Friday, August 7, 2015

{Hiking Utah} Bullion Divide

Oh man, oh man, I've been waiting to post about this adventure and now that I have a second at the computer I can. Hooray!

The Bullion Divide is a fantastic and challenging ridge traverse hike that takes you over 8 peaks along the Wasatch mountain range. Heinz and I were so excited to do this hike as it has been on our "hiking to do" list for so long and we were finally able to nail it down.

We woke up super early last Thursday (7/30) so we could be up at Alta and hiking by about 3:30 in the morning from Albion Basin. With our headlamps burning brightly in the clear, full-moon sky, we made out way up to Sugar Loaf Pass and from there we headed up to Sugar Loaf Peak (peak #1). After taking about 20 seconds to try to take a photo (fail) we hurried back down from the peak and made our way over to Mount Baldy (#2). From Mt. Baldy we scurried over to Hidden Peak (#3) (the top of Snowbird) and soaked in the sun that was faintly peering over the distant mountains.

Peaks #4 and #5 were the American Fork East and West Twins, which were a breeze after scrambling on the knife ridge from Hidden Peak. From the AF West Twin Peak we made our way over to Red Top (#6) without incident. After descending Red Top and close to 5 hours of hiking we took a short break on the pass overlooking into White Pine Lake. With two more peaks to go we knew we would have to problems completing our goal.

After fueling up and resting our feet we climbed on to tackle our next peak which was Red Baldy (#7). At this point we were making pretty good time but that came to a crawl as the jagged cliffs gave us more technical challenges that took us more time to maneuver through. With slow and deliberate climbing moves we made our way past Red Baldy and onto White Baldy. White Baldy (#8) was by far the slowest going of all the peaks. With some creative climbing moves, we made our way to the top of the peak without any detours or close calls. It was a great challenge that put some of our skills to the test. After summiting our last peak, we made our way down to Red Pine Lake and took the trail back down to the White Pine trail head. This is definitely a two car endeavor but well worth it. 

At the end of the day we summited 8 peaks in just under 9 hours, and about 10.7 miles. It was a great day of adventuring for the Grunendahl's.

Silhouette blur - Just after summiting Sugar Loaf Peak, looking over towards Hidden Peak.

Atop Mt. Baldy

 From Hidden Peak heading onto the knife ridge that leads to the AF Twins.

Approaching the AF East Twin.

 Sunrise on top of the East Twin.

 Atop the AF West Twin.

 On top of Red Top

 Heinz descending Red Top.

 Climbing up Red Baldy.

We were lucky enough to see a few mountain goats.
Shot by Heinz
Atop Red Baldy

Looking down at White Pine Lake.

 The ridge over to White Baldy.

 Atop White Baldy

 Descending from the ridge and down to Red Pine Lake.
Red Pine Lake

Happy Trekkin'!