A thousand thanks to Stefanie for these photos (most of which I had no idea were being taken).
Now that I have slept in a bed where I could toss and turn without falling out, I am ready to write a bit about the past two days. And I want to make every effort not to use the word “awesome” more than two dozen times.
Paul and I left just before noon on Friday and headed out to the Triple Peaks parking lot. The idea was to hike up to the big lake, then come back, camp at the 50-40 trailhead and meet our day-hiking friends at 9 on Saturday to hike 50-40.
Good plan, we thought. We were wrong. It was a phenomenal plan (see? I avoided the word, “awesome.”). I had no idea what to expect at Triple Peaks. The trail started as a steep down grade to the river. We crossed the low water level river on rocks and stones and began the ascent on the other side. Steep! Yes, really – very steep. There were rope assists along the way and tons of scrambling. I was well and truly out of my comfort zone several times. And, truthfully – not scared – just a touch of additional adrenaline. And I love getting out of my comfort zone: it’s the only way to stretch it and move up. Real life begins at the top of the comfort zone.
And so – up we went, along the waterfall, which we crossed a couple of times as we hauled our poor old asses up that big rocky mountain.
We had no estimate of how long it would take us. We decided to go until 5 o’clock or until we got there, whichever came first. And I believe we started at about 2.30 p.m.
And then it happened: we hit that place where the peaks burst int view – and if all the liquid in my body was not oozing out of my pores in the form of sweat, I would have wept. This was a beauty that was reminiscent of both the Dolomites in Italy and the High Sierras in California: rocks and towering spires and a bluebird sky – sun and heat and majestic mountains – and nothing else. It took about 10 more minutes to get to the lake – another awesome moment (had to use the word here).
It was simply the sort of place you never ever want to leave. We’d been there only a few minutes when we met Walter, a young man who had just soloed the peak and was on his way down to do Pogo in the morning. That deserve several wows.
Reluctantly we left and headed down – pretty carefully on my part. Triple Peaks makes Arrowsmith look easy.
But we made it back at about 6. I am happy to report that it took me mere minutes to set up my tent – first time in the great outdoors with my new gear. We made a fire, Paul roasted wieners; I ate pad Thai (delicious!) and then we turned in at about 9.
I wanted to sleep in but geez, those birds are noisy when dawn breaks. We were up at 6 and Stef, James, Colin and Kelly met us at about 8.45. Then it was time for another steep upward grind to 50-40. We had yet another spectacular day of sun, heat, and fabulous hiking. The top turned out to be pretty crowded with the Alberni Club and a family who even hauled a baby up.
And then, of course, we headed back down. Never have I been happier to take my boots off and get into sandals. And then, of course, chocolate. Yum! And we saw bears – both times while we were in the truck. But they were well fed. So either they wouldn’t be interested in chowing down on hikers, or it’s chowing down on hikers that made them so fat.
My conclusions from all this: I need to do Triple Peaks again, but this time to the upper lake (now that will be a challenge). Also, I am so very happy. Nothing, but nothing, is as spiritually filling as being out there in the mountains: hiking, camping, and simply being.
Next: Flower Ridge on Friday.