Utah Scrambles in the Wasatch Mountains
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Trip August 8th to August 14, 2009
A thread on 14ers.com was started on good scrambles in
the Utah mountains and as I looked at the driving route to get to the 14ers
in SW Colorado I surmised it might be worth breaking the trip up and doing a
couple of scrambles in the Salt Lake City Provo area. Only a little bit of
searching things out and a number of popular scrambles in the Wasatch
Mountains came to the surface. There was Mt Timpanogos, Mt Nebo, Lone Peak,
the Pfeifferhorn, Dromedary Peak just to name a few. I picked out the most
popular Mt Timpanogos and the highest in the Wasatch at 11,928ft, Mt Nebo
I was interested to see the Utah culture and the effect
of the dominant religion of Mormonism albeit with a little trepidation about
the spiritual atmosphere. Anyone who is a Biblical Christian as I am and has
studied a bit on the differences between that and Mormonism would recognize
a different Jesus is present in Mormonism than the Biblical one. But I
digress. The other half of my web site is meant to declare the Biblical
Jesus and how to have a living relationship with him. He cares for former
Lutherans like me and also for Mormons. There is not one human being that He
does not love and has demonstrated that love by entering into Godís
courtroom and willingly paying the full penalty that I deserved. And He
offers that payment to my account if I will acknowledge my sinfulness and
yield my will in surrender to Him. He then imparts the new birth and the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit to enable one to actually live in maturing and
growing victory over sin, Satan and worldliness.
Anyways back to the trip. The Rav4 rolled down the
highway for 770 miles as I found energy to do a big day. I also found my
favorite cereal again and planned to buy a few boxes on the way back, Kashi
Heart to Heart Oat Cereal, ummm good early morning hiking food.
Photos on first travel day
day I rolled into Salt Lake City and headed to the REI on 3300S. Itís always
fun for me to browse gear stores. After wandering through the store for a
while I found a Camelbak Alpine Explorer that caught my fancy. I probably
put it on and off with some weight in it about 3 times, my frugalness
hindering me a bit. After all I call my Rav4 "Alís Bed and Breakfast". So
with a bit of purchasersí dissonance I coughed up the money and made the
purchase. As it later turned out it was a perfect pack for the 2 scrambles
so good buy. Wanting to know a bit more about the scrambles in the area I
picked up a good book by Randy Winters called Wasatch Eleveners.
I also picked up some more of my new favorite energy
food, Clif Shot Bloks. Give them a try, I really like them. You need water
to wash them down though.
REI, Salt Lake City 3300S
I would comment that people in Utah are in just a big of
a hurry to who knows where as in Calgary. Everybody seems to be just
frantically rushing around. We have our Deerfoot Trail in Calgary; they have
the I-15 through Salt Lake City. I would also say that wealth seems to exude
from the cities in Utah. New buildings are going up everywhere and what is
there is medium to high end. Perhaps I didnít drive around enough?
Another thing I noticed driving around is that 99.9% of
license plates were from Utah? Like I saw 2 or 3 other plates while down
there. So my Alberta plate must have stuck out like a sore thumb.
But onto to the first scramble, Mt Timpanogos Aspen Grove
Trail. I would have to say it is one of the most beautiful scrambles that I
have done. Lots of greenery, lots of wild flowers, numerous waterfalls,
beautiful high alpine, and I can see why so popular. I met a trio of
families on the top who were friendly and I passed this web site address to
them. One gentleman was from Boulder, Utah and lived in a Yurt and taught
outdoor survival skills, another gentleman was from the Orem Provo area and
had each summer off as he worked as a music teacher for the school system.
Hope to hear from them again. Long day though, 4,900 ft elevation gain and
14 or 16 miles return.
On my day off I found a very good Mexican place to eat,
the "Mexican Bajio Grill" in Provo. Very good burritos and salads, highly
recommended. The green tomatillo dressing was great.
Mexican Bajio Grill, Provo, Utah, 992
South University Ave or Highway 189
On the same day I
visited the Black Diamond store in Salt Lake City and picked up a ground
sheet for my Black Diamond First Light tent and a cool hat. Definitely not
on sale though!
Black Diamond Equipment, Salt Lake City,
2084 East 3900 South
From there it was off to the trail head for Mt Nebo
taking the Nebo Scenic Byway beginning in the town of Payson. This road is
narrow and winding and goes from the valley floor to around 9,000 ft on the
east side of the Mt Nebo group. Just remember to pay attention to the road
as guardrails are sparse if any.
Mt Nebo North Peak was a much more remote and rugged trip
with a good climberís trail the whole way. I would call this route a class
2+ as it is pretty loose and dicey near the top. You need to pay attention
with your footing on the last part both going up and going down. There is
some hands down climbing for like the last 30 feet to the top of the false
summit. I would only recommend this mountain in dry conditions. In any other
conditions you need to carefully assess your abilities and the possible
dangers you could face with snow cover or icy terrain or wet terrain.
And you know how it seems there is always a glitch along
the way when scrambling? Well as I headed up the trail I realized I forgot
my sunscreen on a hot blue sky day. So rather than lose a lot of time going
back I wore my wind breaker for the whole way, good thing I had lots of
From there is was back to the Mexican Bajio Grill for
supper and a leisurely drive back to Calgary, once I escaped the gridlock on
I-15 near Salt Lake City that is. I stopped in Dillon, Montana at their big
Safeway and loaded up on cereal, took highway 41 to get to Bozeman, Montana.
Visited Barrel Mountaineering and Northern Lights Trading Co and
unfortunately Rockford Coffee shop was closed.
From there it was back towards Helena, Montana stopping
at the Wheat Montana Bakery at the intersection of I-90 and highway 287,
Very popular spot.
The last night on the road was camping north of Helena at
the Holter Lake campground off of I-15 Wolf Creek exit 226. Very nice spot
and bug free. So a very unique and unexpected adventure as I was originally
planning to head to SW Colorado but as man sometimes plans, the Lord can
alter the steps.
Holter Lake Campground north of Helena,
My traveling music, tracks 3,4,5,8