Mount Nebo South Summit
Mount Nebo, located in Utah's Uinta National Forest, is the highest peak in the Wasatch Range and consists of three distinct summits, the highest being the north summit with an elevation of 3636 metres.  In 100 Hikes in Utah by Steve Mann and Rhett Olson, they describe a trail that goes up the southeast ridge (Andrews Ridge) to the marginally lower south summit with a round-trip distance of 14 miles (22.5 kilometres) and a height gain of "3340 feet" (1018 metres).  This sounded like a reasonable day trip for me and my wife, Kelly Wood, and we started hiking up the steep trail at about 8:15 AM on 1 June 2007.  The sun was already quite warm at this time of day, and we were both thankful for the shade provided by the forest.  About three hours into the hike, we were still nowhere near the summit ridge, and I was beginning to have doubts about the height gain given in the guidebook (it is more likely over 5000 feet or 1500 metres).  Unfortunately, I did not have a topographical map or a GPS to verify the figures, but we pressed on anyway since the trail was so easy to follow.  The sun became a factor as we cleared tree line, and although Kelly appeared to be okay, I was beginning to become dehydrated because I was not drinking as much as I should have (water is very scarce on this mountain).  We finally reached the crest of the summit ridge at 1:50 PM, and by this time, I was starting to show symptoms of heat exhaustion--fatigue, headache, and nausea.  I had a hard time keeping up with Kelly who led most of the way up the ridge and eventually reached the south summit a few minutes ahead of me.  After finally stumbling onto the south summit at 3:21 PM, I snapped a few photographs and looked wearily at the slightly higher north summit about two kilometres away--a doable scramble but out of reach for us on this day (there exists a shorter alternate route to the north summit).

On the south summit, Kelly grew concerned when she noticed that I was short of breath.  Indeed, every little thing I did--squatting, standing up, opening my pack, setting up my camera tripod--seemed to take an enormous amount of effort.  The breeze made the south summit quite cool, but I was still feeling the effects of heat exhaustion.  I really needed a long snooze, but given the lateness of the day, I felt some urgency to begin descending.  We both left the south summit at 3:44 PM.  The late afternoon sun was most unbearable, and as we descended off the summit ridge, I struggled to keep my head and neck shaded with my baseball cap (I wished I had a sombrero!).  I felt some measure of relief when we reached a small trailside snowmelt stream that we had come across earlier in the day during our ascent.  The ice-cold water tasted refreshingly good.  The remainder of our descent was easy but unbearably long--countless switchbacks and a seemingly bottomless valley floor.  At least the sun had gone over the ridge and was no longer beating down upon our backs.  We both made it back to our car by 8:15 PM and subsequently had dinner in the nearby town of Nephi before checking in at the Best Western Hotel there.
Doesn't look so bad... This is the south summit of Mount Nebo as seen from the trail head.
The grade is a bit too gentle for my liking.  Lotsa back and forth going up the ridge. Kelly hikes the trail going up Andrews Ridge.
Anyone know what the difference is between aspen and birch trees? These aspen tree trunks break up some of the monotony of the forest.
Maybe I should have stayed in bed today... Sonny starts to feel the heat.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Wood
Already over a thousand switchbacks to get here, and we're not even halfway there! Over three hours into the hike, the summit ridge is still far away.
For switchback lovers! Kelly climbs up more switchbacks.
Finally get to the interesting part, and I'm too exhausted to enjoy it! Kelly finally gains the summit ridge.
We still have a long way to go. The three summits of Mount Nebo are visible in the distance.
If you're awake... The trail to the south summit is easy to follow.
Kinda reminded me of the final slope going up Banded Peak in K-Country.  Just as disheartening too! There is a huge plateau just before the south summit.  The middle and north summits are visible at right.
I was dying on this slope and just could not keep up with my wife! Kelly leads the way.
What a GRUNT! Sonny finally reaches the south summit.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Wood
Looks like a really fun traverse. The north summit looks tantalizing from the south summit.
This is the highest elevation to date that I have ever climbed. Sonny and Kelly stand atop the 3620-metre south summit of Mount Nebo.  Utah Lake is visible in the distance at right.
Ibapah Peak (3688 metres) is also visible at left on the horizon. This is looking west to Mona Reservoir.
My feet hurt, and the trail head is over 4 hours away... Kelly hikes down the summit ridge.
A teasing prelude to our subsequent foray into southern Utah. Across the valley to the east are some interesting red rocks.
I'll be back some day to get the north summit! This is looking up from the town of Nephi at Mount Nebo's south summit (with streaks of snow and barely peaking above the ridge in front).