Saturday, September 13, 2008

Buller Was My Everest !

It's all relative isn't it!

...and yes, there was snow!

We hit the highway at 8:15 knowing another group was doing Buller Pass and hitting the highway at 8:00. There is method to our madness! You see, we prefer others are on the trail before us to clear the way! With a bright clear blue sky, +2 degrees, not even a breeze, R and I reached the trail head shortly after 10:00. I shot this photo just as we are entering the forest.

As Gem Trek promised, the forest was lush, green and thick with a spongy path lined with mushrooms of all kinds. It was a gradual and winding incline as we forged forward. This was easy on the legs and lungs. The snow level was minimal, just enough to create a scene of beauty. The warmth from the sun peeking through was melting the snow on the tree tops spawning a continuous sprinkle of moisture dripping down on us for much of the forested part of the trail. The air was so fresh, so clean, so pure, it felt invigorating and rejuvenating getting rid of that big concrete jungle from all of my senses.

After roughly two hours of gradual incline, it felt cooler, the trees opened up to present an open pass with snow covered mountains on either side of us with our possible destination straight ahead. We found a gigantic rock perfectly placed by an avalanche beside a partly frozen creek. It was time to relax in the sun and dine. We would need energy if we choose to ascend further. This was where I zipped on my pants bottoms. My friend R decided to remain bare legged as many others did who passed by us. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Do we dare? What if? Looking to our left, to what lay ahead, we agreed to at least investigate!

We carried on approaching the base of what looked to be a grueling, strenuous, scary last push. We looked up to see dots, which were those that had gone before us. With one last check-in we agreed YES let’s do it! We had already come so far! It was a slow slog, slippery at times, quite steep, stopping every couple of minutes to catch our breath, to look back, to take photos. About 30 minutes later we reached the summit! What a rush! It was freezing cold and unbelievably windy! It was time for another layer. We could see Ribbon Lake down below on the other side. There were four others who reached the summit around the same time we did. We were all having turns taking photos of each other and devouring what surrounded us. After 10 minutes on the mountain top, we began to deal with the getting back down. Once again, slow going due to the slipperiness and steepness. I did the slow sideways shuffle down. We reached the base and knew the worst was over and we would be fine from here on in. We found a place that was dry and flat facing the sun to enjoy our treats. We shared our oatmeal raisin cranberry cookies and those two bite brownies.


The trek out seemed long. The snow on the path had melted making it muddy at times. It was still pretty though, and the sun was warming up even more. It took another hour and a half to get back to the trail head. We knew we were close when we could hear vehicles and see the tree line open up. What a welcoming sound and sight!

Today confirmed "the greater the risk the greater the reward"! Here’s looking forward to more rewards!

3 comments:

  1. The pictures are so impressive!!! What a great hike!! =) Congrats on making it to the top! You girls rocked it!

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  2. Fantastic photos!

    Looks like you had a great day.

    And that sounds like a cookie recipe worth sharing. ;-)

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