At Leadville this year I paced Mike (check out my Pace Report) for 40 miles but only joined in from Twin Lakes, thereby missing the race’s major ascent of Hope Pass. I made up for that a couple of days later while stopping by Salt Lake City.
Mount Timpanogos is the second-highest mountain in Utah’s Wasatch Range. There are two main trail options to the top, and I chose to start from the Timpooneke Campground trailhead at an elevation of 7,370 ft (2246 m).
I immediately started out by climbing from the trailhead, running most of the lower trail. The lower sections of the trail were well protected by foliage, providing shade but also blocking out views of the surroundings. Once I went above the tree line I had increased views but could also feel the heat of the sun beating down. As I climbed up the mountain I came to the conclusion that the local hikers and trail runners must be a bit lazy, since there were plenty of well-worn trails short-cutting many of the switchbacks.
Having climbed up from the east side of the mountain I took a final look back down the trail I had followed before climbing over the saddle for a view to the west, looking out over Provo, to the south of Salt Lake City. I stopped for some photos, ran along the top of the ridge for a while and then turned around to head back down. The way back was quite obviously shorter in duration than the climb up, and I made good time. I was really starting to feel the heat, so I stopped at each of the creeks that I passed to wet my face and neck. I made it back down to my car and drove back to Salt Lake City.
The total ascent was more than Hope Pass, but the highest point was over 2,500 feet (750 m) lower. Maybe it wasn’t quite equivalent but it was certainly a good training run.