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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mounting Mt. Olympus

Above the inversion, view of Lone Peak .25 miles from Mt. Olympus summit

Mt. Olympus is not the tallest mountain peak in Salt Lake City's Rocky Mountain range, but it is one of the most recognizable, and the trail to the southern peak is a favorite among Utah's hiking enthusiasts. My childhood bedroom window looked out on Mt. Olympus, and because of this, part of me has always considered it to be my mountain. For years I have pledged to conquer the mountain, and since I'm facing the prospect of uprooting from Salt Lake next year, I decided there was no better time than the present to make good on that goal.

So my friend Sov and I have spent most of the summer preparing for a hike up the 4 mile-long trail to the southern summit of Mt. Olympus. The majority of my previous hiking experiences have taken place in southern Utah, and so this summer afforded me the opportunity to see some really beautiful northern Utah terrain as we prepared for the big hike. Later on I'll post some photographic highlights from our preparatory hikes, but for now I'm posting some exciting, thrilling, and yes, even titillating video footage of our October 9th hike up Mt. Olympus!

Alright, so the video might not actually be one or more of those adjectives, but if you are interested in seeing what it's like to take a 9 hour hike up and down the side of a 4,000 ft mountain peak, then this video might appeal to you. Thanks to Sov for synthesizing roughly 40 minutes of footage into a 10-minute clip, and for being a committed and supportive hiking buddy, without whom I doubt I could have achieved this feat.

(P.S., Make sure to jump over to SovKnight.com to read Sov's description of the hike, which is much more descriptive than mine. [Hey, I just got back from Berkeley and I'm tired! More on that tomorrow.])



Sra, glad that the Up part is over

Sov, mountaineering and video editing guru

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15 comments:

B.R. said...

Thanks for the footage. Utah's mountains are difficult to describe to those who have not had the experience. I lack the right language and the best I can come with is, 'you need to do it to know what I mean.'
This is the one mountain I have not tried yet, though, so I'll be rectifying this next time I find myself in the state.

sovknight said...

Your title is better than mine. :)

Man, could I look any worse in those pictures? I couldn't tell my face from the craggy peak there for a second. This hike must have aged me ten years. I almost look my age now. :(

On that note: My knees still haven't recovered. I'm starting to get a little concerned...

I was driving in Ft Union yesterday staring up at the mountain. The peak was lost in the clouds, and I had to stop and think to myself, "we were standing up there...above the clouds..." Kinda put a weird perspective on it. Then a plane flew in front of the mountain, below the peaks. That made it seem even weirder. The fact that we actually stood on top of a mountain, above clouds and airplanes, is still awe-inspiring to me, and it's an experience I won't ever forget.

Sra said...

B.R.: So right about Utah's mountains. I always took them for granted because I grew up in Utah, but in 2005 I took a road trip across the country, which included driving through West Virginia, the "Mountain State", and that's when I really realized how special Utah's mountains are. The effect is even different depending on whether you are viewing them up close or from a distance. The mountains are the one thing I'm truly going to miss when I move away. I do recommend trying Olympus when you get a chance.

Sov: I think it's a nice photo of you. You kind of look like you're posing for the little league photo, though. But that makes you look younger, right?

I'm sorry about your knees. Ian said once you blow them out you're going to always have a problem with it. Give yourself another few days and I'm sure you'll recover.

It was an incredibly awe-inspiring hike. I think it's the most spiritual experience I've ever had on a mountain, and I will never forget it either. I don't think it could have gone more perfectly. The mountain belongs to us now; it's part of who we are.

heidikins said...

Good for you!! I can't wait to see more pics!!

xox

Ben Sloan said...

Awesomeness! I am quite jealous. That's definitely going on my list of "Shit to do before I'm dead." If McCain/Palin get elected, I guess I'll have to fly over right away, since I'm not too sure how long we'd survive...

Sov: I thought you looked stoic and grizzled in that picture. Much better than most others I've seen. Why, you can barely tell you're a redhead!

Trovan said...

That first picture in your post id beautiful, until you realize that the fog is really pollution...

Sra said...

Definitely put it on your list, Ben. It's one of the greatest hikes I've ever done.

Trovan: Ha ha, I know! It's weird being above all that nasty air, looking down on it, and thinking that's what we're breathing every day! It's kind of sad, really. But it does diffuse light nicely ;)

Scottrbarnes said...

First time I hiked Olympus I got lost at that saddle/campsite/rest area and it took me about an hour to figure out how to scramble up to the top.

Yes, going down is much harder than going up on the muscles.

And: I left a granola bar in the mailsbox atop the mountain. Did you see it there?

Sovknight said...

I think the mailbox is gone now. I saw it in a video on YouTube, but I didn't see it at the summit. Did you see it Sra?

Sra said...

No mailbox, but we didn't poke around much at the top either, so it might have been there. It is very easy to get lost on the scramble if you don't know the way, because the way isn't very obvious.

tennessee mike said...

That's a great accomplishment, Sra!

tennessee mike said...

That's a great accomplishment, Sra!

Sra said...

No mailbox, but we didn't poke around much at the top either, so it might have been there. It is very easy to get lost on the scramble if you don't know the way, because the way isn't very obvious.

Sra said...

Definitely put it on your list, Ben. It's one of the greatest hikes I've ever done.

Trovan: Ha ha, I know! It's weird being above all that nasty air, looking down on it, and thinking that's what we're breathing every day! It's kind of sad, really. But it does diffuse light nicely ;)

Trovan said...

That first picture in your post id beautiful, until you realize that the fog is really pollution...

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