Provo business expands 'Timp Badge' tradition with challenge for 10 Utah peaks

A woman holds a 2023 Timp Badge in front of Provo's Mount Timpanogos. Timpanogos Hiking Co. revived an old tradition of handing out badges to anyone who summits the mountain.

A woman holds a 2023 Timp Badge in front of Provo's Mount Timpanogos. Timpanogos Hiking Co. revived an old tradition of handing out badges to anyone who summits the mountain. (Timpanogos Hiking Co.)


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PROVO — An outdoors business recently revived a beloved "Timp Badge" tradition for hiking Mount Timpanogos and is now expanding a challenge to summit 10 peaks in Utah.

Timpanogos Hiking Co. gave badges to anyone who summited Mount Timpanogos, in honor of a tradition that stemmed from an annual Mount "Timp" hike started by Brigham Young University professor Eugene "Timp" Roberts in 1912.

The event grew larger every year and, starting in 1930, Timp Badges were handed out to anyone who summited the mountain — which, at the time, was a three-day ordeal instead of the daylong 14-mile trail available today. The annual hike and badge tradition ended in 1971 because the number of hikers grew too large, with thousands of people hiking the mountain at once.

Provo-based Timpanogos Hiking Co. founder Joe Vogel loved learning about the history of the Timp Badges and resurrected them last year.

"I thought it was admirable they ended the annual hike because it preserved the mountain, but I didn't see any reason why not to just still give people badges for that challenging, meaningful experience," Vogel said last year.

He said the response to the badge revival was amazing, and he thought it was cool seeing people's excitement.

"It got to the point in late summer where people were literally just coming straight down from the mountain to the store. They're basically like dead, ya know, sweating and exhausted, but they came down," he said. He loved connecting with people who hiked the mountain, hearing their stories and learning about what they went through and what it meant to them.

"When you're hiking the mountain, it's like 10 hours or so — that's a really meaningful experience to be out there and doing something that's really challenging and hard," he said.

The store ran out of its initial 300 badges available in 2023, then ran out a second time after ordering more. This year, the store will have 1,000 Timp Badges.

"As much as we love Mount Timpanogos, we wanted to spread the love," Vogel said.

He wants to make the badges accessible from Ogden to Nephi by creating the 10 Peak Challenge that includes prominent peaks from Weber, Salt Lake, Utah, Juab and Duchesne counties.

Timpanogos Hiking Co. expanded its Timp Badges this year to a Ten Peak Challenge, with unique badges for people who summit any of the 10 Utah peaks.
Timpanogos Hiking Co. expanded its Timp Badges this year to a Ten Peak Challenge, with unique badges for people who summit any of the 10 Utah peaks. (Photo: Timpanogos Hiking Co.)

"I just tried to find challenging peaks but different types of peaks and experiences and just spread it all along the Wasatch Front. And we will see how it goes," he said.

The 10 peaks in the challenge are Mount Timpanogos, Mount Nebo, Mount Olympus, the Pfeifferhorn, Mount Superior, Ben Lomond, Lone Peak, Provo Peak, Spanish Fork Peak and King's Peak. King's Peak is the tallest peak in Utah, at 13,528 feet, and Mount Nebo is the tallest peak in Utah's Wasatch Range, reaching 11,933 feet above sea level.

Timpanogos Hiking Co. will have 500 badges portraying the nine new peaks, plus 1,000 "bonus" badges for the Y hike in Provo. Individuals just need to take a picture of them at the summit of each mountain, post it on social media and tag the company, then head to the Provo storefront to pick up a free badge.

"We want these badges to become a community tradition like they used to be," Vogel said.

He said lots of people last year brought their collections of the Timp Badges to the store and he thought it was so cool to see the impact "these incredible mountains" have had on so many people.

"It's nice to connect generations of people, where they say 'Here's our badges and now our kids and grandkids can do the same thing,'" he said.

Vogel said the badges are also a way to promote mental wellness. He hopes to encourage people to get outdoors, away from screens and the stresses of the world to just "do something physical and hard and challenging and fun."

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Cassidy Wixom covers Utah County communities and is the evening breaking news reporter for KSL.com.

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