The challenge and awe of Mt. Cline.
On June 24-26, three participants joined me for the adventure and challenge of climbing the 11,025 ft Mt. Cline.
It was all looking very promising with a 3- day weather window that spanned the exact duration of our trip. Spirits where high as everyone laid out their equipment on the floor of the Yamnuska guides lounge and I picked away unnecessary pieces and packed only the essentials. Ahead of us we had a 6 km distance and 1000m elevation gain to make and every extra gram would count.
Soon we headed to the Dave Thompson highway and after a minor detour of trying to find a short cut (my bad) headed up the Thompson creek trail and toward the drainage that would lead to one of the Rockies gems. With some sweat, maybe a few tears and hard earn elevation gain we crested to tree line to find a pristine alpine meadow with grassy mounds and perfect flat spots to call home for 2 nights.
Carrying overnight packs is hard work and can be very slow. Considering a few people hadn’t Mountaineered before we made good time getting to the 2350m meadow camp.
The rest of the night was spent setting up camp, re-hydrating with fresh water and eating, lots of eating.
The next day was planned to be a long day with another 1000m elevation gain and about 5 km distance. Not shouldering the heavy loads of the previous day certainly made everyone feel lite as butterflies. That effect usually wears off fairly quickly but we did find out rhythm and before we knew it we had gained the high saddle and had a great view of Mt. Cline. An impressive mountain that rises proud above the neighbouring peaks. Just as the forecast had said it was one of those mountain days you take advantage of and go for it. We moved smoothly until gaining the high ridge at 2900m. Our team was excited for the upcoming ridge and the famous notches that break it’s otherwise easy scrambling. The notches came quickly and with some rope tricks and climbing moves we’d overcome the first one. Within meters came the next, a little steeper this time and some airy moves across a gap. It was an amazing place and quite something to imagine how it felt in 1927 when these impressive cracks on this outstanding peak had first been bridged by human legs. The group moved through them bravely and efficiently.
Next was a one step at a time push up, up, up to over 11,000ft.
And for some the first mountain they had ever climbed. It was a happy moment. Every hard earned step, every breath, every swear and every bead of sweat washed away as the view swept each of us away in awe. There was no more mountain to climb just looking out at the ocean of glaciers and peaks. Each one unique, each one a possibility.
Of course we only stayed a short visit to snap a few pics and send a few messages ( so bad to check your phone but the world we exist in) then it was time to go down, down and still going down. And finally we made the final steps to camp, food and….a very windy night in the mountains. Although we all desperate needed the rest. The mountain gales had their own plans for us. Regardless the next day we once again shouldered overnight bags and hiked back down the mountain side along Thompson creek and out to the road. Another celebration of our accomplishments, challenges and comradery in the hills. Sometimes the mountains leave one hungry for more, Mt. Cline filled us all up nicely.
Thanks to Craig, Warren and Patrick for a great trip!
Yam Guide MB Board