I have no idea what caused this weird pointy-spike in my GPX, yesterday. Nothing like that happens on the trail.
Jeff and I planned to run Squaw peak a couple of days ago, but last night as I pulled into Provo on the Frontrunner train, I noticed that the clouds were hanging super-low. So I knew there was an opportunity to see some amazing things if we got going.
I texted Jeff and arranged to meet at Rock Canyon Trailhead at 5 pm, hurried to get my stuff together (headlamp was already charged!) and hit Arby’s on my way. I quickly ate a Jr Roast Beef Melt (seemed like a bad idea at the time, but seemed to work out on the trail) and drove to our meeting point. Jeff arrived shortly after.
We both admired the clouds that had gathered to cover about 3/5 of Squaw Peak and discussed climbing through the clouds and how great that might be.
The first mile or so wasn’t too bad, but it was a little wet. A few raindrops, plus the ground was soaked from a couple of day’s worth of rain.
Once we turned onto trail 060, things got wetter and muddier. I finally had to stabilize myself with my hands, which was the beginnings of me getting dirty. Jeff worked on a strategy to walk on the sides of the trail (bracing himself between the two sides with his feet), while I committed my shoes to a blanket of mud and just walked straight up the middle.
Soon we were walking through rivers of water that rushed down the trail (which I’d gotten a picture of that) and I mentioned to Jeff we needed to walk carefully and not disturb the trail by slipping and sliding. We did a decent job of this, but there were a couple of points where we both slipped in a spectacular manner. I fell once or twice.
Finally the trail turned to snow and hiking became easier. We talked about earlier trips we’d made to Squaw Peak and how this one was definitely the most difficult. We’d worked hard to follow the trail, but at some point, we lost footprints in the snow and it became necessary to track out our own path.
Jeff and I kept falling through a couple of feet of snow as we’d walk, at which point I told Jeff this was called “postholing”. He tried to remember the word, but kept asking me, “Hey is it called post…what is it, again?”
Postholing, Jeff. Postholing.
Soon Jeff became heavily familiar with postholing and we slowly trudged our way, higher into the clouds.
There came a point where we lost the trail and just sort of tried to gain elevation, knowing that Squaw Peak was only going to be higher up. This worked ok, but was inefficient. Neither Jeff nor I chose a great line, so a lot of work was done. Jeff reached the peak before me and I could hear him cheering ahead.
When I found him, we took in the sight and shot a few (tons) of pictures as keepsakes. The pictures never do justice. We ate some jerky that I’d smoked this week and decided to head back down (I was starting to get cold).
We followed our own footprints back down the mountain, taking care to try to use some of the steps that had already packed the snow down a bit. It didn’t take too long to get through the meadow, then to start down some of the steeper, muddier and rockier sections.
At one point, I lost my footing in a muddy section and fell hard on my back. I actually fell a few times, but on this particular fall, I had to actually take stock my body and gear. Nothing was seriously damaged, but I was now sore and extremely wet and dirty.
We continued down the sections of trail that were rivers. Jeff finally gave in and started to use the middle of the trail, even though his nice-looking shoes were now soiled and losing their luster.
We counted the five bridges backward and finally landed at the bottom of the trail. We headed over to the BYU Creamery, where we bought chocolate milk and I bought some ice cream for Wendy.
The next day, my butt, back, neck are sore. I am beat up. I planned for a long run, tomorrow, but I’m not sure how that’s going to work. We’ll see.