Call it what you will, but that’s what it was…and that’s the view I had while driving home from work yesterday afternoon…. The mass of rock and earth to the left of the cloudburst is Mt Olympus…rising to 9,026 feet in elevation with a prominence of 4,700 ft over the Salt Lake Valley.
We rose early and climbed hard and steadfast in our march to the top of the mountain.
The trail was steep and full of natural perils that sought to sweep us off of our feet and cast us below. But we persisted as we did, and then, and found ourselves at the base of their thrones. We scrambled up and down and up again, but fell short of attaining their glory, not because we lacked heart or because our wits had left us, but because the final rise was treacherous and beyond our mortal grasp…bottom line, essentially, is that there was ice in the hand- and foot-holds, the rocks were slippery as hell, and we didn’t know whether or not we were actually in the right place and were not, collectively, ready to lose our limbs or lives climbing up the hill and finding no thrones.
But it was fun, nonetheless, and taxing, too, and truly beautiful beyond compare, up there, almost at the top of our world…and we climbed Mount Olympus.
It’s been a while since I’ve climbed a mountain…it has literally been half of my lifetime. I’ve climbed among them, through their forests, and along their streams, but not since I was 24 have I actually climbed to the summit of a mountain. When I was of that younger age, a friend and I took our dogs and climbed the north spur of Blodgett Peak just north of Colorado Springs…back in the days before they cleared a trail that led to the summit from the south side. At any rate, yesterday, I followed the trail to the top of Grandeur Peak with numerous other Saturday-morning hikers, single individuals and groups of two and three or more. I started essentially at the Church Fork trailhead, at 5,900 feet, followed the three-mile trail, and made the summit at 8,299 feet approximately two and a half hours later. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Looking to the west through Millcreek Canyon, you can see the Oquirrh Mountains on the far side of the Salt Lake Valley.
Another forest pathway…taking you away….
The higher I climbed, the greater and more spectacular the view….
I came across probably a dozen streams rushing or slowly making their way down the mountainsides.
As the trail climbed across the mountains, there were many switchbacks….
I had never seen Mt. Olympus from the west before, I have always seen it while looking east, so this is essentially the backside of the mountain…the standing plates from the other side….
And this is Grandeur Peak…not much to look at from its backside, really, but it does afford quite a view of the surrounding mountains.
And now those surrounding mountains and valleys…astoundingly beautiful…
A closer look at what is actually the eastern side of Mt. Olympus….
I asked another hiker to take a picture of me on the summit, but this one is more interesting, the National Geodetic Survey marker planted on the mountain-top in 1973.
And finally, near the last quarter of the trip back down the mountain pathway, it was like entering a forest cathedral with the living arches of a beautiful sanctuary….