Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mount Allan North Approach June 24, 2018


There are many kinds of connections.  There are electrical connections but I'm not into that type of power trip.  There are connections through linkedin but these days I'm letting those go by the way side.  Today the word "connection" is twofold for us.  We are connecting as friends after not sharing playtime in the mountains for almost a year and we are going on a power trip to complete a connection which began in July of last year.  Today the plan in place was to hike up the North Approach to Mount Allan, then at the summit connect with where we reached the summit from the Ribbon Creek Approach on July 27 of last year.  This link makes a connection to my story of that day.  

burst of beauty
We spent quite some time ascending along the trail before it opened up for a presentation.  
Once the show started it captivated me for many, many hours.   
Around every corner, over each hill, down all valleys, there was a view to show appreciation for.
The humidity level was high which ampted up the challenge level.  It was a slow process but it was not a slog.  The conversation was a distraction as of course was the surrounding scenery.  I love ridge walking and this was a long one.  We walked and talked, walked and talked, walked and talked. Up. Up. Up.
entering the north side rock garden
The trail skirted the edge of the rock garden, and in some places the very very very edge.   
This photo captured by my friend, shows that even though I felt mighty being a way up here, this puts into perspective that truly I am so tiny in the grand scheme of things.   Getting to around this point, I was beginning to go down that path of negativity.  I dug a little deep and found within that by gosh I have a new attitude peculating, after being reassured we will make it there.  Yes, we will make it there.  Yes, we will still have a long summit visit.  Yes, we will still stop to take photos. That's the attitude, we can have it all!
a bouquet of rocks
We had just one more last big climb ahead.  
This is where the power trip got us, to the summit of Mount Allan where we completed the connection we started on July 27, 2017.  We shared the summit with a few others, everyone politely taking their turn capturing their proof they stood on top of Mount Allan.
WOW!  I made it!
Just down slope a tad was the perfect place to plant ourselves.  We could see pretty much it all from here.  The breeze was pleasant.  We watched the clouds dance across the sky and show their shadows on the mountains.  
Sometimes when I get high, I get a little dizzy!
It was all down hill from here on in except for the odd little incline here and there.  
The trail followed below the stretch of the rock garden.  
I believe he laid down trying to blend in and thought maybe we would not see him.  Or maybe he laid down to pretend he was dead.  As we passed by he did come down of his rocker and begin to come our way.  That lead me to believe he is probably used to getting food from folks.
dancing clouds
We headed off past the last of the rock garden and then down into the forest.  It was just a matter of getting the job down now.  Once again conversation was a distraction. I took a few last photos while the opportunities were there and then changed my focus in the forest.
We arrived back to the vehicle to find a congratulatory display.  We had a very very strong inkling who the thoughtful person was and shortly after arriving confirmed our inkling was correct.

It felt empowering to have succeeded today.  I found it tough with the heat and humidity and with not having worked up to these kinds of elevation gain numbers.  I believe that new attitude that perculated is here to stay.  That's what it is going to take to carry on having summiting success. 

Thank you for today!

making the connection

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Orphan June 17, 2018

I put the invitation out there for a little bit more than your mild cup of tea.  I quickly received an affirmative RSVP, but it came with a twist.  The twist was would I accept a stronger cup of tea if it was served up and my RSVP to that was a quick affirmative.  I am finding the mild kind is not as flavourful but it's tried & true so when on my own I have no choice. I am ready to taste stronger!  

My strong cup of tea for today is The Orphan and I am not going alone!
Adventure Designer is a pro at adding twists.  I have been twisted by her many times before and they have turned into adventures to remember.  We hit the trail head prepared with all that was needed to find our way;  pictures, track, written description, map.  We endured a few kilometers of uphill creek boulder bashing all the while surrounded by what makes me feel at home; the mountains, the blue sky, and those white fluffy puffy clouds.
Each time we checked to see if we were on track, we were.  
It was up the creek where there was lots of water but we didn't need a paddle.
 There were a few crossings here and there every now and then.  
Then the Spray Lake came into view.
We could see people paddling down there.
We came out of the creek and began to climb the open slope through the meadow to Boulder Pass.
   Yet still, we could not see The Orphan.  
The elusive Orphan!  
The Rimwall was obvious!
We arrived at Boulder Pass and the view left me speechless and somewhat teary eyed.  
We spent a little time here.  It was well worthy of it.  We eyed the Rimwall and all the mountains across the valley and we eyed the valley below.  I liked seeing across to Pigeon Mountain and being able to see where I was there when I hiked the Pigeon Mountain Loop.  It was all right in front of us.
Adventure Designer pointed out the moon!
It was working its way to snuggling up with The Rimwall.
We still had a way to go to reach The Orphan but at least it was no longer elusive.  It does exist and there it is.  We had bits of snow to traverse but that was easily doable.   I just wanted to get up there and see over the other side.
Summit Smile!
It was an incredible feeling to be up here in these conditions and with not another single person.  The only others were over there on top of Middle Sister and in the other direction at The Rimwall summit.  We could see them and eyed them and we wondered were they eyeing us.  Well if they were we did put on a show.

Making Waves & Adventure Designer on the summit of The Orphan
My solo summit shot with Charity the Little Sister beside me.
When I read the description for this scramble, it stated be careful where and when you choose to have pee breaks.  You see, this gully is used by the helicopters going to and from Assiniboine. We also had to be careful when we raised our arms forming a "V" for summit victory.
We settled down to dine and this is our view.  I enjoyed my flavourful penne salad.  This time around I mixed the penne with mango salsa.  Along with that I munched on multigrain chips with salty popcorn.  Desert was apple, honeydew melon and cantaloupe.
I told you earlier we put on a show!
Seventy minutes passed and all our summit business was taken care off.  We packed up and began the descent.  We edged closer to the edge on Boulder Pass. There was so much to see, I am not sure if I saw it all.
We worked our way down staying away from the slabs which now had water running over them.
Before leaving the alpine meadow, I captured one last memory!
The trip down went quite quickly.  It was steep in sections, at times we did short scree runs, then a little route finding, some creek crossings and boulder hopping and maneuvering around them too.  We arrived back down at the car feeling high and happy.  The gully was work but it was so worth it for the bang we got at the top.

So, back to that question, what's your cup of tea?  
We went for a strong cup of tea but we were
that tantalized our taste buds!
No more tea for me please!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

life begins

when windows open
It had been ages since, on my lunch time walk-about, I walked into the local book store.  I entered with no specific intentions in mind other than to pass time being on my feet and in motion.  That motion came to an abrupt stop after I passed through those open book store doors then executed a sharp left.  My sense of sight was permeated with photos and phrases which portrayed a particular poignant picture for this point in my life.  
I thought about this poignant picture I was facing, then my thoughts brought me back to more than a decade ago.  Back then I was enjoying living an adventurous lifestyle, well what adventurous meant to me at that time.  I became quite comfortable with what I was experiencing.  I had confidence I could conquer.  Even though I was enjoying what I was doing, where I was going, what I was seeing, something was missing!  I came to realize comfortable equaled stalemate.  It was like a window closed and I was not moving on.  

I missed trying, learning and growing!  
It was time to move beyond that comfort level!
Windows opened and I pushed boundaries! 
At times I was scared and I was hurt!
I fell down but got back up again!
I call them badges of honour!
Back then surrounded by supportive friends, I began growing again.  I reached new heights both physically and mentally.  I realized I had capacity within to go above and beyond safely with that great support circle.  I learned what true support is, I learned that I do have limits and it is OK to have them.  
Since back then, I pushed more windows wide open.  It seems the more that open, the more there are to yet open.  Never have I been "quite comfortable" again.  I have gone beyond where I ever thought I would go.  I still fall, I still get scared and hurt, I still get back up again!  I have to get back up again to get through those open windows.
Now a new window is on the verge of opening.
In a short period of time it will be fully wide open.
Right now it is open enough I can see a poignant picture on the other side.
It's time to begin charting a new course!