Monday, November 10, 2008


the snow level today is predicted to drop to about 7500 feet.
which means rain here in the valley.
but my thoughts drift to the mountain peaks, which are hidden from us, draped in heavy gray-white clouds. to know that it is snowing there and not here makes me feel somewhat "less than." our beautiful mountains are definitely superior to me today, and they grab the snow from low-hanging clouds and cover themselves in that deep, rich blanket of white.

for the past few weeks I've been thinking about peaks and summits. I have reached so many this past summer, and not all of them on my bike. but the ones achieved on my bike thrill me, and thus I am fulfilling my desire to make a list and document for posterity exactly which spots I have climbed to in the past 5 months.

Little Mountain (emigration canyon) 6227'
Big Mountain (east canyon) 7420'
Lamb's Canyon 8200'
Millcreek Canyon 7640'
Big Cottonwood (brighton) 8645'
Guardsman Pass (big cottonwood) 9710'
Little Cottonwood (albion basin) 9500'
City Creek Canyon 6000'
Parley's Summit 7000'
Trapper's Loop 5900'
Alpine Loop summit 8030'
Wolf Creek Pass 9485' (began in kamas, elevation 6300')
Mirror Lake Highway 10759' (began at kimble junction, elevation approx 6200')

all of these except the last two I reached by beginning at my house (elevation 4600') and pedaling away . . . and what makes these climbs even more fun is that you often go up, and then down, and then up, and then down, and up once more before you finally reach the top.
all the more reason to have a little toy on your bike that tells you what your total elevation gain is for a ride. but since I haven't made that purchase a priority in my life, I just hold on to the fact that I know I've climbed a little more than what the straight math tells me.

the rain has tapered now, and I can see the white residue left on the upper planes of the eastern foothills . . . I believe the 7500' snow level has crept down quite a bit lower.
which means that every peak I climbed during these past few months is getting at least a dusting of white this morning, and at most, a heaping pile of solid snow.
which means that my bike and I won't be visiting them again for quite a while. the gates have already closed, or will be closing soon, and before you know it, I will no longer be able to even ride past those "closed for the season" signs I've been looking at this last little while.
little dell will freeze around the edges, and then will start to let the ice creep out toward it's belly, and then the snow will pile upon the frozen water. the reservoir will sleep under its winter blanket, and I will once again rediscover my reserves of patience.

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