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Timp. Trick or Treat 2010

January 10, 2011

On a fine and fabulous October day in the mountains of Utah, three brave souls found camaraderie in the ascension and beauty of Mt. Timpanogos. As a loop the trail is approximately 20 miles, climbs more then 4600 ft and took over 3 hours to enjoy. We began the day at roughly 5 am when we rendezvoused at my casa in Sugarhouse (SLC,UT). Drinking coffee and chatting about the various runs we had accomplished throughout the year we finally arrived at our destination of Aspen Grove trail Head. Not being the only early risers, we quickly prepared for the days travel. Each of us has our own methods of self support. Whether it be camelbacks, waist packs or hand held bottles we each knew that the days task was going to be without any aid and self sufficient. An obviously different task then many of the hikers and backpackers we passed throughout the day. In comparison, I ran the day with a 1 liter camelback and one hand held water bottle, while a day hiker passed us with a 30 or 40 lbs pack and an extremely loud stereo (really!) blasting the General Conference. Freakin hilarious! Zig Zaggin up the Primrose Cirque and the majesty of the back side of Timp was an amazing and slow process. Albiet none of us walked, a task in and of itself. As we pushed over in the Timp basin area, we were happily surprised by a group of Mountain Goats. Startled and exuberant we pressed onwards to Emerald Lake. Where we found more the 40 Mtn Goats grazing and unhindered by our progress. These are perhaps some of the boldest, and most graceful animals I have ever seen. They entertained our amazement and brief pause to permit us a few photos and an opportunity to witness them scale 1000′ cliffs. For this sake alone we will make this run an annual pilgrimage. From the lake and basin area, the trail heads to the north to a saddle. As a runner, it should be noted that this section of the trail was nearly impossible to run, let alone speed hike. Not due to elevation, but to boulders. From this saddle, the last mile of the climb is spectacular. The trail seems to climb to the sky. Behind you is a good view down cliffs of the valley you climbed up from. At the summit is a small hut riddled with the markings, and trash, of many who had come before us. The view from the summit of Timp is excellent as you’d expect. The view to the north towards the peaks of the Cottonwood Canyon area is most impressive, you’ll be able to make out Lone Peak, Pfeifferhorn, Broads Fork Twins, Sunrise and Dromedary. The view straight down to Emerald Lake below, where you’ll see hikers looking like ants is also most impressive. The nearby southern peak of Timp is nearly as high as the main peak at 11,722 feet and is best climbed by following the trail to the saddle above the glacier and climbing that ridge. To the south far in the distance you should be able to see Mount Nebo, the only wasatch peak higher than Timp. Utah Lake is obvious to the west, and you’ll probably be able to pick out numerous Provo landmarks far below you. There is one guarantee here, that is that you will probably be greeted by a fairly large crowd. As such we enjoyed our brief lunch, scoped a few winter ski routes and departed for the remainder of our run. The return to the car was not nearly as enthralling, but we throughly enjoyed the trip down to Timpooneke and back to the car along the respective connecting trails. To culminate the run we celebrated with local beers and put and happy ending to our trail running season. (Don’t tell my buddies, but I have done many other runs since) If you have the courage and endurance to join us, come out and enjoy one of the most spectacular trails Utah has to offer.

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