Saturday, August 3, 2019

Mount Allan August 3, 2019

I sketched out a scenario in my mind once my friend suggested hiking to the summit of Mount Allan. How I envisioned what my final sketch would look like, I was then on board real quick to make it a reality.  The wishful scenario was a quiet summit experience where I could be one with the mountain and be able to take many minutes to "remember to breathe"!  What did we get, well grab your morning coffee and breakfast settle in and come along for the journey.
We hit the trail at 7:10am and I was already in a short sleeve shirt.  There was no one around, the trail was winding with blind corners, we let it be known we were in the vicinity.  Whew, we got through that section and then popped out into the open where we would now be for many many hours.  This too is where the wildflower extravaganza began along with the crazy wind.
I now needed a warm long sleeve shirt.  Even though we had steep climbing to accomplish the warm shirt was not too warm. I was also feeling thankful I donned pants instead of shorts.  We were gaining elevation quickly and I was already feeling like I was up there in the clouds.
 our destination came into view
it's the top of the brown mountain on the right
That's Mount Allan!
 We reached the Olympic Summit and made this a stop to rest a bit and devour some fuel.  We still have loads of work to do to reach the top of the brown mountain on the right.  We discussed the crazy wild wind and wondered how that would impact us on the final trail to the summit and being on the summit too.  We had a idea in place on how we may deal with that. 
One of my favourite parts along this route is the rock garden.  The rocks and boulders and pinnacles are quite unique.  Upon reaching this area I now needed to add another layer, this time my light wind resistant jacket and my little $0.99 cent gloves from Safeway that can be found at the end of the yogurt aisle.    
 view between the boulders at the rock garden
 pinnacles at the rock garden
We came out the other end of the rock garden and maneuvered down the awkward rock band to the trail that would lead us to the summit.  That's the prize right there, up on the top of that brown mountain.  The distance to go was short but the elevation gain was still significant.  At times we needed to plant our feet and our poles and brace against the strong wind gusts.
 We made it!
It was a quiet summit experience for us.   We owned it outright for about 30 minutes.  It was windy but not unbearably so.  We realized we were going to be able to enjoy the summit with no concerns of being blown off the side.  I took the time to be one with the mountain and also took many minutes to "remember to breathe".  Our summit experience was exactly what I wished for and what I sketched out in my mind.
After capturing our summit experience, we hiked down slope a short distance to settled into a sheltered spot to dine.  This was our view while we dined.  We had our mats to sit upon and had a rock slab section behind us so we stretched out, laid back and just took it all in, both the views and our food.
 view down to the Jubilee Tarns
After a lengthy lunch break we packed up and headed back on up to the summit.  
I captured this photo before we began the ascent. That's the Bow Valley down below me.
There was a group at the summit who did not know we were down below them.  We found out later from another hiker, that group thought we had hiked up from the Highway 1 side.  My friend is leading the way back through the golden talus ground cover.
 some of the wildflowers along the route
 looking down at the rock garden to where we are now headed
 not being in a rush we took a little time for pinnacle play
We got through the rock garden and now we were back in the open and the wind was still wild but at least it felt much warmer.  It was a slow go as we continuously took time to admire the scenery and the wildflowers but most importantly making sure we had good foot placements on the steep slippery scree stuff.
We took another break before heading back into the forest along the narrow winding trail where there was no one.  The sun was out in full force and shone down on the meadow covered in yellow wildflowers  I was now back down to the short sleeve shirt.  We made our way somewhat speedily to the end just wanting this now to be over with.
We came prepared today for many weather forecasts.  What transpired exceeded our expectations and lots of gear could have been left at home but from experience we went ready for whatever.  This was truly such a fun and wonderful day.  My friend expressed that she was in the moment for every moment of today's journey, well words similar to that but with the same meaning.  I then realized that I was too and the journey was experienced in a whole new light.  

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