Sunday, September 20, 2009

Top of Utah!

Over the weekend of Sept. 11-13, I went with my dad and my uncle Jade to the Uintas to hike Kings Peak. We took the China Meadows trailhead so we could go past Red Castle, which we had never seen before. We've been on the Henry's Fork trail a few times, so we wanted to see some new territory. This trail was a little bit longer, but it was a gorgeous ride! Here is the Red Castle area:

Red Castle lake.

This is where we camped. It was at 11,000 ft. It got really cold at night, there was even frost in the tent! I stayed pretty warm in my mummy bag with my hot rock from the fire :) Here's our view of King's peak from where we camped.

We brought a lot of those Mountain House freeze dried meals to eat. All you have to do is add boiling water, let them sit for a few minutes, then you have a delicious hot meal. They were pretty darn good! I loved the chicken teriyaki with rice, the lasagna and spaghetti, and the beef stroganoff. The scrambled eggs weren't so good. Blechh.

My uncle Jade and I hit the trail at 6:00am the next morning to hike to the top of Kings Peak, the highest point in Utah! Here's some pics on the way up:

I made it to the top!! Elevation: 13,528 ft.


You can see the trail switchbacks climbing up Anderson Pass, which is at 12,400 ft.

After the hike, coming out we hit this rain/hail/sleet storm going up Smith's Fork Pass (11,400 ft). It was pretty scary. We didn't have any shelter from trees. Just out in the open, vulnerable. I said lots of prayers hoping we'd make it out uninjured and not too frozen and wet.

Overall, we didn't get soaked. Here you can see Rosey's neck. She got wet, but dried quickly. I had a rain poncho. It wasn't too cold unless you stopped moving. The wind was chilly!

That storm doesn't look very inviting. I'm glad we were heading out, not in!

Rosey stopping for a drink.

We saw this guy on the way out, about 5 miles from the trailhead. The moose hunting season had just opened!

The first night, we slept at the trailhead and talked to lots of hunters. That night I got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, and I heard something move right by our tent. It was two moose cows! They had been lying down, and got up when they saw me. It was cool.

On the trip, we also saw a whole herd of elk, and 5 or 6 mountain goats, (no pics of any of those though).

It was about 15 miles in from the trailhead to our camp spot. It took us 8 hours to get there. The hike to Kings took only 2 1/2 hours in (it was about 3 1/2 miles each way), and 1 1/2 hours to get back to camp. Then it took 6 hours to get from camp back to the trailhead. So overall mileage: about 37. It was very tiring, but very fun and memorable!


Frank, Heidi and Family said...

Tia, that sounds incredible. What an experience. I would love to hike Kings Peak someday. That is quite an adventure with all the animals you saw plus the storm. I'm glad you made it out ok.

Melissa said...

Those pictures take my breath away! That is one of the best places on earth. Did you see any black footed ferrets up Anderson's Pass?