Saturday, October 22, 2011

I-solated.....

.....and loving it!

There is not a whole lot of information on the world wide web for Isola Peak.  Even the Peak's name does not appear on this BaseCamp Map.  How on earth did someone ever even come across this place?  It's isolated!  It's desolated!  It's unknown!  While all this may sound like negatives and deterrents to some, for us those descriptions are everything we love about adventuring out there and we embrace this and welcome these conditions with open arms!
Yes, we are adventures and explorers and hard core but oh my gosh, we were so thankful and grateful that this bridge was in place right at the trail head and we were spared the dreadful feat of crossing the frigid Livingstone River.
The first five kilometers or so were uneventful, non-picturesque so non-photo worthy.  It was a logging road that afforded us an easy, quick-paced initial ascent.  Then the view opened but the sky didn't!  We had a short time frame to enjoy the view then the snow started!  I was able to get a shot of some great rock colors and formations.
We took a short break on the grassy slope to fuel up and gear up before tackling this rocky section.
Many rocks along the rocky section caught my eye and I was amazed to see these two laying side by side.  There would be no shadow shots today nor reflection photos!  Our route didn't pass by lakes and the sun only shone as our adventure wrapped up but  I found something new to add to the mix, a mirror image!
We made it out into the wide open space!
 The wind howled and the snow blew but that wasn't going to stop us.  
We were so close at this point, I could taste the summit!
It tasted sweet!
We had no view at all at the top, it was a blizzard with white-out conditions.   We spent about twenty minutes here taking fun group photos and then we aimed to where we knew the gentle ridge down on the other side was and we followed it to a spot in the trees with shelter and took our late lunch break.  We did find some unique views on the way down!  This tree for example!  This was the only tree amongst thousands that looked like this.
Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful sight...
...and an even bigger thank you for this view!  This was the best view of the day!  Our hike was ending, the sky turned blue and the sun came out.  It was a  stunning autumn day at the trail's end.  
Our energy is spent and we remain quiet as we head towards the vehicle but I know there are always unspoken words and I let my mind wonder to what you all might be thinking and I once again take the liberty of putting my own words in your mind and mouth!
There was no I-solo today!  Today was all about WE summit Isola together! It didn't matter that we had no views at the summit, or that the first five kilimeters were boring, or that we got caught in a blizzard, any time I am with my friends exploring out there in these isolated places, I feel like I am "on top of the world!"

2 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Isola Paek is a hike I have not heard of previously and I have driven past Chain Lakes many times to hike in the Crowsnest Pass. The Whaleback deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Thanks for sharing. Outstanding photographs.

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