the knob at all it would still just go out. So both dinner and breakfast were a mess and left a lot to be desired. After burning spam and eggs for breakfast, having an almost raw dinner and warping my mess kits pans, it is decided that either that stove will be fixed or garbage!
That night (because we had no time to find a good spot) we were right off the trail. If you have ever hiked Timp you know that there are people hiking the trail all night long. For some reason the people hiking the trail were astonished at the fact that there was a tent with people sleeping in it on the mountain and thought that staring at it with flashlights blaring while announcing to the world “OH LOOK, A TENT! I WONDER IF THERE IS ANYONE SLEEPING IT IT?” all night long! Which gave me a great idea. I will explain in the ideas below.
The next morning we woke up and after dealing with a crappy charcoal breakfast, packed up what we had for day packs (a fanny pack, a baby carrier and a full backpack) Yea there is a story there as well. My sis-in-law thought it would be fun to bring her, not yet one year old, along for the ride (not if you want much sleep). In the hustle, my wife forgot to pack her day pack in her stuff, and I had my small pack. So, my wife packed the full pack for carrying water, I had my small pack. Now normally you would head for the peak first thing in the morning while it was still cool.. no, we waited longer because none of us even thought to take jackets (brilliant, I know) leaving camp about 9:30-10am we instead headed for emerald lake, miles out of the way, to get water restocked. To my surprise there was a Huge section of the cliff face that had fallen in over the years since I was last there re-routing the trail and making it much more steep and rough. Arriving to Emerald lake and already feeling exhausted for the day, we pumped more water and headed for the summit. From Emerald lake, most of the trail was rock slide and snow, this made the trail very slow and painful. The last leg the saddle, there had been another rock slide and the “New path” which was more of an “short cut” now utilized by everyone was almost strait up the mountain. Progress here was slow. About 5-10’ of progress between each rest. Once to the saddle, the feeling of Altitude sickness and Vertigo were getting overwhelming. With not feeling well and having a baby to protect, we ate lunch and decided it was time to head back. Coming so close to reaching the summit but felling that it was time to head back, it was disappointing but we all agreed the summit would have to wait for another day.
Heading back the way we should have come, we got back to base camp and packed up thing in prep for the final descent. Feet were already sore, Fuel tanks were on empty, aching backs were setting in and we still had miles to go. The entire hike down felt like walking on a bed of nails (or legos) barefoot. Mid way down I came to the realization that stopping for breaks only fueled the pain fire and so I would walk. Maybe a little slower but I could not stop! Reaching the van again at almost 5pm, I had had it! I was done! My body would give not more! I felt accomplished but I felt defeated.
Although this was painful and we did not make it, my determination has only increased. Next year we will make it and we will use the lessons we learned to ensure that it happens.
-Pack more water and fill up everything at the last falls
-Take less food (we packed out most of what we took in – dead weight)
-Test ALL equipment before packing it. Faulty stoves and flash lights ruin a trip.
-Leave the trail head ON TIME!
-Don’t bring little kids. This is not the trail for them.
-Make a list and check it twice
-Jackets keep you warm
-Pack less weight!
-Get in better shape before the next time!
-Pack a light weight and super bright spot light so that the next time a hiker decide to announce to the world, “OH LOOK, A TENT! I WONDER IF THERE IS ANYONE SLEEPING IT IT?”, I can spot light them right in the face and announce “OH LOOK, A HIKER! I WONDER IF THEIR SIGHT IS AS IMPORTANT AS MY SLEEP!”
Nuff said! See the pics below.