‘This past week I had the pleasure of teaching the Intro to Mountaineering for women!
Five ladies gathered at the Yamnuska office eager for coming to the mountains to gain knowledge and travel skills to add to their adventures. We had a father who had previously taken part in our general Intro to Mountaineering course drop off his young daughter. He was so excited for her and maybe a little part him wanted to do it all over again. The group also consisted of two ladies from the USA who realized they had once lived where the other did currently, both with plenty of hiking adventure miles behind them. And finally, we had hiking ‘besties’ from Edmonton, complete with matching hats. They’d already been adventuring in the local area and were ready for the next step.
As we got rolling it was clear the group had lots of experience, energy and continous laughter to start the day.
It was a perfect day to hike into the Bow hut. A steady breeze cooled us and we stopped for a quick foot soak before the final push to the hut. In good time we were all moved in to our home above the trees.
Day 2 was a clear sky morning and we had a leisurely start to our activities by packing and making sure we were wearing the right gear. Although it was a nice day, shorts were not recommended. We made our way on to the glacier, walked up snow on the side and to the top of the Onion. Clouds began building to the west but we still had a view of the surrounding peaks. It was a good thing no one wore shorts because we ended up plodding our way across the glacier in a summer blizzard. Hot drinks and a fire made watching the snow fall outside feel like Christmas in July.
The next morning we packed up and headed to Mt. Thompson to the north en route to Peyto hut. There was a dusting of snow on all the peaks and glacier. Travel was smooth and we cached our hut gear and went light and carefree up the mountain to the very top at 10,300ft. It was a hot day and we made our way to Peyto hut in the softening snow. Everyone was ready to take off packs and move into our new pad, boasting a beautiful view from the front windows to our next objective.
Early the next morning we set out to Mt. Habel. Conditions were firm and fast with a frozen surface from the previous night. We booted across and up towards the peak. To our delight we made it faster than calculated, mostly due to such good travel and a brisk pace. Up the snow slopes to the rock ridge the atmosphere was electric with hoots and calls from the dopamine high we openly shared. It lasted all the way to the summit and back down to the glacier where we topped off the day with rescue practice, followed by a quick nap before dinner.
Time was passing quickly and it was already day 5. With 2 summits under our belts already we spent the next day practicing crevasse rescue and rope ascension. En route back to the hut there was some hard trail breaking in half slushy/half hard snow conditions but our lead persevered through.
In what seemed like 5 very fast days, it was the last morning of the trip. We treated ourselves with a wee sleep in to 630am, a bacon and eggs breaky and maybe an extra cup of coffee. One final time we packed up, cleaned up, one more quick map session with the compass and began our descent back to Bow Lake.
Thank you ladies for the energy, questions and good laughs. Enjoy the summer fun!’
MB Board – Yamnuska Guide
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