I have never gone all the way UP Battle Creek (I’m always coming down) and I have never summited Big Baldy from the saddle. I did it once from the SW ridge for the vertical kilometer challenge. Plans to loop the North Timp ridgeline fell through, so I slept in until 9 and did this instead – Battle Creek to the Big Baldy Summit and back. It was warm and I felt sluggish. I have only done the Great Western trail south of the Battle Creek turn off once, when going the full 20 miles along the front side of the Timpanogos massif, and I forgot how beautiful it is. Along with the meadows north up to Chris Flat, it is just beautiful. Meadows, grass, aspens, etc.
The ridgeline from the Big Baldy saddle to the summit was longer than I thought – deceptive. On the way down I hooked up with a hiker who had just come down the Everest Ridge (ack!) and we ran down together chatting. Nice bloke. I love how (most) random people you meet way up on the trails turn out to be very friendly, down to earth, good people. I like good peoples.
I’ve said it before, but I really am pleased as punch with the easy access and quality of some of my backyard local trails. 3-5 minute drive to a trailhead and I can put in as few or as many easy miles as I want around the foothills. Add a canyon in for some elevation, or just putter around the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and countless offshoots. Here’s 3 recent ones.
I took another friend out for his first trailrun with me. Good times. I think he’ll get hooked.
I like this little 4.5 mile-ish route. Super close trailhead. A slow steady climb, a little squiggly descent, then back. Super fast and easy. For some reason, on this day, I decided to knock it out in the 102 degree hit midday, just to see if I could. I felt pretty good for the first mile, then the heat really started to sink in.
I went back and did the same route a week later, but at twilight. Faster, until it got dark and I had to pull out the flashlight.
I lived in Lincoln Nebraska for 7 years as a graduate student and one year of teaching. I didn’t run. Not once. I pulled out my mtn. bike a couple times, but only hit dirt once. We were back visiting friends and I decided to go run that dirt – along the Salt Creek in the Wilderness Park. It was about 4PM, in the 90s, and about 50-70% humidity. Oh my word. I haven’t sweat that profusely since my Rim2River2Rim at the Grand Canyon last October. Nevertheless, it was fun. The heat was oppresive and slowed me down, but it was fun to run in an environment from a past life – wondering what life would have been like if I had discovered running and trail-running back when I lived there.