Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shingle Mill Peak, Wasatch Range

Our original plan this weekend was to summit the Pfiefferhorn, but once again this years mass amounts of snowpack has delayed our ability to safely reach some of the summits on our summer bucket list.  So we went with our backup plan and chose to peak a few local mountains near Provo.  We set out to climb Single Mill and Freedom peaks. Each one about 10,700 ft elevation and we figured we wouldn't have any problems with snow.

Our peaking pals, Kenny and Kari, had to drop out last minute due to a foot injury Kenny received rock climbing the day before.  And the few other friends that originally wanted to joined us dropped the idea when we told them we were leaving Provo at 5:30am.  Well, after Erik spent the night before tossing and turning (2 big gulp sized cokes at 9:30 at night may do that to you), we didn't actually end up leaving until 9:30. . . I guess our friends could have come with us after all. . . oh well!

We started from the Dry Fork Trailhead off of the Squaw Peak Road and hiked till we reached the Cascade Saddle.  The thing I love about all of the peaks East of Provo are that you rarely see many people.  The whole day we saw one other couple and one group of boy scouts who were also headed up to Shingle Mill.  Apparently there were scout troops assinged to every peak in the Wasatch on this day and they were all going to be signalling with mirrors.  I wasn't sure how well the plan was going to work since there was still snow on most of the peaks, but didn't want to burst their bubble.

Just a word to the wise: if you ran 15 miles the day before, hiking a steep summit trail is pretty rough on the legs.  I wanted to turn back the whole time, and that is very atypical for me, I am usually the one leading the brigade! So I was dead and Erik was dead due to his lack of sleep, so when we hit the saddle between Freedom Peak and Single Mill Peak we opted to just climb one of them.  The knife edge leading up to Freedom looked a little bit terrifying half covered in a snow cornice, so we turned north and chose to summit Shingle Mill. 

 View of the Cascade Saddle behind me.

 View of Shingle Mill (Left) and Freedom (Right) from the Cascade Saddle

We scrambled up to Shingle Mill Peak reached the summit in about 2 hours 45 minutes.  We enjoyed an incredible lunch looking at the peaks around us for any sign of the mirror signalling Boy Scouts, but didn't see any.  Pretty magnificent views of the Wasatch and Utah Lake from up there. We were so glad that we didn't turn around in the beginning when we were both so tired.  This hike was a testament to not giving up, and just putting one foot in front of the other to make it to the top.  So rewarding!

 View from the summit looking South towards Freedom and Provo Peaks

 View from the summit looking west towards Provo, with Y Mountain and Squaw Peak below

View from the summit looking North towards Cascade Peak and Mt. Timpanogos

I have included a link to a hike description and directions to the trail head if anyone is interested in more details on this hike.


Lauren said...

Looks beautiful!

Kat said...

Hey! A 5:30AM start time for you, meant a 4:00AM start time for me!!! (and since friday night is the only time i get to actually spend time with Bobby i wasn't about to go to bed early) Looks awesome! Sad i missed it.

Nicole and Erik said...

Dude, Kat!! Erik couldn't fall asleep till 4am, so we didn't end up going until like 9!! Sorry, but we WILL hike together this summer.