Friday, April 19, 2013

I DARE YOU!


"I dare you to hike up Mount Baker!"
Did I hear him correctly?
We spent Easter weekend skiing with the family,
but some lingered longer and decided to do some back country skiing.
She was going to become his back country skiing partner?

Back country skiing is skiing in unmarked and ungroomed slopes.
Backcountry skiing without a guide is NOT anappropriate activity
for most recreational skiers,families on vacation,
 or anyone who is "fitness-challenged".

I've seen this mountain for many years as I grew up in the Sumas flats.
(Mt. Baker's front view)
But this was a rare opportunity for some to hike to the top with their ski equipment.
Sun and blue skies...what else can we ask.

I was in the back room of the lodge preparing supper
and I heard clanging sounds...
voices discussing the necessities for packing.

Crampons
Skins
Ice Axe
Ropes and harness
Probes
Beacon
Shovel
Skins
Helmuts
First Aid Kit
Head lamps
Mom's down filled mitt's

And an ORANGE!

But why on earth would they need to start their adventure at 2:00 am?
Little did I know about the technicalities of back country skiing.
I prefer to start my ski day at 10:00 am.

Then I heard a distinct comment,
"The beacons are both not working"

WHAT?

My awareness surged at that moment.
I needed clarification.

It didn't take long and I noticed she was with
a well experienced ski patrol/guide whose expertise lies in guiding groups. 
His jacket and equipment gave me the assurance I needed.


An exasperated look.
How much further to the top?

Reaching  the summit and experiencing the warmth of the sun.


A smile of victory.




And no summit can be celebrated without an ORANGE!
That is their tradition.

Taking a few shots of the pristine mountain slopes.

And she comes gliding down that slope making fresh tracks.
Safe and sound!
Only to have enjoyed another preeminent mountain experience.
(Mt. Baker from the back view)

"Society speaks and all men listen,
mountains speak and wise men listen."


8 comments:

  1. Wow. I'm sure it was a breathtaking experience. These experiences I like to hear about after the fact and after they are home safe and sound. :)

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  2. Marg, I enjoy the photos way more than I'd enjoy the challenges.
    What a beautiful day to be there, though!

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  3. So great you went along! After my avalanche training (ahem) I was glad to read that the right equipment was going along. And that it proved to be a wonderful sunny day for the adventure.

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  4. I admire the self discipline and planning that is needed for adventures like this. The pictures show why people make this effort. Absolutely beautiful.

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  5. What a great story and I could just feel your anxiety as they prepared and your sigh of relief when they arrived back safely! What an exhilarating challenge to take. I am so amazed at your family's love for the mountains and your abilities. I don't even know what a skin or crampon is!

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  6. What an adventure! At first I thought it was you going :)
    When my mountains speak, they say, Stay at the timberline, Willow. I listen.

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  7. Breath taking....both for a mom and the views. Looks like they had the time of their lives and had a great adventure to share.

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  8. How did I miss this post? Wow. Amazing! So you glad that they/you shared the photos of the views at the top!

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