Sunday, June 06, 2010

Y Mountain

Ever since that hike on Angel's Landing in Zion's National Park, I've been really wanting to go hiking. So, I finally went hiking on Y Mountain last Friday. I was planning to do that hike for about a week and kept on looking at it. So, my views changed of the mountain whenever I traveled somewhere in Provo, Orem, and/or American Fork. I planned to hike with Ji Sun, (my new roommate who just moved in on Memorial Day). However, she had to go somewhere at six. My class ended at noon and had to do a few things before I left. I brought lots of food, a gallon of water, my water sandals, a small first aid kit, my headlamp, a hand-held flashlight which I bought for emergency purposes, long pants, and my coat. So, my backpack was pretty full and somewhat heavy. I guessed that I weighed around 10 to 15 pounds. It might have been a little more than that. I left at five. However, had to turn around to get my pants and coat because it looked like it was going to rain from looking at the clouds that were across Utah Lake. It wasn't your dark foreboding clouds. It just looked like that it was raining from a distance.

I started at the Y trail head at 5:18 PM. I knew I had to hurry up the mountain, so I pushed myself up the Y. I got at the top of the Y at 6:14. I was very happy with myself because I climbed 1,000 feet in an hour. I huffed and puffed on that trail. Actually, I don't call that a trail because it's way to wide. It's more of a steep, sandy jeep road. That part was pretty boring. After taking a short break on the Y, I continued up where it cut across the Mountain and went into Slide Canyon. The trail was pretty narrow. I had to watch my footing because there were pretty steep ledges. If I misplaced one of my feet, I would have fallen off the ledge and slide down. I don't how far I would slide because the slope varied from a bare dirt, some grasses, and some bushes. I also had shorts on, so I knew that I had to be careful. I remember my mom telling me one time when she was hiking with my dad, she fell of the trail and broke her bamboo hiking stick in half. So, my dad fixed it where us kids can use for hiking. I was using a sturdy branch that I found on the side of the trail when hiking the Y last year. I'm very happy that I had it with me because it helped me go up the Mountain where I was really tried and down when it became dark.

When looking back when climbing Slide Canyon, one can see a good view of the city and always hear the general hum of traffic. There are some cool rock formations up there. The canyon curved left so I couldn't see the town anymore. I went through lots of trees that didn't have leaves on them yet. The ledge eventually went away and became the other side of a valley. I couldn't see that much because of the trees. Then, I eventually came to a meadow where the grass was all brown. After the meadow, I had to go through a lot more trees. This is where the mosquitoes started following up the trail. They were pretty big too. That set me on edge because I didn't have insect repellent and couldn't stop to take a break. I had to keep moving so they wouldn't bite me. I kept them at bay at best as possible; however, they still bite through my shirt on my shoulders.

So, I kept on moving. At this point, my left thigh was starting to hurt again whenever I hiked uphill. I just ignored the pain. It was starting to get late too. Whenever my family went backpacking, we would have stopped and set camp in the evening. So, the mosquitoes were following me, some big flies were buzzing around me, it was getting dark, and I was alone. That put me on edge. I don't know why there were mosquitoes up there because I couldn't see water at all, let alone standing water. It was more more wet up there though. I was surprised because that was my first time seeing them while in Utah. I walked through another meadow and it comforted me for some reason. Probably, it's because there were less mosquitoes. When climbing through, I saw snow on the mountains above me. I crossed two little snow patches the whole trip. I finally reached the fork in the trail. I thought I was saved and almost done. However, the trail became more steep while the stupid mosquitoes were following me. It ended up that I climbed another 1,000 feet. I kept pushing myself because I saw the horizon getting shorter and shorter through the trees. I finally came to another meadow where the trail went father up and to the left.

The trail became pretty faint while I was climbing to the top. I think I walked pass some cliffs because I saw the town below me. I finally arrived at the top at 9:00 PM. That means I climbed 3,500 feet in three hours and forty minutes. I immediately called Katrina so she would know where I was. I left a message because she didn't answer. So, I called Dad instead. It comforted me that I wasn't cut off from humanity. Dad said that hiking in the dark wasn't so bad. He said that he has hiked by himself a whole bunch of times. He said that I had to be more careful though. He said that he can't remember a time where he hiked by himself in the dark. He said that he's probably have done it though.

After talking with him, I ate while changing into some pants. It sprinkled a few seconds while I was up there and was colder. So, I put on my light ski jacket. Plus, I had to walk pass tons to branches of trees that tended to touch me while I climbed up and down. The view was pretty awesome because all the lights were on in the valley. I saw a few stadiums including BYU's. I saw some lights across Utah Lake and also beyond that little point where the lower valley was separated from Salt Lake Valley. I stayed there for 26 minutes and started climbing down. However, it took some work to make sure I was on the trail because it was pretty faint. That scared me because I didn't want to get lost and get caught on a cliff or spend the night on the mountain. Plus, the park closed at 11. I really wanted to go home.

I was really thankful that I grabbed my flashlight that I bought for my emergency kit. My headlamp wasn't bright enough for most of the whole trip. While it was getting dark, I still used it because I saw the outline of the trail better. So, I used the red light for awhile. While I was hiking down, I was comforted that I was passing landmarks while I passed climbing up. Once I went off the trail on accident. I thought it wasn't right because I couldn't find a path and was making too much noise. So, I took a right and found the trail again. I was really thankful.

I prayed a few times to Heavenly Father that I'd get off the mountain safely. I was a little surprised of how steep the last part of the trail was. No wonder I became really tired at the end. When it was getting darker, I kept on turning my flashlight on and off to see the trail more clearly. When it became dark enough, I used it the rest of the way down until I got to the Y. When I passed through the meadow again, I wished I was in the trees because I didn't want a bear or a mountain lion come racing up behind me. I knew if any of those animals, I wasn't going to try to out run the thing. I knew I couldn't climb any of the trees either. So, I was going to roll up in a the fetal position and put my coat over my head. That's what I learned to do with Grizzlies. However, I just learned with black bears and mountain lions, I need to make myself as big as possible while making a whole bunch of noise. I think it would be pretty hard to not look them in the eyes though. It would be pretty hard to stand my ground if I was charged. I found a pretty funny video on the internet of how to survive a bear attack.

If I had a tent and was able to spend the night on the mountain, I would have done that too. However, I knew that tents don't protect anyone from an animal. It just gives an illusion of safety. After going for a while, I was getting comfortable hiking in the dark. That was my first time seeing a mouse while hiking because they are nocturnal. I saw some spiders too on the trail. I got a really good view of the valley and all the lights on the trail. It thought it was really pretty. When hiking down the mountain, it got lighter of all the lights. I really noticed that it became hotter too. So, I had to take off my jacket. I was getting annoyed with all the switchbacks because I had to keep on switching my hiking stick and my flashlight between both of my hands. I didn't want to drop my flashlight, so I made sure the strap was around my wrist. I wanted to have my walking stick closest to the ledge, so there was less likely of a chance that I'd step off the trail on accident.

I think it took me an hour to an hour and a half to get down to the Y. I heard people way before I saw them. I saw a flash light going down the main trail. I fell a few feet from the main trail that was just above the Y. So, a girl gave me back my walking stick. Then, a guy came up to me if I was with that girl. I said "no". He said he was worried about her because she came by herself. He invited to watch "Rocket Man" with a group. They had a projectors and some speakers set up right above the Y which was on the trail. I watched the rest of "Rocket Man". I knew it was a really stupid movie. Rocket Man acts more like a child than an adult. Some of the acting was really bad too.

After the movie was over, I walked down without the flashlight. I could see fine from the glow of the city. That hurt my feet because of how steep the trail is. So, I got blisters on both of my big toes again. I'm just glad that I didn't get another one on my pinky toe. However, it did become sensitive. At the bottom, I noticed that two policemen were checking out a parked van. A police car was parked right next to me. I had no idea what that was about. I didn't see them bothering anybody else. I saw no one was in the van because the dome lights were on and some of the doors were open. It's parking lights were on too. So, I don't think the park really closes at 11 because it was 12 to 12:20 when I got into by car. There were still quite a few people still on the Y. When going down, I passed a two groups of two people that were hiking up at separate times.

I want to hike Y mountain again because I want to hike to the other peak. I think I did the western peak which is the highest out of the two. Plus, I want to hike to Maple Flats too. Probably, I'm going to take someone with me and leave much earlier next time.

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