Monday, August 15, 2011

Backpacking Timp

If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a “nightmare” or “a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as “camping.” - Stuff White People Like

Jordan doing a trail mix ad
Our packs were pretty heavy and I am definitely sore today, but I forgot all about my pack when we came to our first snow glacier-- who knew I was going to be so terrified of them? Who knew there was so much snow on Timp in August? Who knew that bringing a hiking pole would have been extremely helpful?

Jordan started walking across the glacier, very carefully, but not too nervously. I couldn’t even put one foot on that slippery, steep mass of white ice. I kept thinking about how steep the slope was and I knew that if I were to slip with my backpack on, I’d slide to the bottom of the mountain. And die. And it would have been so dramatic and sad! Eventually Jordan coerced me into making the first few steps. I was so nervous that it was hard for me to breathe, let alone make strides. Jordan said a joke that made me laugh so hard and calm my nerves a little tiny bit. I finally crossed the first glacier and was really proud of myself, but shaking in my boots. Literally, because I was wearing boots. Then came the next glacier. This one about 3 times longer than the first one. We dug our fingers into the snow and took about 4 inch steps, facing the mountain. It was horrible. Just thinking about it makes my muscles tense. I swear I pulled 6 muscles every time I crossed a glacier. There were 6 glaciers. The last one we crossed was the longest one, at about 40 yards.

I hyperventilated.

Jordan probably thought I was the biggest wimp ever, but he helped me make it across. I was living in constant fear of crossing glaciers until we finally stopped for the night at (frozen) Emerald Lake. We breathed a sigh of relief to be done for the day, but that’s when the real fun started.

We brought a mini-stove/pocket rocket with us to cook some MREs for dinner. When we couldn’t get it to light, we knew something was wrong. When it started getting really windy, we knew something was really wrong. Then the rain came. We hadn’t set up our tent yet. It was very dark. One gust of wind came that almost blew all of our stuff off the mountain and I accidentally screamed. I bet other campers thought I had fallen off the mountain. We scrambled to set up the tent while praying out loud that everything would calm down. Suddenly we had about 15 minutes of great tent-setting-up weather. We finally got into our damp little tent and tried to get our stove lit again. Still nothing. We (Jordan) tried making a fire (possibly against the wilderness rules, but we were desperate for anything warm) and nothing would light because there was no dry wood. Finally, we lit our stove with a match and we got to eat hot dinners at 10380 feet! It was such a comical night and it only got better when Jordan tried to sleep for 6 hours in a woman’s sleeping bag while I was snoozing all night in a huge, luxurious men’s mummy bag. I was seriously swimming in it, and Jordan’s barely covered his belly-button. He didn’t want to wake me up and ask to switch, the sweet guy! At about 6 am he asked me if we could switch and once we did, he was suddenly out like a light. We got these sleeping bags as a wedding gift and had no idea there was a man's bag and a woman's bag. Poor Jordan. Now we know! I think I got about 9 hours of sleep that night and he maybe got 3. The rain didn’t stop until about 9:30 in the morning.
We finally saw what our tent looked like in the morning. no pillows. lots of rocks.
When we both woke up we both agreed that we heard footsteps around our tent all night. We got out of our tent and there was tons of pooh and we looked around and spotted 12 huge mountain goats climbing on the mountainside. We realized that we were sleeping on the goats’ turf! Sorry, goats! Thanks for not goring us in the night!
do you spy 8 goats in this photo?amazed at how cool our campground was
about to start hiking again
The hike back down the mountain went so much faster than coming up. We saw another goat, but this time really up-close. They are huge and really muscular!

our faces...
when we saw...
the big goat!
Having already crossed the glaciers, I wasn’t as nervous coming down. Even though it sounds like a potentially miserable time, we had so much fun and kept a really positive attitude about the silly situations we kept getting into. We certainly had a very memorable time and we look forward to backpacking in St George next weekend!
Hope you kept your feet clean over the weekend!


  1. LOVE IT! We could only find 7 goats. This is an adventure you will remember for a long time. You were really up there. When all else fails, Laura you could get a job with Trip Advisor writing travelogues. Hiking in St George will have a few less obstacles, except maybe for snakes. Keep on having so much fun.

  2. Love the dirty ankles, and the goats. Timp looks very green. Beautiful.

  3. Laura! That's such an amazing accomplishment. Good for you girl! Love the quote at the beginning, ha I feel like it could also fall under "stuff mormon people like."

  4. LAURA! i found you from your comment on rockstar diaries and i'm sooo glad i did! i love your blog already! :)
    this looked like so much fun! you are too cute! :)
    can't wait to keep reading... i'm following:)