Saturday, October 23, 2010

Discovering New Mountains and a New Me

It is endless!  I'm talking about the number of mountains we have in the Canadian Rockies that are climbable!  When a friend put the suggestion out there to take on Wind Tower, I jumped at the opportunity.  That was the first I had heard of Wind Tower.  I checked out all my reference guides for that area and the only thing I could find was the trail marked on the Canmore and Kananaskis Village GemTrek Map.   If you check the left side of my blog, I added a new gadget "How To Get On Top Of The World" that lists my current selection of resources for getting me to the top.  

O.K. on with the day!  The trail head is along the Smith Dorrien Highway roughly a kilometer past the sign for the Driftwood Day Use Area if you are coming from Canmore.  The pink star marks our destination for today.   The trail to reach the star is considered a Class 1 scramble, in other words, steep hiking with a few easy scrambling sections.   
Before hitting the trail, I took a quick peek at the Spray Lake from eye level, while waiting for my friends to gear up.  The Lake looked so calm and pretty.  Very soon it will be a sheet of ice and snow with dogs running over it pulling sleds.  
After winding through the trees, we reached Wind Pass where the size of the Spray Lake became obvious.  I was in awe of the scenery, and not paying attention that I should have changed the setting on my camera to cloud to get a better shot.  From here on in, we just had the steep climb with views of forever.  
My thinking was of a place called Wind Tower, I better come prepared with an extra brick in my pack and lots of layers.  For the better part of our time owning the summit, the place didn't live up to its name.  Ever since summiting Ha Ling Peak and peering over its edge, this will be my new safe and within my comfort zone method of seeing what is down below.  I am laying on that pink star you see in the first photo at the top.
It is as straight a down drop as it could possibly be.  I could see Canmore away off in the distance.  
After all the peering down photos, lunch and group photos, I got my summit shot taken at the summit cairn.  From this point on, we made the quickest descent I have ever done.  I kept wondering what was the rush, I wanted to take more photos and enjoy the scenery.  Instead, I was watching my foot and pole placement as we scurried with heals first into the scree then watching my foot and hand placement on the easy scramble down sections.  
More and more lately, I am becoming picky on how I want to spend my play time.  Call me selfish or tell me I think its all about me and at this point in my life, I would probably agree with you.  Maybe this is something that comes with age.  Today it hit me stronger then ever and I realized what is truly important to me when I am playing in my playground.   While I enjoyed today to a certain extent, and was thankful in some ways, I felt disappointed in other ways.  I realize that when I go with others, that I need to be a part of the whole experience and that means giving up some things that are important to me when I play in the mountains.  I know now that I have some work ahead of me, to find a happy medium which I am not sure of what that looks like right now! 

I am always thankful that I have my health and the time and the money to live out my passion!


  1. Quite a place and I think that would be my preferred way of looking over the edge too! Great pics as always!!

  2. Windtower is a dear favorite of mine.
    We have been up with just a few of us and with lots of friends. My days up there on my own have been the most special though. I think it is not in Kain's Scramble book or the others we use because it was one that they wanted to keep to themselves... It sounds like you enjoyed the vista's and views all along the way too.
    I have had the same thoughts about that essential challenging balance between the wonderful connections when going with others, and yet that elusive mystery of time out solo...


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