I haven’t been able to get into the out of doors since Memorial Day weekend. It has really drug me down to be cooped up inside. Since going back to school, I have been really busy as I crammed a full-time school schedule into 7.5 weeks this summer. It has been a blast to push myself and see what I am capable of. Also, I have learned so much, but this has taken its toll on my ability to get outside. So, since the family is away with the in-laws for the weekend I decided to take full advantage and head out for an adventure.

Getting outside is a great opportunity to better align my thoughts and desires with the God who created me. Everything gets into better perspective when I am outside. This is a blessing to have so many wonderful mountains, trails, and opportunities for adventure so close to home.

After class on Friday, I packed up my gear for an overnight getaway in the mountains behind my home. It is so nice to have gorgeous trails so close to my home. I was packed and in the mountains within 30 minutes.

I headed up towards Lake Hardy from Alpine, starting at the Schoolhouse Springs Trailhead. I followed the road up until the wilderness boundary and then continued on the single track. I soon came to First Hamongog. Don’t know what a Hamongog is? Then read my write up on them here.

This is a Hamongog (First Hamongog)

After hiking for about 3 miles it began to get dark so I found two fantastic trees to hang my hammock with the sound of the river in the background. Here I was able to cozy in for the night. I enjoy getting out and going ultralight and having the gear that lets me do it.

My bed for the night.

This morning I woke up about 5:30 am and broke camp and headed up the trail.

I’ve been working with a local startup on influencer marketing for their new whole food product Get Your Elements. These things are awesome! Freeze dried meals that don’t have fillers and empty carbs. I love them. Here, I put one to the real test by rehydrating it with cool water and no boiling. It worked and was fantastic! Check out their Kickstarter here

As you venture off of the beaten path it is amazing the things that you can see and enjoy. Here, I was able to capture this cool pool on the river because the bridge was out lower down.

Spring is such an excellent time of year to be on the mountain because of all the greenery and gorgeous flowing waterfalls!

On my way up the trail, I passed a group of three that were headed down from the lake, about a mile or so below the lake. We chatted for a minute as I mentioned where I desired to head up to a couple of peaks in the area. They mentioned that two members of their group and continued on up to Bighorn and then over to Lone Peak. That sounded like a fun traverse so I was considering that after hitting South Thunder Mountain.

Lake Hardy still covered with ice and snow at nearly 10,000 feet.

Once I came to the lake I was a bit more worn out than I had thought that I would be. There were also clouds brewing over top of South Thunder. After delineating for several minutes I decided to just head home and get some study and stuff done. about 2 miles below the lake I heard a helicopter overhead. As I looked, I noticed that this helicopter was a life-light chopper and it was hovering around the south side of Bighorn Peak. I got a sick feeling knowing that there were two runners up in that area. I was unsure what had happened, but I was confident that it was associated with them.

After my descent and almost getting back to the car I ran into the same group of three. I later found out that they were all Wasatch Mountain Wranglers. One of the girl’s husband was up there with another runner who had fallen from a cliff. After getting service I posted something on Facebook and shortly received a call from Craig Lloyd. I found out that it was indeed a Wrangler, Zac Zimmerman, that had fallen from a cliff and lost his life today. It was sickening to know that an experienced mountain runner that has run many peaks in the Wasatch died within a mile of me today on the very route that I had considered attempting. He was a father of three beautiful children and from everything I know, a wonderful dad, husband, friend, and son of God. He will sorely be missed.

Here is a look at my gear for my journey. This would be the same setup for a multi-day excursion as well, just add more food.