When Ryan and I were dating back in 2004, we went on a date to the Uintas. I was immediately hooked on these mountains. That summer we thought we should hike Bald Mountain. It was a short hike with grand views. Unfortunately, we never got past ¼ mile, because snow on the trail made it too precarious for us. We weren’t very strong hikers and our good senses told us it was best to turn around. Since 2004, we never attempted the hike again. Mostly because a 2.6 round trip hike never seemed like it was worth it. In my trying to be a tough hiker, I thought anything less than 4 miles wasn’t worth my time. This summer we have been making attempts to break some of those prejudices and barriers we have against trails and today’s hike was a great payoff.
Over the past few years, we’ve developed a bit of a mental block against being able to enjoy hiking above 11,000 feet and near steep rock ledges. Let’s just say we’ve had some less than enjoyable experiences and they’ve sort of stuck with us. This was an absolutely perfect hike to reset our memories. The trailhead started at 10,764 feet and over the course of 1.3 miles, we climbed 1,200 feet (that’s 900 feet per mile!). The top of Bald Mountain is near 11,900 feet. For those of you keeping track, Mt. Timpanogos is at a mere 11,752 feet.
The trail was very well marked and clear. Nothing worse than having to scramble on unknown, dangerous terrain with absolutely no trail. The trail, although a climb, never really felt impossible. It was steady and easy as easy a trail can be at this elevation. My fear of heights never got out of control as there were only a few places right on the edge, but nothing ridiculously dangerous. We definitely achieved optimal flow (i.e., Csíkszentmihályi).