August 24, 2013

Mount Timpanogos with Davy and Dingo

Yesterday I got a welcomed call from a long time friend. Davy, asked if I wanted to run Timp in the morning. How do you say no to good times in the high mountains with possibly one of the most fun and cool guys in the world? Our friendship started like 15 years ago in Draper. Our wives both had our now oldest kids around the same time. We would run and ride mountain bikes together often and hit the road trying to sell my product of line of back packs to ski shops.  He paced me in my first long foot race and has been like a brother to me. Davy is an amazing character, absolutely hilarious, excellent father and a super physically strong guy.

Grandpa Davy (coined by the kids at the skate park) and his faithful family dog Dingo were good enough to let me join them this morning. We had a blast! We started at Timpanooke, running past lots of hikers in the morning dawn. We were welcomed into the high range by clearing skies and cool temperatures. The mountains towered above us with the first rays of morning light. A few flowers remained, as Dingo the superstar sniffed each of them. The summit had high southerly winds and clouds unfortunately obscuring the view. The last time I was up there, I was with the Dorais and Jared traversing the range on skis.

The summit visit was brief, although we did see a couple who had packed their what looked to be less than 1 year old son to the summit in the rough conditions. That kid will be a beast or scarred for life from the lack of oxygen. We motored down the mountain, passing lots of BYU fans on their way up and arriving to the car at 9:45 AM. 
Massive Timp Main

Cloudy summit

Grandpa Davy and his amazing pal Dingo

The three amigos- freezing our butts off (at least I was)

Davy, Dingo doing the running pose- we were actually on our way down

Davy and Dingo and brilliant color-filled sky

August 18, 2013

Kings Peak- Aug 12th-16th

I spent this past week back packing with my two sons and a group of young men and other group leaders. The scenery was splendid and there were no mosquitoes either! There were afternoon showers three of the 5 days. We visited many lakes, and took in every mile of beauty. The fishing at 5 Points Lake was excellent. We approached via Hells Canyon out of Duchesne to Tungsten Pass then to Anderson Pass- Kings then out Yellowstone Canyon. Besides an incident requiring Life Flight the trip was 50 miles of pleasure.
The Youngster and building storm Day 1

5 Points Lake - Day 2

Unnamed Lake near Tungsten Pass- Day 3

Top of Kings (13,548 feet)- My oldest on left and younger boy (in pink) on right- Day 4

Anderson Basin and Pass and Kings Peak

August 11, 2013

Red Bird Traverse

From AF Twins West
Yesterday morning I traversed from Red Pine to Snowbird. I'll call it the "Red Bird" traverse in place of other random names I have heard. My camera has been a problem of late. On my second to last summit of the morning, the screen flashed "format disc." I had lost all my pictures from the morning along with my wonderful West Slabs trip this week with Wes "Bane" Murry. I was heartbroken and angry. 

Anyhow, I left my car alone at 5:32 AM alone in a crisp darkness. I could see my breathe as I crossed the first little bridge on the White/Red Pine trail. I passed a young man who had a big pack and heading to White Pine. His headlamp faded as I entered the Red Pine trail. My stomach was giving me fits as I worked up to Red Pine Lake and then onto the Pfieferhorn-White Baldy ridgeline. I was feeling depleted from stomach problems and wondered what I should do.  Nearing the ridge a beautiful little pika stood a couple feet from me, posing with a deep blue and orange sky behind. I took the picture and sadly lost it at the end of my trip. It would have been one of my best. I decided to head for the challenging and fun ridge of White Baldy.

I moved as smoothly as I could along the White Baldy ridge, covering the technical exposed scramble along the flat section and then on up to the steeper sections. Each move on the elegant granite was accompanied by southerly wind, which added to the effect of one of the more techy sections of ridgeline in the Wasatch. It's a fun ridge with jutting pillars that cantelever over the ridge. Arriving on top the sun was burning through rain clouds as I looked to the east at my next destination. I forget how slow going the reconaisance of White Baldy can as both the west and east ridges require some fun climbing moves and concentration.

Staying on the ridge and moving up the west side of Red Baldy the stark contrast from granite to quartzite is amazing. In one step the rock completely changes. From on top of Red Baldy the ridge in my opinion becomes even sharper, more exposed and exhiliarating. Both the Little Cottonwood and AF sides were beautiful in the unique lit morning. The sharp quartzite can be both suspect and solid at the same time. It is my favorite part of the traverse.

With the wind still accompanying every step, I moved down the exposed ridge and then on up to the top of Red Stack Peak. No rain, just a cool wind and even better, no people. I had tried to stay on the true ridge during the entire traverse and in all but a couple small spots was able to do it.

I then reached the top of AF Twins West and then AF East in 3 hrs 43 mins. I moved on down and out Snowbird and then to the White Pine trail head ending at my car. Elapsed time of 4 hrs 47 mins.

A look back from top of AF Twins East