Ring: CRAMTONS, TAMPONS and STRAPONS

NSH Forums Trip Reports Ring: CRAMTONS, TAMPONS and STRAPONS

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    CRAMPTONS, TAMPONS and STRAPONS.

    They say most of the victims from shark attacks on the Hawaiian beaches are with human females during ‘that’ time of the month….I wonder if bears have the same sent capabilities as a shark? Just throwing that out there for thought.

    The day started by driving across the Lions Gate Bridge with a wonderful spring sun rise and two cruise ships sailing into port. I could see the clear skies and local mountains while blasting K.D. Lang version of Hallelujah across my speakers. I knew it was going to be a great day at that moment and it would just get better.

    12 hikers met at 7 am St David’s Church to split up into three trucks to be shuttled along the Sea to Sky Highway and up along the Squamish River to hike and climb Ring Mountain. Some three hours later we finally hit too much snow to continue our drive. Our drivers had already crossed two Creek’s and over too many to count bushes which made it for a much easier start at around 775 metres….only 1417 to go!

    Everyone seemed in good spirits. How could you not be? Every turn along the snow covered logging road turned into another Kodak moment. Mountains, glaciers, ice fields and steep valley’s everywhere. The mountain God’s were even providing mild temperatures for those that wanted to wear shorts and a few did.

    After an hour of easy snow shoeing along the logging road we took our first break which by now was just after 11 am. These ‘D Hikers” are actually much easier to hang onto their pace than many ‘C’ hikes I was on last spring. Things were moving along very comfortable and easy going. Lots of chatter about nothing between members. Typical chatter about religion, politics and sex…..not that I was participating or anything. Our well tested CD seemed content to mingle (yea, I know, very strange behaviour from him) in the middle of the pack and flirt with the female participants. Even Big Bird Alastair seemed relaxed to take in the wonderful sights and kick back. This warm fuzzy feeling pace was fine with me because I figured sooner than later some serious elevation gain was going to jump out and put the big hurt on all of us, or at least me.

    Between Ryan’s GPS wave points taken off of Sabine’s recent trip and Mark and Big Bird’s maps progress was going seamless. Looking North and viewing the rock summit of Ring and off in the distance Little Ring was magnificent. I kept my eye on the slope all around the summit area trying to second guess the best way to move up with as little as risk possible. Once we started moving into the trees the ‘Ring’ continued to follow us keeping her eye on our progress to see if we were going to be privileged to grace her top. I never had any doubt. It was just going to be one of those day’s when all goes right, and it would.

    After a short snack break we thought we had lost one member. It was odd because we could all remember him with us less than 30 or 40 minutes earlier. Big Bird decided to go back and see what might have happened. Michele stepped in to join him. Our CD waited until our missing member came into sight then said since this was his hike he felt responsible to go back……yea, nice timing MT!

    Back to Ring. We were guided by Big Bird through the alpine trees which were still surrounded in a good 3 or 4 metres of snow. This made easy ascent yet the my perspiration was dripping buckets. I wonder if I was the only one? Because of this I was in no hurry to stop for anymore breaks until we reached the summit so I could change into some dry cloths.

    At about 1575 metres it became obvious to me what was the rout to our destination. As the Boy’s checked their GPS and maps I decided to just slowly keep moving straight up the 30 degree slope on a spot I thought was the safest from avalanche. The snow was soft for the first one or two inches and then solid underneath. I had to fairly aggressively dig my snow shoe into the slope while moving very comfortably straight up hill. Wonder bar, everything was clicking. The lungs were working, the legs felt strong and the first phase to summit was slowly slipping behind me. The first stretch was about 300 metres of sweat soaked excitement. Frank came along to join me so I knew our CD was right behind which meant everyone else was also hopefully having as much fun as I was. As I approached what I thought was going to be a level spot it became obvious it was not to be. 300 metres became 400 then 500 until I finally stopped. Big Bird was yelling pointing out a mountain goat running along the summit ridge. First one I have seen. Very cool.

    As I looked around I realised everyone else must have stopped to take pictures and enjoy the magnificent views while I was in my little zone of bliss. Since this was not my lead I thought about waiting for our CD to catch up to take the last summit push. I spent about one second deliberating this issue before moving on. Sorry MT. I was just having too much fun kicking my butt. Talking about butt’s, coming down is going to be one long rush as we butt slide to mountain heaven.

    The summit was a horse shoe shaped creator covered in deep snow. Might be a nice lake up here in the summer. Just so nobody says I do not provide enough detail we were at 2,192 metres (7,192 ft) a 50 degrees north by 123 west and first ascent in 1968 by our buddy John Clarke. The last push was none stop for over 600 metres. Good to know the mojoe is still functioning.

    This was perhaps the best, or at least one of the best views I have seen since joining the NSH. We were surrounded with a sea of mountains. What was really cool was Whistler some 28 km away brought back amazing memories. I clearly recall some 20 years earlier during my downhill skiing days standing on top of Whistler in what was then the back country on a clear afternoon staring at all the mountains. It seemed they went for ever. At that moment I knew some day I would climb them all, I just did not know that it would take 20 years before I would start to full fill that dream. I have to thank everyone associated with the NSH and few other that have help assist me towards what use to be just wishful dreaming.

    To mention a few mountains we could see Sisqa, Seman, Exodus, Longspa, Cypress, Iccap, Tricouni, Pykett, Little Ring and both Pemberton and Appa Glacier. Living the dream!

    To say the least I was pumped, then when am I not while lunching on any summit? Everyone made the top except one who was just content to enjoy the view from the bottom. I am sure I was not alone while marvelling at the views. Off in the distance we could watch snow mobiles high marking right underneath cornices. Tough to feel too sorry for someone if Mother nature decided enough of this noisy invasion and let loose some destruction. It just seemed to me they were too close to tempting fate.

    Now the games were to begin. The group split into two groups. Big Bird lead several members to the other side off the horseshoe summit to bum slide down some virgin snow. The rest of us stuck to our ascent rout and went back to do 600 metres of bum sliding. Man, I hope I never grow up because this was just too much fun. We all just strapped on our gear, ran, jumped and let it rip. By far the longest bum slide I have ever done. Conservative Ryan measured himself sliding 16 km an hour while dragging his axe. I can only think those that followed my tracks were going much faster. Colette had heat vapour coming off her back end when she finally stopped and stood up. Smiles were from ear to ear.

    We only covered some 15 km and just over 1500 metres in 8 hours from beginning to end. It could have gone on for another eight hours and nobody would have complained.

    “Time is fun when you’re having flies!”……Quote from Kermit the Frog.

    Thanks all and especially those in our CD’s truck who had to put up with my exuberance.

    ps MT maybe Ogilvie next week?????????

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