Climbing MOUNT NEBO, Payson, Utah
Elevation: 11928'           Elevation Gain: 3400'

Scrolling Photos
July 26, 2015 - After a good night of sleep following my Speedgoat 50K finish I
arose unsure of what to expect from my body.  The race had taken me to task.  My
feet were sore after the event, but hadn't hurt much since getting cleaned up and
changed.  The only problematic issue was my perrenial peroneal tendonitis on
the outside of my right heal.  The tendon was tender when I got out and first
moved around, ie. limped around.  I had planned to do a ten-mile round-trip climb of
3400 feet to the summit of the highest peak in Utah's Wasatch Range, Mount Nebo, 
and I was determined to find a way.

Taking my time getting ready, several people had already headed up the trail when
I locked the car and headed up the trail at 0810.  It would be another perfect, but
warm day, so I was able to start in just a tech shirt, given my late beginning.  My
foot was tender and painful, but the thought of taking a day of recovery just didn't
figure into my thinking.  The trail points up immediatey through pastures of wild
flowers along a barbed wire fence that retricts the movement of range livestock.

The slopes ahead looked steep as I struggled up the early reasonably-sloped path.
I persisted, angling my foot, which I had taped earlier with K-tape, to lessen any
unnecessary pain.  It took most of three miles of the five-mile climb before my
tendon seemed to stretch enough to accommodate the range of motion I needed to
climb.  I wore my mountain climbing boots for extra support and protection from
sharp rocks.  Putting on another pair of running shoes after yesterday was most

The north ridge I would be surmounting came into view soon after I crested the
initial meadow.  The trail meandered through undulating wooded terrain with an
incredible number of blow downs that had not been cleared in a lot of years.  
Weaving in and out and around these I gradually moved up into a large flowery
basin where the trail would go straight up.  While moving through the woods
carefully and quietly I jumped a little bear, perhaps 125 pounds, last year's cub,
a very nice shade of brown for a black bear.  It always pleases me to see a bear.
I also came within a few feet of another ptarmagin, bigger than any fat chicken.
They seem to be everywhere and would make a fine dinner if I wanted to nail one
with a stone.

The climb to the ridge was arduous with a lot of loose scree and thick powdery
dirt with recent dry conditions here.  Once on the ridge the terrain moderated as it
wrapped itself around the west side of a lesser North Peak on the way to a dividing
col between itself and the objective, Mount Nebo.  From the trail you could look
west at the sprawling plain and see I-15 far below with its miniscule traffic moving
back and forth.

From the col, which is called Wolf Pass, the climb is staggeringly steep for a long
ways before it levels a bit with a very sharp rocky ridge that gradually works its
way higher.  Up until this point one could get away without the use of the hands,
but with this Class 3 shift and an increase in exposure more care was necessary
in making progress.  Any slip could result in a laceration or worse that could be
problematic without medical attention.  I moved past another couple and reached
the summit of Mount Nebo in right at three hours, a far quicker time than I had
anticipated with a tired body and a sore heal.  On a good day it would have been
a two-hour climb, but I was more than satisifed with the effort.

The top was alluring and I was not anxious to leave.  With only four of us on top
I lingered for conversation as we each ate a few energy snacks.  After an hour I
figured I had enjoyed the summit enough.  There was not a cloud in the sky and
it did not appear the mountain would ever get crowded on this day.  The other
folks told me it is like this in Utah County on Sundays... everyone is in church!!!
The mountains are my santuary, and just climbing up here was my prayer and

As the day heated up I took my time in descending, skiing the scree as best I could
to avoid falling backwards or losing control and falling forward.  The trail was quite
powdery, adding challenge to the sharp talus and scree.  A number of folks were
climbing upward and were a good break to speak with on my descent.  I reached the
bottom after about two-and-a-half hours, very glad that I persisted in my effort to
ascend this lovely pile of rocks.

I had a most enjoyable day and feel the exertion and movement only served to
help me recover and be prepared for the upcoming challenges, which start tomorrow!