Monday, October 12, 2015

Scrambles - East End of Rundle.

Thanksgiving. There are so many things to be thankful for - our health, our friends and family, our privileged position of middle class living in a first world country, our ability to pick up and travel whenever the itch comes... the list could go on endlessly, like THAT uncle unexpectedly saying 'a few words' at your wedding. But for me, the icing on this almost embarrassingly rich cake of life is Anita. She makes the goods become greats, and the bads that less unpalatable.

Nine years ago I took her up the East End of Rundle for her first scramble, thinking it would be a piece of cake. But like baking your first cake, it was a lesson in uncertainty, took significantly longer than it should have, and there were surprisingly a lot of tears and cussing. I thought we'd never hike a mountain together again. Fast forward nearly a decade later, after we'd scrambled close to a dozen mountains together, I brought her back to her first peak and proudly watched her redeem herself on one her biggest defeats in life. It was a fiercely windblown day, and there were a couple of moments where she looked Rundle square on and the unease of memories past crept back in, but then she summited and proclaimed victory at the top, like a boss.

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Anita poses victoriously on the East tip of the summit. You can almost hear an audible, "Take THAT Mt. Bitch!"

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Anita's favourite stalling tactic when she's tired: stopping, and "surveying" the trail ahead. Half the time, she's looking at the wrong mountain.

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The only way to escape the wind yesterday was to hug up against the rock face.

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More trail surveying.

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About two thirds of the way up.

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The view backdropping our day included Ha Ling, Lawrence Grassi, and the Three Sisters.

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Final push towards the summit. Anita does a little bit of technical scrambling.

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Me on the East tip.

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View of the south side of the Canmore Corridor's peaks.

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The summit ridge.

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Anita chilling in a beautifully constructed windshelter on the ridge.

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Me on the next major summit tip to the Northwest (look close, I'm that speck at the top).

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And finally, our descent back to the car.

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