This was our third try to get into Piper Pass!
I am happy to report we finally had a successful mission.
I am even happier to share our day with you.
Sit back, put your feet up and come along!
The first attempt to hike to Piper Pass was aborted due to the area being smothered in thick dense smoke making for unhealthy conditions to be active in. The second attempt was ditched when we opted to go elsewhere for the snow instead of outright rain all day. All week I wished that the lovely forecast would hold true. I hoped that special stone would still be at the summit. I dreamed big, I wouldn't call it a pipe dream because we know how to go after what we want and make something happen that could be unimaginable to some, a reality for us. I accepted today as a gift and was raring to untie the bow, tear off the paper and see what was beyond.
Our very first amazing view was the calm & colorful Elbow Lake.
We gave Elbow Lake the investment it deserved then carried on our way further beyond. We made a collective decision to take the short cut, on the way in, over the rolling hills. What a treat to be afforded a ground cover full of autumn hues. There was minimal cloud coverage but what clouds there were today were photogenic.
after the rolling hills
after the bushwhacking
after the route finding
after the forest
to the wide & wonderful meadow where we could witness our destination
Piper Pass is that dip just to the right of the dark mountain far right.
view while meandering through the meadow
there was much dilly dallying today
middle of the meadow
Our destination is getting closer and you can see the trail which is to the left of that line of snow on the dark mountain in the middle. We stopped for a short period to fill with enough fuel to get us up there. The closer we got, the steeper that trail looked. We attacked the trail with a slow but steady pace and arrived to the summit in just over twenty minutes.
Short Stop and I were the first to arrive at the summit cairn. I said with a big positive hope "I wonder if my stone is still there?" Short Stop knelt down peering in between the summit stones and asked "Is it blue?" I declared "YES"! She pulled it out and asked "Is this it?" I belted out "YES OMG"! I was amazed that it was still there! I placed it there on September 4, 2010. This is it today!
this was it on September 4, 2010
my summit shot holding my stone
feeling "on top of the world"
We were able to find a spot on the summit that sheltered us from the wind. It was a spectacular place to be with an out of this world view. This view looks down the other side of the summit into the Elbow Valley area. Yet again, I enjoyed more photogenic clouds.
We agreed upon incorporating some exploration so after refueling and descending back to the base we next veered towards a grassy looking ridge to our right and scampered up onto it. This ridge granted us a whole different perspective of the Piper Valley below. It was a ridge worthy of much dilly dallying and we did more than our share of exactly that.
a view to the valley below as we descended the steep slope off the ridge
Instead of taking the short cut back, we continued along the main trail. Taking the main trail meant we would have a creek and a river crossing. We came prepared with the proper footwear. While I enjoyed the short cut in where there was no need to change footwear, I did appreciate feeling the cold soothing water on my now tired feet.
on the Big Elbow Trail
looking back at Tombstone Mountain
back at Elbow Lake
My wishes, hopes and dreams all game to fruition today! We did have to pay the piper at times but that's what you have to do if you want to turn your pipe dreams into reality. It was worth it and it was priceless. Third time was a charm and a gift! I like it like that! Thank you for this day!