July 14, 2012

Adventure to the Mountains

Adventure in the backcountry is what I should title this post.  Let me explain:  Innocent. Hard. Insane. Disappointing.  With a lot of falling in between.  
1130 - Has no idea what is ahead. 
The trail to Flora Lake starts out inconspicuously.  The first 300 meters show you nothing of the following seven kilometers.  Then the incline starts, 1800 meters in four kilometer.  Insane.  We sweated and cursed and persevered.  We had our huge packs on, we were planning to spend the night at Flora.  They were equipped with tents, sleeping bags, lighters, bug spray, rope, bear spray, food and three small water bottles.  

We ate lunch with magnificent views of Chilliwack Lake.  We were nearing the snow line.  As we headed through the sub alpine meadow we encountered the only other hikers of the day, they warned us about soft snow.  They had clearly turned around.

We naively continued in, anticipating some snow, but not a lot.  Instead we slid and slipped through a half kilometer of snow before we lost the trail.  We back tracked, and looked again, still nothing.  At the top of the pass Dylan quickly scaled the closest peak and saw the lake on the valley floor, 400 meters down.  

An easy section
We knew it was the right lake, so we started down the insanely loose, soft and deep snow.  There was no way to keep a hold on the mountain.  Our muscles were soo tired from stabilizing the last hour in the snow.  Our feet were slipping with almost every step we took, the hillside was steeper and steeper.  I slid 10 feet grasping the snow jamming my heels trying desperately to stop.  I did, shifted my weight ever so slightly and fell again, 15 feet this time, jumping into the slim base of a tree, where the snow had melted.  "Tash!" I yelled, who had been just behind me "Watch your footing, it's so slippery, you can't stop"  She hollered back but two seconds later I hear a yelp and she's coming straight for me!  "Tash! Tash! Tash! STOP" I screamed!  She smashed into the tree, 25 feet down.  Missing me by only a foot.  I was right at her side, luckily she only bruised her shin, but we didn't know that at the time, it could have been a fracture.  

On the way down.  Delirious. With a wet butt.
It was now that we stopped to re-evaluate.  We had been hearing thunder for a few hours.  After several more minutes sliding down we decided it was time to turn back.  We weren't on the trail and what we were doing wasn't only dangerous, it was incredibly stupid.  Natasha's leg was bleeding and we hadn't even brought a first aid kit.  If one of us fell again and broke/sprained/injured something, or worse hit their head, we had no way off this wet, cold mountain.  It was nearing 5pm.  It would be getting dark at 8.  We turned back, clawing our way up the snow bank to the pass.  Our muscles were screaming, they'd already had it, but we were far from done.

Glacier water.  This is the stuff they bottle!
Soaking wet, fed up with falling and each of us with bruised extremities we followed our faint footprints back (they were melting away.)  We were very relieved to hit dry ground again.  Four very long kilometers later we were at the bottom and threw our packs on the ground.  I felt like jello.   We had climbed a mountain.  10 kilometers on the map, longer with our backtracking,  Still a success.

We ended up camping off a forest service road along a raging swollen river, you can see it in the video.  Craziness, and loud!  Luckily we had Dylan with us, who cut a butt-tonne of firewood, while we girls set up camp.  (Air mattress included for Dylan!)  He fashioned us a bench from a rotten long and some stones, while I found a rock to serves as a table and whittled branches into pokers.  A clothes line was strung and our soggy boots were tied.  When it started pouring we went to bed.
super trail mix
veggie sandwiches with a basil goat cheese spread
potatoes cooked in the fire
bbq kettle chips
breakfast burritos (mayo instead of dairy)
instant coffee

somehow successfully gluten and dairy free for Tash.

Camping with Tashlyn from Alyssa Trobacher on Vimeo.

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