Completing the Triple

2 min read · tagged wasatch triple, challenge

After getting shut down last weekend by logistics more than physical difficulty, I knew I had to give the Triple another shot. Saturday was out, since I slept from 5pm on Friday and didn't get out of bed until about noon. Stress... But Sunday's conditions looked ideal for a Timpanogos / Lone Peak / Olympus triple-header.


3 Summits
32.2 Miles Round Trip
27,682 ft Up and Down

I could attribute the empty parking lot at Timpooneke trailhead to my arriving half an hour earlier than last week. Or judging by it being only half-full, I could say that Sunday is the day to do things in Happy Valley. In either case, I avoided getting lost and kept my breathing through my nose on my way to summit #1.

Summit #2 started at 10:30am with controlled-effort plodding under the rising heat of the day. I went without music for the first two peaks, which gave the experience a different character than my previous effort - much more meditative and introspective than detached and masochistic. As I sat on the summit, two hikers carefully clambered up the last moves and crawled onto the summit block, apparently a little overwhelmed by the exposure. I couldn't help but chuckle in my head at their repeated expressions of relief at being done, while I thought about Olympus.

Earlier in the day, I started to notice that my stomach didn't feel well. At the base of Timp, I made liberal use of the toilet and made sure to add some toilet paper to my pack. Coming off Lone Peak, I knew I had eaten something wrong, but didn't know what it could be. The only difference in my diet was the six packets of GU I had consumed by then... Ingredients - Gellan Gum, which I swore off after some coconut milk, with it as an additive, turned my ass into a fountain (or a shower, whatever image you like). No more GU for me.

A quick trip to Five Guys for a burger remedied the lack of trail food after my revelation and powered me up Olympus. The sunset on top was a brilliant ending to a trying day, truly one of the harder things I've done. I can't say I enjoyed it or that I'll do it again, but it was worth all 77,624 steps.


Avatar of Sean McLaneSean McLane is an amateur climber and coder based in Salt Lake City.