Saturday, October 16, 2010

Finding Fabulous

Today was no challenge what-so-ever to embrace when you find fabulous very early on along the way as you hike/scramble to the summit of Mt. Saint Piran.  We had everything in our favour:  perfect weather conditions, spirited and enthusiastic friends, the trail almost to ourselves, even better then that,  we owned the summit!
The first portion of the trail was a very familiar route, we followed the Lake Louise shoreline for a short distance then veered off along the trail towards Mirror Lake where we stopped for a few minutes then carried on to the Little Beehive.  From here on in to the summit was new to me.  We followed switchbacks through the trees, then once above the tree line, I found fabulous!  V-Joy reminded us to look back every now and then, and when I did I saw this.  At this point, I am looking back and down to a place I went to a few weeks ago.  If you look closely at the end of the rounded mound at the bottom right, that is the Big Beehive with the gazebo perched on top.  Below it is little Mirror Lake and big Lake Louise.  I thought I was high when I was on the Big Beehive!
The trail above the tree line was narrow and covered in a skiff of snow but was all switchbacks.  As we neared the summit, there were a few spots where I used my hands mainly for support in climbing over slippery large boulders.  After just over 900 meters of elevation and roughly 6.5 kilometers, we reached the summit of Mt. Saint Piran.  After a few woohoos and yahoos, everyone got quiet and went off in different directions for a few minutes.  We had an unbelievable 360 degree view.  Now this was truly finding fabulous!  I could never find the right words to explain how I felt reaching a summit but I think I have now.  They are words expressed by philosopher William James as described by the Copelands in the opinion section of Mt. Saint Piran in their book Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies.

"We ascend thirstily for the ineffable ecstasy that well up within during intimate communion with mountain wilderness." 

I know this was what I was experiencing in my quiet moments off by myself!  I wonder if my friends were too!  Once we all came together again, I got my victory summit shot taken in front of Mt. Niblock.  This was our dining spot, with no wind and mostly sunshine.  We owned it for 45 minutes.  
We had gorgeous views in all directions.  This was my favourite!
Although it is still Autumn, it looks like it is approaching winter.  I zoomed in to get a close up of all these icicles.  The distant mountains have a light covering of brand new snow.  I thoroughly enjoyed admiring this in my quiet time.  The whiskey jacks were plentiful and pestering looking for food to fatten up for the long cold winter.   
As usual, the ascent was quick, which allowed us time to take a detour to Lake Agnes on the way down and spend some time.
I know I will go back to Mt. Saint Piran one day preferably in the summer when there is more time to follow along a saddle and descend another route.  I know now too, this is one I would do annually and even go solo.  Today I got so high, I felt like I was "on top of the world!"


  1. I'm always blown away by your ascends...I feel pulled into your amazing world with those beautiful photos! Thanks :) ...I desperately want to visit that part of my country one day!


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