Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ridge 1 + Ridge 2 =

 =  my friend's favourite quote that she shared with us today!  It goes like this "if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you!" That arithmetic was put to the test and it equalled out correctly.

Come hell or high water, there was no way I was going to let this Saturday just slip on by, considering the fabulous forecast.  I had an idea of where I wanted to go, I put a shout out to friends and low and behold, three jumped right in there.  Between the four of us, we quadordinated (yes, that is a word, we invented it today) a large day and made it happen! 

Mission:  ascend to Highwood Ridge, cruise the Ridge, descend to valley, ascend to Grizzly Ridge, cruise the Ridge, descend to Grizzly Col, descend to Pocaterra Cirque,  return to trail head.

With detailed directions provided by Short Stop, we easily found our way from the Highwood Pass parking lot, to where our first ascent began.  It was a mix of steep sections, rooty in parts, slippery rocks, a little mud at times, and some easy hands on scrambling.  Once we got that out of the way, it was smooth cruising the whole length of the Highwood Ridge.  The views in all directions were awesome!  This is looking down to the highway and behind us is Pocaterra Ridge on the left in this photo.
looking across the highway towards Ptarmigan Cirque, Mount Rae and Mount Arethusa
view to the south
As we cruised the Ridge, we could see the cairn on the high point of the south end and also where we would begin our descent to the valley below on the right.  All the while, we had the highway on our left and Paradise Valley on our right.
We reached the south end only to discover it was marked with an inukshuk instead of a cairn.  This was the choice place for a Highwood Ridge summit shot.  We also took the time here to check out the directions for our descent route.
From left to right:  Elk Range, Grizzly Ridge, Paradise Valley, Highwood Ridge
Now the challenge begins and I have no photos to share of this portion of our day.  Taking pictures was not our priority.  We put our route finding skills to work for the steep descent off the ridge which was over rocks of all sizes, through forest, a little bushwhacking, and at the bottom an easy creek crossing.  We continuously announced our presences and blew the air horn once.  We very, very slowly ascended the very, very steep slope to Grizzly Ridge.  I began to feel that feeling of not feeling well, light headed, slight head ache, upset stomach.  Once at the Ridge, we stopped for a full lunch break and all expressed feeling different levels of being beat.  After all, when you think of it, we began our hike at 2200 meters so we were high already before we even began to get high.

Now, back to taking photos while coasting along Grizzly Ridge.  
view to Paradise Valley below and Highwood Ridge to the right
summit shot at the high point on Grizzly Ridge
We discussed picking up the pace as time was getting on and we wanted to make sure we were down before dusk but these folks did not help with our making quick progress.  They were wonderful entertainment!  (we met up with them later, secured an email address to forward our photos of them to.)  They eventually made it into that window and then scrambled to the top of Mount Tyrwhitt.  
We made our way off Grizzly Ridge, to Grizzly Col then descended to Pocaterra Cirque.  This was the view as we made our descent with the start of Pocaterra Ridge in the center.  The lighting was gorgeous at this time of day and the colors were pretty.  Many of the larch trees still had all their needles while others were totally bare.
Pocaterra Tarn
heading home
I know today has to have changed me in some way, not quite sure exactly, but I know it has to do with depth of determination and of digging deep.  While today was not the longest and steepest hike I have ever done, it does stand out for being one of those days, you know one of those days, how can I say it "just one of those days!" 


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful quote!
    Those ridgelines were all yours, much like the memories now too. Hard to tell how we are changed at times, sometimes those musings and realizations shyly show themselves much later...
    An amazing adventure day Andra!


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