Last week 10 participants joined Cory Boschman and MB Board to enter the world of mountain skills.
It was a good start in Canmore with everyone trickling in one by one and casually introducing themselves. Right from the get go the group had some good laughs and it was obvious they would likely all become friends.
Spirits were high as we drove west to the trailhead at Bow lake. Shouldering our packs we headed along the shores of bow lake, exchanging “Happy Canada” greetings with other hikers.
The patriotic approach ended at the hut in record time. That evening we settled in for a yummy dinner and took time to relax in our new home for the week.
The next morning was perfect and we had a leisurely start. This day was to get used to living above the trees, walking on the glacier and to the top of the Onion. Spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and no wind made for an opportunity to take out the map and learn the names. By the end of the day we put on the ropes and finally walked in unison onto the glacier.
With the forecast for continued high temperatures we bumped up the start time by one hour and departed the hut by 7am. Using crampons for the first time they made travel easy all the way to the top of 11,300ft Mt. Gordon or was it Mt. Grover?!? It was mountains as far as the eye could see. To limit exposure time in the beating summer sun, we returned early afternoon to relax and work on a route plan for the next day.
Bumping up our start time by one more hour we left at 6am and had a perfect morning to ascend up to Mt. Olive also just over 10,000ft. We celebrated July 4th with those from the USA, agreeing that the mountains are where we are just humans.. no labels attached. It was another excellent day of team building and we added more rescue skills to the mix to fill it to the top.
The next day we once again had a cool morning and perfect travel. A brisk wind swept across the Icefields preventing us from getting over heated while linking together crevasse rescue, precision map skills, some very impressive rope ascending and getting to check out the bare glacier. This day had no shortage of laughter as some people had talent from rope ballet to walking sticks in lakes and who could forget the strongest ice anchor ever built 🙂 Maybe you had to be there.
It had already been 5 days together and the next was time to leave. The team agreed earlier the better to beat the heat. So by 8am we once again shouldered our packs and headed down.
Thank you so much to everyone for a super week, the belly laughs we all need to survive, and the new friends and skills to take you new places.
Yamnuska Mountain Guide
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