I can't help but have expectations for any "Out & About" plan. Today, a few expectations were exceeded, yet some were not met. I googled to find out how to express the opposite of exceed but there is no official word to describe it and I LIKE THAT! It just reminds me that any day out there playing is nothing but meeting or exceeding expectations! I have been to the Grass Pass / Bull Creek Hills area numerous times so today I hoped to broaden my awareness of the surroundings and check out a whole new section. In fact, as it turned out, I got to explore two brand new areas.
We made our way up Pack Trail Coulee and at this point, where it opens up, I was happy to see the lack of snow. My hopes reached high. I already knew we would be able to hang a left from the Pass and aim towards the summit of that West Ridge that has no name that I know of.
As we ascended the slope, the snow was not worth mentioning but the higher we went, the deeper it got. At times we sunk to our thighs. We persevered on to where we had the open views down to Grass Pass and over to Bull Creek Hills. I was happy to be at least here....
...then really happy when we did reach the summit cairn of that West Ridge.
It was cold and windy.
Our visit was short and sweet!
After all summit shots were secured, we followed our trail back to Grass Pass to seek shelter for a short lunch break. Dark clouds, flurries plus wind came & went, came & went then came & went again. It was not what was in the forecast but hey, you deal with it. Weather conditions did perk up immensely as the day went on.
As we headed up towards the Bull Creek Hills,
they headed down towards Wileman Creek.
We acknowledged each other with a gentle wave.
Today's objective was to first make it to Grass Pass then go for either that no-name West Ridge OR hike the Lower Bull Creek Hills before hitting the Boundary Pine Peninsula. With that no-name West Ridge now added to our hit list, and doing O.K. with time, instead of just going for an OR we went for a BOTH. We by-passed the trail to the Peninsula and headed for the Hills.
scene along the way
cornice to stay away from
view from Bull Creek Hills
There were spots with deep snow pockets but most of the area we covered was very doable. After our visit to the Bull Creek Hills area, we followed our trail back then made our way along the Boundary Pine Peninsula. This is my favourite section where you find the famous Boundary Pine Tree which is on the cover of the book called The Buffalo Head written by Raymond Murray Patterson with Holy Cross Mountain & Mount Head as the backdrop.
Not only did we hit BOTH options instead of an EITHER/OR, we were now leaving the Peninsula in a brand new direction for me (thank you to my friend's knowledge of this route) instead of an out and back. We found a very defined trail off the east slope of the Boundary Pine Peninsula. It was gentle in parts, steeper in sections, no snow to contend with and.....
....a wonderful gnarly treed area to hang out at...
After reviewing all of today's photos, I now realize how big a part ugly, odd, beautiful old trees add to this areas splendor. Descending this new slope was an eye opener. You can tell which direction the wind constantly belts here. Although this tree is hunched over, it is a healthy vibrant tree.
After sorting through all my shots and documenting this hike, those expectations that were not met are no longer even in the remotest of my thoughts. Now I understand why there is no word in the dictionary to describe this scenario. I was "out & about", I discovered two new areas, I reached a summit and touched a cairn, I shared the day with fun friends, and I did "remember to breathe"! Were expectations met? No! Expectations were exceeded! I LIKE THAT!