Sunday, June 5, 2022

50 Peaks by 50 Part 4 - 26/50-?

26-28/50 - January 17-20, 2022: Warmi Wañusqa 13,829 ft, Runkuraqay 12,795 ft & Machu Picchu 7,872 ft: 27.3 mi over 4 days. I was lucky enough to go on an amazing trip to Peru and to spend four days hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with my adventurous niece Emily.  It was so interesting to learn the history of the Inca and to see what they had built so long ago.  And the mountains in Peru are more green and steeper than you can imagine.  In places is it hard to imagine how one would pass if it weren't for the camino that they had built.

I must confess that this was not hardcore backpacking.  The portadores carried the heavy load and set up a dining tent and cooked us great meals each day.  The weather was on the verge of rain, and the clouds blowing past the mountains were amazing.  The highest point that we passed was Warmi Wañusqa (Dead Woman's Pass in Inca), which Emily and Raul are looking back on in the photo below.

29/50 - June 5, 2022: (Little Little Baldy, Little Baldy - repeat) and Big Baldy: 12.0 mi, 3,827 ft

These deer were on the next ridge over as I reached the top of Little Little Baldy (the peak just shy of Little Baldy), and seemed to just be enjoying the view as I was.

The woods on the back side of Little Baldy with their trees and wildflowers were amazing.

The views back to Timp were some of my favorite.

This looks like a nice place for Brunch.

30/50 - June 12, 2022: Mill Creek Peak 10,349 ft: 9.0 mi, 2,132 ft

31/50 - July 14, 2022: Twin Peaks, 11,415 ft: 10.5 mi, 5,285 ft
I believe that this may have been the most difficult peak that I've climbed to date.  It is not so long, but only the first and last 2-3 miles are on hiking trails.  The rest is over loose rock up a gravel slide or over boulders, so it was fairly slow going and took us 11 hours to complete.  But I would still highly recommend it as the trail was beautiful and crosses through some outstanding areas. It was really every bit as beautiful as the trail to Lake Blanche but far less busy.

32/50 - July 25, 2022: Boxelder Peak (11,172 ft), 11.65 mi, 4,754 ft
This trail is not spoken of a lot, but it was relatively easy and I really enjoyed the views along the way.  The grassy meadow and wildflowers up on the saddle were probably my favorite part.  Most peaks in Utah require a scramble over boulders at the top, but this one had a trail (although steep at the end) the whole way.

33/50 - Aug 22, 2022: Hihimanu Summit (2,279 ft), 6.0 mi, 2,467 ft
This was one of the most unique hikes that I’ve ever done.  About 80% of the island is inaccessible except by air, and after hiking this trail I understand why.  The trail was often just a slit through the jungle, with just enough brush cleared to make it through.  Then, it transitioned to a trail along a knife edge that fell off extremely steeply on both sides, yet the slopes on the sides were so full of trees and bushes that there was not much risk of falling.    Then the trail became so steep that the only way to advance was hand over hand on fixed ropes that had been set, using the dirt for footholds.


34/50 – Sept 10, 2022: Lone Peak (11,253 ft), 15.6 mi, 5,554 ft
This has the reputation of being one of the hardest hikes on the Wasatch front, and while it didn’t feel particularly difficult to me on the way up, I could feel it on the way down and the rest of the day.  We started really early to beat the heat, which was a good idea, and it was nice seeing the lights of the city and then the sun rising on the first part of the hike.  The upper valley and sheer granite cliffs were truly beautiful and worth all of the effort to get there.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

50 Peaks by 50 Part 3 - 20-25/50

20/50 - Aug. 3, 2021: Squaw Peak: 7.9 mi, 2,750 ft.  Although I had hiked in Rock Canyon in the shadow of this peak dozens of times when I was a student, I had never been to the top of Squaw Peak.  Andrew beat me to the top of this one but was willing to do it again on a somewhat smoky day (due to the California and Oregon wildfires.


21/50 - Sept 11, 2021: Y-Mountain East Peak: 7.0 mi, 3,549 ft.  This isn't quite a repeat since last time I did the false western peak.  This side has a great view of the mountains beyond, and once again I love the high aspen forest.  I actually hiked to the top of the Y with a huge group of BYU Mechanical Engineering students, and as we did the sun shown only on campus. Then, to celebrate my birthday I continued to the top.

22-23/50 - October 2, 2021: Timpanogos Main Peak (repeat), Bomber Peak: 17.3 mi, 4,729 ft.  While I had hiked Timp once before, I had not taken the Timpooneke trail, so most of this was new to me, and just for good measure I threw in Bomber Peak. The fall colors were unbelievable, some say the best in several years.

In the middle of this picture you can see one of the peaks (probably East Peak) that I had left behind just a few hours ago.  This little waterfall provided a little extra hydration for the trip.

I started early and saw the sun rise on the trail.  This is looking over towards Emerald Lake.  In the first basin, I could see lights from other hikers on the hillside and Orion in the sky above.  (The photo doesn't do it justice.)

As I approached Bomber peak, these guys were coming down the trail.  I backed off and sat to listen to General Conference and as I did they made their way right past me.

I attempted to follow the ridge all the way to the north peak as well, and made it almost there but at this point I was out of time and out of energy.  I'll be back for you, North Peak.

24/50 - November 20, 2021: Lion's Head (trail to Provo Peak): 9.0 mi, 3,720 ft.  For some time now I've wanted to climb Provo Peak, that white capped mountain that looms behind and above Y Mountain.  I ran out of time and energy but I did climb a great little peak that is on the way.  While the Y-part of the trail is not so much fun, you do climb past it quickly and the upper basin is beautiful.

Forget about saving the best for last, here is a panorama from the top, where you can see the Slate Canyon peaks on the left, Y-mountain is hidden in the middle, Timp and Cascade way in the distance right of center, and Provo peak on the far right.
When hiking the Y you could hardly believe there were any trees on the mountain above; this hike takes you through some great forested areas.

But my favorite part of this hike is the feel of the huge basin that you are moving through as you get behind Y Mountain.  Who knew all of this was hiding just out of sight as I sit at my desk in Provo?

25/50 - December 3-5, 2021: Angel's Landing & Zion's West Rim: 22 mi, 5,600 ft (over three days). We had unseasonably warm weather, so Andrew and I took three days to hike in Zion's.  We did about 5 miles in (gaining 3000 feet) to Campsite #2, which had the amazing view that you see below.  Day 2 we hiked the loop on the West Rim, and Day 3 we hiked down with a detour to visit the top of Angel's Landing.  While it is popular and busy, Angel's Landing is truly one of the most amazing spots on the earth.