In the days and weeks before hiking Timpanogos this year we talked about our plan, “Everyone stays together. No one races to the top; no one gets left behind.”
We knew the timing would be difficult– the day before Hansie’s farewell, in between wedding events, our house full of visitors, emotions running wild. We also planned on hiking with three girls native to sea level and knew climbing to 11,752 ft. would present a challenge.
For our family the day was sacred: honoring Parker Bradford’s short life, supporting his family and spending 12 hours on the mountain with some of our favorite people on the planet.
What better way to spend one of our last days with Hansie?
A few days before the hike, Moné, our adorable friend from Singapore, texted me saying, “I’m really nervous, I don’t know if I can hike that far.”
Mary texted her back with, “Timpanogos is hard, but you’ll do just fine if you have plenty of water and hike with people who care about you. And we can supply both!”
Poor Erik strained his knee and ended his hike on the injury bench.
But Ben and Sammie made the 17 mile trek look like a Sunday stroll.
Laughter makes you forget your tired legs.
Our ranks spread at times, but mostly, we stayed together. Sure, some of our group could have raced to the top, but the day wasn’t about speed or competition– it was simply about spending time together, doing something really hard and encouraging each other along the way.
At the saddle where the wind blows fiercely and you can survey Utah Valley on one side, Heber Valley on the other.
The last hour to the top can be pretty brutal.
We made it!
And then, the descent…
And the requisite dive into Emerald Lake.
Long golden hours, descending the mountain,
Time well spent.