Phighting the Phobia

I woke up this morning more excited than normal. I was excited because I knew I was going to explore a new trail that I found last week.

The trail is deep into Provo Canyon and leads right through the Timpanogos Wilderness area and skirts between Little Baldy and Big Baldy and Mount Timpanogos. I started the hike at Canyon Glen Park and hiked up the Great Western Trail path to Johnson’s Hole. I think continued East to climb up onto the BST. Once on the BST, I walked a short distance to the east and veered left off the trail on to a new trail/service road.

As I was coming up the trail to get on the BST, I saw this deer walking on the ridge.

The service road went all the way to the right hand side of the “Y” shown in the photo and map below. I followed the road to figure out why it was a service road leading to the jagged cliffs of the mountainside. It turns out, that there is a water pipe coming down from higher up than I went and leading far down the mountainside. I am guessing it spills into the Provo River below.

This is the left turnoff of the BST that leads up to the “Y” shown in the map below. THE BST ends just around that right turn.
Today’s route. Note the “Y” at the top. The left is the trail and the right has the cliffs and water pipe.

I totally surprised myself when I decided to climb up the narrow path, following the pipe. As I was climbing I could hear the sound of the water rushing down from above. Upon touching the pipe, I discovered that it was cold, much like the chilly waters of the Provo River. The pictures and the video below give provide some context.

You can see in the photos above that the pipe goes up a rather steep path. In fact, after going up about 50 feet or so, I came across a knotted rope that someone made to assist getting up the steepest sections. I used the rope to further myself up the steep incline a bit, but then my acrophobia kicked in and I stopped. The video below shows this.

The photo below shows Bridal Veil Falls from area on the pipeline. For those who know the falls, this gives a terrific perspective of how high I was.

Bridal Veil Falls, located on the south side of the canyon looks small from above and far away.

When I was done exploring around the pipeline, I carefully skooched back down the side of the mountain to get back on the trail and explore the other part of the “Y”.

Once I got on the next section of the trail, this was one of my first views

The trail is a climb that doesn’t stop, but fortunately, it is not too steep. I was so happy to be out in the wilderness and was enjoying every bit of it. Two things caught my eye initially, the HUGE boulders along the way and the galls (red ball like things) on the shrub oak leaves.

While this photo doesn’t show it too well, this boulder was the size of a small bus.

I was not able to hike as far as I wanted to this morning. I had to be back for work by 8am. I look forward to coming back and spending an entire morning in the Timpanogos Wilderness.

On the way back down, I made good time and I also saw a few things that I had to capture. I had a unique view of the mouth of the Provo Canyon from this distance and height.

The mouth of Provo Canyon from a distant perspective. You can see the Fiery Cliffs of Noynac Ovorp.

The last two photos show a group of mountainbikers who were doing an early morning ride in the canyon. I caught them swarming into Johnson’s Hole. It was fun to watch. I was wishing I was with them.

I love all the new things that I discover each time I hike. This morning was fantastic as not only did I discover new things, such as the pipeline, the trails, rocks, and a group of mountainbikers, I also challenged and concurred in some ways, my fear of heights.

It was a TERRIFIC way to start the day.

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