Saturday, August 11, 2012

Backpacking: Mount Timpanogos, Part 1

Now don't get too anxious because of the 'part 1' in the title, but I have to do this trip in two different post due to the magnitude of photos I want to share and the amazing experiences that Heinz and I had.
On August 4th, Heinz and I headed up the very popular Aspen Grove Trail that would eventually take us to the summit of Mount Timpanogos (aka Timp.) the following morning. Timp. stars you down from the moment you hit the trail. At a whopping 11,750 feet, Timp is a hot spot for many hikers to tackle. It's rugged walls of limestone and quartzite make it seem impossible to climb but gives every person that drive to get to the top. Heinz and I have summited Timp. before, but we really wanted to do an overnighter to really enjoy the beauty around us as well as take a different route than before. And boy, am I glad we did.
Two words: Goats Galore

But before I get ahead of myself, I want to talk a little about Emerald Lake.

  After climbing  roughly 3,000 feet from the trail head, approx. 4.5 miles, you reach Emerald Lake and all it's glory. Emerald Lake is a gorgeous, green/blue lake that sits below the snowfield (or glacier, depending on who you talk to). The name is quite fitting, don't you think?
The water here is so crystal clear and cold as hell. It is perfect to pump for drinking water.

Heinz and I decided to camp near Emerald Lake. For one, we had a water source, and two, it is so beautiful, who wouldn't want to camp here?

Morning glow, lighting up Timp.

OK - lets get back to the goats.

Heinz and I had the rare and fortunate opportunity to be surrounded by mountain goats for the duration of our trip. During the earlier part of the night, we spotted a few goats by Emerald Lake munching on grass and flowers. When we approached Emerald Lake, we couldn't believe how close the goats where, babies included. We thought, how lucky are we, it doesn't get any better than this. WRONG! It totally did later that night and into the following day.

Getting a drink by Emerald Lake.

 This little guy was about 10 ft from our tent.

Just around the time that Heinz and I had settled in for the night all snuggled in our sleeping bags, we hear a rustling outside our tent. I'm thinking great, what could that be? Heinz peaked his head out of the tent and to his surprise about 20 goats had made their way over to where we where camping and where going to town on the grass and flower's that surround us. I peaked my head out of the tent, grabbed my camera, and soaked in this awesome event that was taking place. To my surprise, the goats where not skiddish at all. They would look at us, assess what we where doing and then continued to graze.
 Goats grazing at sunset, just outside our tent. Amazing.

Going to sleep that night we both kept saying, it doesn't get any better than this.
It was a beautiful and amazing experience that I will never forget.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - You don't want to miss it!

Until then,
Happy Trekkin'.