Today’s Hike: Training for Dry Mountain

Dry Mountain

It’s been a while since I’ve been walking seriously – life just sort of got in the way – but on June 1 I started getting out in the mornings again and today I thought I’d head back up the hillside. The last time I got up so far was a few years back when I hiked up to Mollie’s Nipple, at 6237 feet; today I found the trail that leads up to the top of the Dry Mountain Ridge.

I made it to 6589 today, which is an improvement over last time – and I’m carrying a significant bit more extra weight than I was then, so I feel good about making it that far. It took me 3:44 to get up and back, for a total of 6 miles, with a 1729′ elevation gain. Suffice it to say I was dog tired when I got back down. I think I’ll wait until I’ve shed another 10 pounds or so before I give it another shot.

As you can see from the Google Earth shot above, I’ve got a long way to go even when I make the ridge; Dry Mountain tops 2.4 miles to the south of the ridge above where I was hiking, at an elevation of 9839 feet, so it’s going to be an all-day affair by the time I get up there and back. I’ll need more than one bottle of water for sure. I should have taken two today.

I would seriously not mind cheating if I could find a different access point from the other side. Time will tell.

Here are some photos I took along the way:

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In the middle of the trail, struggling to survive, life finds a way. (Key for scale). Any 4-wheelers come barreling up the road, I’m afraid this little guy is toast. But so pretty and so fragile.

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A view west over Santaquin, Utah.

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A wildfire burned for two weeks on Dry Mountain in late August 2001. The “Mollie” fire consumed the vegetation on more than 8,000 acres. This is how low the fire came at this point on the mountain.

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Looking up from the point where I ran out of steam. To quote a line from Gattaca, “I didn’t save anything for the way back.” I wish I could have made it to the top of that central ridge, but there was just nothing left.

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A panorama taken from where I stopped.

Pigs

Cleaned up after some inconsiderate pigs on the way down. Pick up your trash, Gatlan. At least I left the mountainside cleaner than I found it. like a good Scout should do. I only ever made it to 2nd Class, but the lessons remain.

All in all, it was a good morning. Still recuperating at 3:42 PM, but feeling a bit more human.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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2 responses to “Today’s Hike: Training for Dry Mountain

  1. If it’s been a while since you’ve been hiking, I think you did pretty good. At that altitude I’d have trouble walking very far on a level path. Amazing the plants that the desert produces. They may be scattered, but thy sure can be beautiful.

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