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March 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #1073
This is not an official trip report because I was not the CD, but here is my report….huh!
Craig S. lead 10 other brave, strong, good looking, brainless men and women on another NSH Saturday walk in the park hike.
We started in West Van at 6:30. I climbed into Marks ghetto blaster on wheels. At 150 db we screamed up to the high point of Furry Creek (would you ever want to drink the water from a creek with a name like furry?). 7 km in-land on a logging road that Mark still thought was a free way was exciting and strenuous. Strenuous because we got stuck on a section we thought we could pretend we were on the Olympic Sled team. Exciting because we are still alive. After killing some time digging, pushing cursing we finally suited up and headed up hill for a day of leisure and fun. A team lead by Craig followed with Marek, Jeff, Stephanie, Alistair, Eugene, Brandon, Joel, Ryan, Mark and myself. Lots of valuable day light was already gone. You know, I may have started this hiking thing late in life but these young guys are something else. They are fit, no fat, carry small packs and eat bananas and are killing me. They are wired for sound drink gator aid and could eat me for lunch. On top of that they are nice guys that I don’t want to like because they are killing me up hill. I break down and enjoy their company anyways as I am getting more forgiving with age. Back to hiking. Our first stop some hikers are down to shorts and sleeveless tops. Steph has a Russian winter fur hat on. By the second stop Joel is shirtless and everyone is soaking in sweat like we are at the beach. Steph still has that furry hat on. On our third stop the sun glasses and sun lotion are out and everyone is having a picnic while waiting for me and Steph with her fur hat to catch up. Now we are in the alpine and the view is…well it is stunning. Here we are in our own back yard just a few clicks off the Sea to Sky Highway and we could be on Mars. Simply great. Now the fun starts. The group kind of spreads out while we all wind our way up hill in wonderful soft dry snow. Craig breaks trail at this point. I think Alistair had done all the work going up the creek area before. Now he sits and eats a loaf of bread…literally. The funny thing was what happened to all the young guys? Now it’s all about the fifty something’s breaking trail. Go figure that eh! When we all meet at the bottom of one gorgeous steep section the ‘boys’ put their great minds together to figure the best way to climb through this wonderful steep bowl of snow. I look up and before I know it one crampon leads the other. It was my high light. Steep, deep and soft…wonder bar. Eugene dug in behind then everyone else figured that I either knew what I was doing or if he is dumb enough to break trail we might at least take the easy way and follow. I did not have any insight except instinct and went for it, the rest were smart and followed. Once up on this section; I cannot remember what it was called, son of Ben Lomond, Bin Laden, Ben and Jerry’s, everyone seemed to have a name; the weather was quickly changing to almost white out conditions. At best white outs make me feel uncomfortable. The sad part was we still had a fair amount of climbing to go. After reaching what looked like another summit; maybe this one was Father of Ben; we had to start making our way down some reasonably deep and steep slopes to work away to another steeper and deeper slope. Strange thing this hiking club does don’t you think? Anyways, we take our time and climb down what looked like a steep rock ridge. Everyone took their time and Craig and Alistair helped each one slowly descend. We took a fair amount of time to get through this section and day light was looking murkier. More up and down sections of deep snow as Alistair was taking charge leading the way while consulting with Craig. Every once in awhile Mother Nature would give us a glimpse of what we were looking to summit, Ben Lomond. It looked like a stunning peak when you could see it. The problem was several fold for me. One, there was one more major down hill climb to have the privilege to climb up another shoot to have the good fortune to begin the summit attempt. My guess was at least another 1 to hour an half and I was a little concern about going back through some of the areas we had already done but now it would be in the dark. If my guess for summiting was wrong then we would make it in the dark. For what I asked myself? Several others must have been thinking the same. More importantly my driver was calling it a day. That was easy, decision made, I am heading back with 4 others to the ghetto blaster on wheels. It had been a great day and a wonderful time with new and old friends coupled with outstanding views. What more could I ask for? Oh yea, Steph still had that furry Russian hat on! The return trip was considerable fun some of the time and major pain in the butt other times. The pain was breaking through to my hip in snow crystals that scratched the leg. The fun part was over all much easier going up and down the areas what I thought would be difficult parts and then picking even steeper sections to slide down. If feels good being a kid once in awhile. The dissidents were back to Marks van just after night fall. Don’t know if the other five made it or what the outcome was but I hope they all made it up and down safely.
Great day Craig and hope everyone made the summit. Thanks.
Late news: The rest of the group made the summit about 50 minutes after we split. Well done!
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