Distance: 14.34 miles RT
Time: 13 hours
Start: Aspen Grove (past Sundance Resort on Alpine Scenic Highway)
Elevation Gain: 5445 ft
On 9/7/13, my son and I decided to hike to Timp Summit to pass off a requirement for his hiking merit badge. We also invited Stan, a co-worker of mine from Manila in the Philippines, in town for a few weeks. Stan is used to 80 degree weather year round, and he was pretty cold when we started our hike at 6 am.
The weather report called for a 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms, so we brought along two jackets, and some emergency gear (emergency blanket & poncho). We made it to the top in decent time and it was still a splendid day.
We ate our lunch and then headed back down. My son even decided to take a swim in Emerald pool’s icy cold water.
When we were about half way down, billowing black clouds started rolling over the mountain. We were all pretty tired, but hoping to get down the mountain in the next 2 hours or so when it started raining. Stan, who isn’t an avid hiker, exclaimed “Can this get any worse?” I said “Why yes, if it started hailing.” On cue, down came the hail, we tried to hide under bushes and near rocks but it was pretty useless. Through the misery of it all, I couldn’t stop laughing thinking how horrible Stan must be and wondering what he would tell his friends and family back home. We started seeing waterfalls erupt from the sheer cliff mountains in nearly every crevice. We came around a corner and found our path completely washed away by a rock-o-slide (as Aaron called it). The rock slide river looked like cement being poured down the mountain except it had huge boulders instead of pea gravel. We couldn’t pass without risking our life, so a group of us hikers waited 20-30 minutes until all the rocks stopped sliding down and it became just a small river. We were all still a little nervous to cross as it could pick up at any time and the banks just didn’t seem very secure. We helped each other until everyone was across safely.
When we finally made it down all soggy, the Aspen Grove parking lot had several search & rescue and other volunteers trying to determine who was still on the mountain. We appreciate good people who helped one other during this trial as well as those that came afterwards to make sure we were all safe. And thanks to a merciful Father who looks after his children.