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…adults only…

May 31, 2010

To celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary, we left the kids at home and went on an adults-only hiking weekend. We left on Friday night and traveled about 400 km to a really small town. We stayed in 2 chalets at a very basic motel (in the Canadian sense of the word – motel). When we arrived the car’s thermometer showed 4 degrees Celsius and that is pretty darn cold for around here. That night it was a little tough to sleep because it was really quite chilly in our chalet. I woke up the next morning not feeling overly rested and more than a little anxious about our impending hike. I was worried all along that I was too fat, too old and too out of shape for the hike. However, I did know that the other woman with us was in the same (or similar) boat. We started out at about 9:00am after we had all signed in with the National Park guards and our group had received an identification number. I actually had done this hike about 10 or 12 years ago, but I was not sure I still had that “hiking memory” in my body. It took us a good forty minutes to reach the first and last bathroom of the day and the start of the trail. (At the time I did not pay much attention to how long it took us to take that first foray into the park.) The start of the trail is pretty – green with rocks sticking up here and there. It is not until you get really close to the mountain, that you realize that the hike is going to be two or three hours of relative flat ground and about five hours of straight up! I started out pretty well and was surprised at how easy I scuttled along the rocks. It took me a while to figure this out, but it became apparent when I became winded less than some of the others in our group. I slowly began to gain more confidence. At one point we were stuck behind another group and the person in front of us was a young woman of about 14. She was crying and carrying on about having to climb up about 10 meters while holding a rope that was tied around her waist. Our group split up and the men decided to take an alternative route to reach the top where the girl was climbing to. As I and the other woman in our group were waiting we decided that since the girl in front of us had a fit, we did not need to! We also decided that when she eventually made it up – we needed to also. At some point one of the men in our group returned since he was not able to pass through the alternative route. That made me a little worried because he was clearly finding it more difficult than we had expected. We made it up the little incline and then we started the very steep climb. The other woman in our group was having a lot of difficulty at this point and was really struggling. At one point we decided that we needed to go on and leave her. We started to carry on without her and I asked her if she wanted me to stay with her. For some reason that made her continue. We passed through a little “cave”, a series of very steep climbs until we finally emerged from under a rock, one step from the top. At this point we put another rope in place then proceeded to climb up the last part. I felt quite uneasy about taking that last step to the top with the rope, but then when I made it to the top I was much happier than I was the last time. I was able to take in the scenery with a 360 degree view and see the cities and towns in the valleys on either side. There were incredible cloud formations above the surrounding mountains and the feeling of accomplishment, made all the suffering to get there seem worthwhile. On the way down I again did not like the first part of the descent. After that I was fine, but I was surprised that it was not SO much easier than I thought it was going to be. Also, we were worried about making it out in the daylight. We made it to the bathroom in the light and the rest of the forty minutes or so were spent walking out to the car by flashlight. We had joked and played around the entire time during the day, but the last forty minutes of the hike seemed like forty days and forty nights.

Thanks to Flickr for these views – clearly the confident woman barely sitting on the rock is NOT moi.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 1:13 pm

    Wow you are my hero!

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