Mount Nebo

I was invited by my ol' pal Bronc Walker to join in an over-nighter to the top of Mount Nebo. Mount Nebo is the highest peak in Utah County, and for some reason was not on my "To Do" list, so passing up the chance was not an option.

Bronc, his son Caleb, and I left late on Friday night, hiked in the dark and made camp a little under 2 miles from the trailhead. The woods, just below the timberline, were perfectly quiet; and the stars were in their shiniest array. We were shortly joined by Bronc's brother Spencer, their sister Amy, and Clyve and Paul - some friends of Spencer's who have recently moved from England. We kept eachother entertained with everything from hospital horror stories, to companaring slang terms in the English and American languages.

That night's camp was of perfect wilderness comfort, and as a red sun rose through the trees, we made for the summit.

Other peaks rise from the trail, and to the north the populated valley, though gorgeous, reminds one of why we need these wilderness areas.

To the south-east several valleys and mountains take turns claiming their place on earth.

But that view also revealed an incoming storm.

The summit still looked promising........

....then the weather changed.

We continued climbing along one of the best, most stunning trails I have ever been on. Every turn and ridge brought more glorious views then the last.

We waited out the first bit of rain and hail in a stand of trees. And then continued up the towards the summit. With only 200 vertical feet to the summit of the north-minor peak, and 1,000 vertical feet to the main summit, the weather suddenly changed.

While the group debated about weather to continue or not, a cloud rolled in from the east at an astonishing pace.

This cloud moving in, the consistent stream of day-tippers coming off the peak at a scurrying pace, and the words of one of them upon hearing our debate - "The summit will always be around, you may not be" - was enough to convince me to take the safer road, and save the summit for another day.

Bronc, Caleb, and I enjoyed a nice descent back to camp and on to the trail head. Spencer, Clyve, and Paul pushed for the summit. Clyve had a different theory - "I am 48 years old, I may not be around either way" - and they were willing to risk the weather.

In the end everything turned out terrific. We all enjoyed an uplifting trip, half of the group made it to the north summit, and I am left with an exciting addition to my "To Do" list - Finish off Nebo.

See more pictures and an altitude chart here