Payson Junior High School Students Climb to the Summit of Mt. Loafer

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/04/2011 - 07:25

In the early morning hours of September 15, 21 students, two teachers, one administrator, and one alumnus from Payson Junior High departed from the Loafer Mountain trailhead in Payson Canyon with their sights set on the summit of the mountain. Eric Archer (a P.E. Teacher at Payson Junior High) has led a group of students to the top of Loafer Mountain each fall since 2006, and the annual hike has become a highlight to many adventurous students at Payson Junior High School from year to year.

To ensure that the hikers are hearty enough for the challenge, Eric requires all interested students to complete a physical and written safety test to be eligible. They must attend a hike procedure/back-country safety class and pass its corresponding written test prior to making the hike. Students must also pass a physical test that is administered at 5:30 AM, and students are required to go three miles in 39 minutes, or less, and then complete 30 bleachers at the Payson High School Football Field, all with their packs on.

The students made the 12-mile (six miles up and six miles down) hike in seven hours. They placed a Payson Junior High Planner at the top of the mountain for future hikers to sign when they make it to the summit in years to come. Regarding this year’s group of hikers, Eric said, "This was the most energetic group at 5:30 in the morning that I've seen." Eric also pointed out that first-time hikers Megan Hazlet, Tylee Lieter, Heather Skousen, and Ivan Webber all out-hiked their upperclassmen and set a great pace to the summit.

Curtis Burton