Fall 2016

Fall 2016

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adventure #3 - Climbing Everest Ridge, Timpanogoes

This weekend I attempted to summit Mnt Timpanogos, via the Everest Ridge. This climb was part of our training to prepare us to summit Rainer in Washington in July. Because of a storm that rolled in we weren't able to summit but I sure learned a lot of things from this experience.

The name Everest Ridge has a good story behind it. In 1990 a group of Utahans were training to climb Mnt Everest. They used this route to train. With packs on they would do this whole trip in a day. So it was named... Everest Ridge.

Here is my story-

We left Dry Creek Canyon (in Orem) at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon. We hiked with no coats on, enjoying the balmy 35-40 degree weather. The hike in to base camp took us 2.5 hours. The distance was 2.84 miles with an elevation change of 3,000 vertical feet. So that rounds out to being about 1,000 feet of elevation gain each mile. A nice steep hike... but not too bad especially with 20- 25 lbs packs on.

We arrived at base camp, Big Baldy Saddle. There were about 15 tents people set up and we found a great spot. Angela Isaacs and I set up tent. We had to shovel in to get a nice flat(ish) spot. In the process dumping all the snow we dug out into a nice wall around us to block the wind.
We finished setting up camp to watch the sun going down. After our propane and lighter fuel freezing, and having to borrow a stove from someone else- we were able to melt some snow and get our dinner cooking. Luck for us, we had hauled in enough water to last us until the next day so we weren't up all night melting snow then purifying it. Some in our group were up for hours trying to melt enough snow to have enough to drink for the next day.
We burrowed into our 4 season tent, the wind and cold outside. We ate cheetos and some rehydrated curry dish for dinner! Remembering the last time I went camping and being up all night listening to two dads snoring loudly...(no names will be mentioned) I brought ear plugs to this adventure. I slept quite warm from 9 pm to 1 am when they woke us up to start climbing.
I took this image from another website. We were camped at the bottom of the red lines, Baldy Saddle. We only had to go 1.75 miles more to summit the top of Mnt Timpanogos. Here I should add that we had to climb 3,400 vertical feet to do that. That is double what we had climbed on Friday night. And we had to do it in half the miles. This challenge was estimated to take us 6-7 hours to climb that 1.75 miles. (we made it to right below the red circle on the map)
I also took this picture from another website to show how steep it was in some places. I had on a light pack with a coat, food and water in it. We had on crampons with huge spikes in the toes to enable us to kick into the snow when needed and to help us not slip on the steep mountain side. Also I carried an ice ax to aid me as I climbed up, and to help me stop if I were to accidentally slide down the mountain.
This is how Orem/the valley looks at 2:00 am when we started climbing.
We climbed for 4 hours. At four hours the group leader said we still had at least 2 more hours left. The "crux" (hardest part of the climb) was still ahead of us. The storm that had started the night before was in full force. We had to turn around. The wind and snow were blowing in your face. You couldn't see to far ahead of you. There were times I felt I just needed to stand still to hold my ground and not be blown away. I never felt I was in danger, but occasionally thought "This is crazy! WHO DOES THIS!?"

We started desending down the mnt just as the sun was thinking of coming up. It was quite a beautiful sight to see a trail of headlamps coming down.

It was kind of sad to not summit. We had been so close to reaching the top. But I am proud to say Ang and I made it up with the lead group and we made it the farthest they would let us go before we had to turn around. Not bad for two girls!

Finally the sun started to come out. We were able to see what we had hiked up. (You can see people coming out of the middle slot in the rocks.) This picture is near the bottom of the hike and not too steep.

Here is me as I carefully placed my ice ax deep into the snow every step of the way down so I wouldn't slip (and then slide ) to the bottom of the mountain.
This is the Saddle where we camped the night before. You can see about 15 mini tents.
We made it down to camp after only 2 hours of descending. It was about 7:45 AM. We were both fatigued. We didn't want to mess with our stove so we ate a can of CHILLED Progresso soup, Chicken Noodle Soup. Wow! It wasn't amazing, the cold thick broth was even harder to swallow down but boy oh boy was it just what we needed. We polished off the cheetos, a few handfuls of trail mix and started taking down camp. At 9:30 AM we left our great campsite. We reached the bottom of Dry Canyon at 11:30 am, drenched from the now... rain that drizzled down on us for the last hour.

I think to my self now... Should I go back and summit it, try again sometime? For now... No. I think I wont. Climbing 3,000 vertical feet in just over 1 mile is enough to kill anyone! I think I am just fine for not summiting.

One website described the climb like this....

Everest ridge is not technically difficult,

it is just flatout steep!

Amen- I agree to that!



2 comments:

Clark Family said...

wow! sieze the day!

idon'tremembereatingcorn said...

you are a wild wild woman. i am very amazed. xxxxx rowe