I decided to treat myself to a Mt. Timpanogos summit for my birthday this morning. I have done the summit twice from the Timpooneke trailhead but never from Aspen Grove. I decided to make a loop of it. Up Aspen Grove, down Timpooneke, then loop back to AG on the Salamander Flats, Snow Gauging, and Lame Horse trails. A 19.5 mile loop.
I put out the call and two fellow Wasatch Mountain Wranglers joined – Keith and Tim. We started at 5:00 and caught an amazing sunrise as we climbed the trail out of Aspen Grove.
This side is steeper than Timpooneke, less runnable, but features some beautiful waterfalls, a few lakes and meadows, an old Forest Service ranger cabin, and views for days.
We spent a lot of time stopping and taking pictures, so I apologize to Tim and Keith for destroying their splits. But it was hard not to stop and gawk.
Once we climbed over to the saddle, it a wind picked up and it got a bit chilly. In the sun it was alright, but my hands got numb. At the summit, two other wranglers, Josh and Jade, caught up to us. They had started from the other trailhead and were pushing for a fast round trip. We sat around for a bit up top. It’s hard to just turn around and bomb back down when the views as so good.
Hat tip to Tim, as well, for picking up a ton of trash along the trail and on the summit. Littering makes me so mad.
Once we got off the saddle the temps picked up fast. Lots of hikers were moving up their trail a high fiving us as we ran down, thinking we were more hardcore that we are. When we explained the loop we were doing, we did get some raised eyebrows. Maybe we are hardcore.
About halfway down I rolled my right ankle hard. I heard an audible crunch. It ran of OK, though tender, until right at the bottom when I rolled it again. Sharp stab of pain. Oh boy…
At the trailhead I used the bathroom, drenched myself in water, refilled, and headed off for the return trails. Those were a tough 5 miles for me. Very runnable, but not for me. It was also fun to see a few new places.
The heat, returned GI distress, and the ankle. But, we made it and it was gorgeous. I will definitely make this loop again, but hopefully in better physical conditions. Happy birthday to me!