Eight motivated ladies joined Sharon Wood and I for the annual Women’s Introduction to Mountaineering. The forecast was looking good and very hot so it was a perfect week to spend in the high mountains learning the ropes.
We wasted little time getting to the hut with a better than average group time of 4.5hrs, off to a great start! Thanks to our porters, we had light loads and all our food awaited us…yum!
The next few days went by in a blurr with gorgeous sunrise skies and good travel on still mostly snow covered glaciers. Everyone worked hard to build their skills, from the basics of secure footing to what to do with an ice axe in case of a slip. We covered Snow anchors and walking together roped up.
With that, we traveled to Mt. Gordon on July 15th with the ladies leading the way through a variety of mountain landscapes. It was so calm on the summit (3140m) conditions for a map session were perfect. It was a big day out but everyone beamed with excitement after what was for some a first summit.
We continued with pre dawn wake ups the next day and headed up toward Mt. Olive (3180m); a step up in challenge. Everyone rose to the occasion and maybe surprised themselves a little. It was a fine moment on top, hugs, high fives and even a few tears of joy as once again we took in the mountain views before reversing our tracks off the peak.
Time was flying by and before we knew it it was already day 5 of the course. With a less desirable forecast for an afternoon thunderstorm we opted to practice rescue skills. Our classroom for the day was at the toe of Mt. Thompson where a steep ice wall moat worked well to simulate a real crevasse. Everyone worked hard to practice new skills, again and again.
Clouds advanced and grumbled while we made a dash back to the hut arriving 15 minutes before it rained, and rained hard. We relaxed while eating popcorn (made with butter minus the milk solids)..to top if off a rainbow glowed in the setting sun just outside the hut.
Thank you everyone. It was wonderful to get to know you all and what a great week of learning, challenge and strong team spirit!
Merrie-Beth Board Yamnuska Instructor and Girl Guide.