Story by

Aubrey Hill

July 18th, 2017

Adventure had been part of both of our lives for as long as we could remember. (I mean we live in one of the most beautiful, outdoor-friendly places around). We have the Wasatch mountains in our front yard, the gorgeous red rock dessert in our back, and so many lakes and reservoirs in our neighboring communities. My husband and I both grew up spending our evenings and weekends rock climbing, and camping, hiking, boating, and loving every minute. This exploration of our surroundings really shaped who we are and taught us so many lessons in problem solving, connectedness, and being present in the moment. These are things we want to pass on to our children.

We reached the trailhead at about 6:30 a.m. and payed our $6 recreation fee. (Because of course my expensive State Parks Pass doesn't cover every recreation area.) We threw the baby in the pack and hit the trail with the intent of summiting. The trail was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! If you haven't been to the area, you really must spend some time exploring the scenery. Before we began the hike, we had heard that there would be quite a bit of snow still on the trail. We had remembered micro-spikes for our boots, so we thought we were set. Staying on the trail proved to be pretty tricky as there were still huge snow fields covering much of it. We found another group of hikers who didn't know where they were going, so we navigated the snow-covered mountain together. It can be so good to meet up with others on the trail, especially on a more strenuous hike like a summit.

After guessing which way to go (and having to backtrack a little), we made it to the lower bowl. From here it was a steep climb up a snowfield to reach our next traverse. We marched up the snow with our micro-spikes in a large zigzag for quite a way (I will NEVER complain about hiking stairs again), before reaching the upper bowl. Despite the fire in our thighs, we were feeling confident and kept drudging along through the snow. Suddenly, both Stephen and I hit the ground and slid for a couple feet. We got back to our feet and took a good look at the trail in front of us. We had gradually come to an area on a fifty-degree slope with snow that was slowly getting thicker and slushier. We stood there for a few moments, partly to catch our breath and partly because we really weren't sure we could continue. We were so determined to reach the summit, but in that moment the confidence was lost. These are the moments when you really have to listen to that little voice cursing at you and telling you to go no further. We listened and began making our way back.

Yes, it would have been cool to say that we summited Timpanogos, but I am equally as proud of us for making a decision that may have saved our lives. I am all for taking risks, but when you have your child on your back, they are counting on you to make the right decisions.

These are all things we want for our children to experience. We hope to help them take advantage of every resource and opportunity they are given. There is an art to seizing the right opportunity when you have a youngling who wants to do his own exploring. We do want to share our experiences raising a family that is dedicated to exploring, adventuring, and playing in our amazing surroundings. We hope that we can help others to realize that it can be so worth it to get the little ones outside to let them explore, and that the adventure lifestyle can be possible with younglings.