Life really is better Here
- Apr 20, 2013
With the exception of one weekend at the start of April, which was my anniversary, I have done a short backpack since this all began. Since I am not sane, I cannot say this is for my sanity, but we can pretend.
A couple of weeks ago it was the backside of Timpanogos, then last weekend it was the frontside. One was the last gasp of winter, the other the first real breath of spring.
Good mucky, icy, trampled trail.
The second meadow meant we slowed down to put on shoes to not annoyingly post hole to our destination.
Aspens and shadows.
Spring was trying.
We set up camp and the sun set.
There were no fireworks, but there were 3-4 minutes of this.
This one had a natural kiddy corner balance.
Often, just this little bit of purple and pink is something that I really like the most.
So we sat down around the Solo stove for a while to build up some coals for roasting, as the stars came out and the city lights of all those people's iphones and netflix lit up the night sky.
Orion is standing up straighter these days... must be almost summer.
Dinner was some sushi grade yellowfin that I got my hands on. It was actually cheaper than the ribeye I was eyeing. Truthfully, I bought both. We had ribeye at home the night before, and since my wife does not like fish and did not attend the backpacking festivities. I had this medium rare, drizzled in a Ponzu, ginger, sesame oil, honey and Yuzu preserve sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served on a pita with a few spring greens.
I love snow shoulder season camping for a few good reasons. One is the food. That warm sleeping bag. Snow lit up at night. No bugs and rarely any vermin (minus the backpacking partner)...
Oh, I mean, winter camping is the worst. Cold hands and feet. Wet... feet. Everything takes longer. All that isolation and silence getting interrupted by a brisk breeze.
Back to dinner, it was excellent.
We could only cook one filet of tuna at a time, so while the second one was over the coals the hooting owl and the groans of the refreezing mountain who was pushing off a few minor slides or rocks into the night, was interrupted by coyotes.
The snow on Timp was glowing all evening, but somehow a cloud north of us caught the lights of the SLC valley, or maybe Park City these days- who knows... Anyhow, the clouds caught the light just right and for a few minutes it was like a full moon and the snow glowed.
The coyotes loved it so much that they started yapping. Not the howls, the playful calls from all around us. I think they all were saying "We made it! I can tell, spring is here." or probably it was something else, since I do not speak coyote.
A few minutes and then it ended. The owl was back to his lonesome and almost pathetic calls in comparison.
Love this place... just leaves me warm inside and out.
Those distant hills are just the Uintas. No snow camp for me there this winter or spring.
This big hunk of rock and snow kept bombing all my photos.
Not long before this shot, before there was any sunlight and out of view up canyon left, a slide went off. We had many small sloughs and rocks that we could hear, but this one was much larger. It was a good couple minutes before the mountain quieted back down. Never heard anyone was there in the news or on UAC,, but the main use trail on this side runs up the canyon where the slide was.
We had originally planned for a night at a peak hiding behind Box Elder, but with 10-16" of new snow on those peaks the avalanche danger on the sunny Friday had been Considerable with a dozen slides the day before. So instead we admired the new snow from afar. Besides, the plan is to go there in May for my birthday.
Cozy sledding it into home.... gracefully?
One last view.
Mountain Mahogany trailside.
Trail with a little bit exposure.
Probably 80% of peeps go for the falls. Most of the rest for the loop. But came across a few hardy souls who were coming down from the north summit. Real, let's say experienced alpiners. Love those types of hikers a bit more for some reason.
These quaint little bursts had only me as a visitor.
What a difference a week makes. Long afternoon shadows, green grass, alpine snow on blue skies.
A little glow on the North ridge before dinner. (Why yes, last week this was that same hunk of rock and snow in all those pictures)
City glow after a dinner.
Dinner was courtesy of supporting a local Banh Mi shop. Chicken curry on one and Korean shortrib on the other. Dip it in hoisin and it's great, even cold.
The only downside during the night was the constant call of some bird. It was one continuous noise over and over for hours. Heard one for a little bit two out of the last four weekends, but this one would just not quit.
Just like this trip report.
We talked about Mahogany, but postholing up the last bit to the ridge and summit did not sound fun. So instead, wandered up and over to the originally intended target to find spring had not sprung there, Also found out that another group had been up there. Sweet luck let us feel all alone by going north a little ways.
Well, alone, except during the morning we were surrounded by horny grouse. Nothing like walking out of the tent in the dawn twilight, just on your way to do your own business while minding your own business, only to have this mountain chicken explode into the air from underfoot.
Their calls and dancing were fun to watch.
Even a little bit of sunrise color over the princess behind us.
I love orange.
Thank you. Welcome to spring unless we go straight into summer.
or straight into fall. I love orange and these were still hanging on, a couple seasons late.