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Timpanogos, Timp for short, is the most prominent and popular mountain peak in Utah. Even though there are numerous peaks in the Uinta’s that are taller, none of them are as imposing as Timp. It is a must do full day hike. It is easily recognizable and makes an elegant backdrop for the armpit known as Utah county. I have lived in Utah county on and off for 15 years. I have grown up in Utah along the Wasatch Front and within sight of Timp for just over 30 years. However, I have only climbed it twice, many people climb it several times a year. The second time I climbed it was with a bunch…one, girl, my niece Sydney. We started off at 7am with a group of 5; Three nieces, my sister and me. By 7:10 am it was me and my niece Sydney. The trail starts off paved but shortly after turns to a well-trodden path that winds back and forth across the mountain with large switchbacks. Eventually the large switch backs give way to short ones that cross streams and come close to waterfalls. The view back towards the parking lot and Sundance ski resort is pretty spectacular. At the top of all the major switchbacks is Emerald Lake, a pretty green hued glacier fed lake and shed. The Timp glacier extends from a saddle to the south all the way to the south side of the lake. It makes for lots of green lush vegetation and a perfect spot for mountain goats. The first time I was up there we didn’t see any mountain goats. This time there were a hundred goats of all ages and one scared lady. Sydney and I were sitting in the shed eating lunch, when we heard a “thunk” in the back of the rock shed. There was a minor rumble as the impact of something caused a rock on the inside to break loose.  A few seconds later a woman came running by the door. She had a terrified look on her face that could rival the acting in a terrible B grade horror movie, and a big red mark on the left side of her face. Curiously I walked outside half expecting to see Pinhead from Hellraiser, covered in blood with yeti entrails all over. It was about this time when I realized the red mark came from her running into the back of the rock building.  I was very impressed that the woman was still standing.  One time a girlfriend through the phone at me and hit me in the back of the head.  That hurt so bad it almost knocked me out,  how this woman was still standing was beyond me. She said that she was standing by her tent when a bunch of mountain goats walked towards her. In all the time that I have seen mountain goats none of them looked that terrifying, but hey I have seen pictures of Satan where he had a goats head.  Surely this must be the type of goat that she was talking about. Looking in the direction she was pointing I could see a tent about 100 yards away with three goats munching mountain grass twenty feet from the tent. Then something dawned on me.  She had been running away from 3 goats that were over a hundred yards from the rock building.  How could you NOT see the building in that 100 yards unless of course you had your head turned around to not lose site of the satanic grazers. At this point I am wondering what in the hell this person is doing in the wilderness and why she doesn’t have flash cards reminding her to breathe.Then I remembered the three girls we left at the car because they couldn’t make it ½ a mile. I understand that everyone is not outdoor savvy but when I walked within 30 feet of the goats, they walked away.  Just by accident someone who was scared of goats would figure out the goats weren’t a big deal. Once you reach the front of the mountain the whole valley seems to unfold before you. Its a great place to take a rest before the final series of switchbacks that would take you to the top. From the front of the mountain the hiking is straightforward, the switchbacks aren’t too steep and there is only one small section where a little scrambling is required. It doesn’t take long before you are at the top looking down at Emerald Lake and a scared lady with a red mark or out across the valley and into Salt Lake Valley. The metal shack on the top always has a guest book for people to sign. Leave your mark and begin the journey back. You have two options for the return trek. One to backtrack the way you came or continue south to the top of the glacier. At this point in the day I am super lazy and the thought of sliding down the glacier to avoid an extra 30 minutes of hiking really sounds tits. Things to keep in mind when sliding down the glacier. Its steep. You don’t need a sled you can slide in your clothes because this thing called gravity works quite well. The risks you take involve hitting your ass on rocks that are barely covered by snow and ice rash on the parts of your body that will be exposed. Despite a bruised booty that had me nursing a hemorrhoid pillow for a couple days, I am still glad I saved an extra 30 minutes. From the bottom of the glacier it’s a back track the rest of the way. Even though going down is significantly faster and doesn’t tire you much, it is brutal on your knees. I doubt I will do this hike again and if I do, I will invest in some trekking poles.


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