Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Hike of the Season, Y Mountain

A couple weeks back I was getting really antsy for Spring to come so we could get the hiking season rolling.  Winter recreation is fun, but towards the end of winter all I want is for the sun to shine so I can hit a nice dirt trail to a summit! Some good friends of ours, Kenny and Kari Clark, are in the Utah Valley mountaineering club, and they are training to hike Mt. Rainer in July.  So in preparation for one of their training hikes to Provo Peak, they were hiking Y Mountain and invited me to come along (Erik was out of town at a track meet).  Since I was dying to do some hiking, I of course accepted the invite.

So we started from the Y trailhead parking lot at 6am.  There was only one other hiker at the trailhead who had a huge mountaineering pack with all the gear, so of course we struck up a conversation.  He turned out to also be a member of the Mountaineering Club who was out for a training hike with his gear as well.  We hiked together for a while, but with his heavy pack we eventually picked up the pace and left him behind.  As anyone who has hiked the Y knows, it can be pretty tedious work getting to the Y, but it is the sacrifice you must make to get to the scenic and rewarding Slide Canyon and peaks beyond.  Turning into slide canyon there was still no snow on the trail.

Since it had been a warm couple of weeks and we were hiking on a South facing slope, Kenny felt confident we wouldn't need our snowshoes or crampons to reach the summit, but as soon as we turned onto the trail to the summit we were immediately in snow to our knees.  Good thing we all chose to wear a good pair of boots and high knee gators!

Because of the snow, we could see no trail to follow so we were just sort of bushwhacking up the side of the ridge.  No surprise there, every time I hike with Kenny it involves bushwhacking where there is no trail.  Even without the needed snowshoes we just kept trudging on, Kenny and I took turns breaking trail.  Kari was happy pulling up the rear.

The final stretch to the summit we were literally crawling at times to try and distribute our weight to keep from sinking up to groin level in snow.  It was actually really fun and we were laughing the whole time about our snowshoes sitting at home that we could have easily brought.  But because it wasn't impossible, and we were making good progress we just kept going.

View of Provo Peak behind Kari.

And suddenly, the view of the valley was there, we had made it.

Kari was really happy.

Cascade Peak behind Kari and I

Provo Peak behind Kenny and Kari

View of Utah Vally and Utah Lake from the top of Y mountain

We headed down, Kenny slid most of the way down on his stomach, Kari and I followed sliding on our butts in the slide he created.   All in all, a great first hike to our hiking season. We have a lot of adventures planned with K and K this summer before they leave to graduate school in the Fall.

1 comment:

Kevin and Mindy Sagers said...

I like hiking and all, but snow up to the knees seems like a little too much for me. You're crazy! P.S. I'm so glad you have a blog!