May 5 2011

Malans Peak

Located on the east side of Ogden Utah, the summit of Malans Peak offers dramatic views out over the community,  theGreatSalt Lake and the surrounding mountains.  I started at the 29th street trail head parking area; a very nice area for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers alike.  The locals in Ogden certainly have some extremely nice trail options at their use; and special thanks to some private land owners that allow the trails to continue through their land.  At one point on the trail I noticed a sign making us aware of their generosity; otherwise I would have been left taking pictures from well below.  As for the pictures and the video; they are certainly sub par as I only had my phone with me; which made the video very shaky and quality lacking at best – so watch at your own risk.

A video from the trek on Malans Peak

Malans Peak sits at a listed elevation of 6980 feet and boasts a 2140 feet gain over the course of the hike.  Had I been a betting man I would have more than doubled the elevation gain; so I suppose the fact the climb seemed tougher than a normal hike around home would lend to the fact the air is a little thinner.  At least that is the explanation Im sticking with; certainly not leaning toward being out of shape.

The conditions in early May provide the opportunity to to hike in summer like conditions at the trail head and finish in winter like conditions near the peak.  I must admit that I did decide to turn around near the summit; as I estimate it now looking at a map I suspect I may have been less than 300 yards short of the summit bid.  The snow was deeper with every step toward the summit once I got to a certain point and I had only packed in two water bottles, gps, headlamp and my light North Face jacket.  All the while in my running shoes so I was pushing my limits the way it was trekking through the snow on the lower end of the switch backs.  The open face snow falls were in the back of my mind and without some simple light crampons or even a good pair of hiking boots my better judgement won out.  The many books I have read on mountain climbing and the perils of even the all common short hikes were in the back of my mind; so all that weighing on my mind I decided to turn back.  In addition at about the half way point I had passed a fellow hiker on her way down from reaching the peak with simple light crampons in use. “The upper switch backs get a little dicey” she went on to say the snow was deep just before wishing me good luck.  I didn’t say but did think to myself she could wish me all the luck till she could until the cows comes home, but that faction of societal saying would not change one aspect of the outcome of my trek.  I digress. ;-)  

The hike was still an enjoyable and successful hike even though I did not summit.  After all I got to be in God’s great outdoors and thankful to be in the Wasatch mountain range on a beautiful day in early May.