The reason for this epic number? An epic hike: Iceline in Yoho.
Simon had long told me this was his favourite hike. And I knew it because he talked about it often. It was one of my top “must-dos” for this trip. And now I can report that it is beyond a “must-do” – for hikers it has to be a bucket list trek.
Technicalities: about 7.5 hours and about 800 metres elevation. Forget all that. The trail takes you on a walk that crouches on the edge of the glaciers – or where they used to be. Hiking in moraine, descending into an alpine valley, hiking up and up past turquoise tarns and across rushing glacial creeks – the alpine flora hanging on and clinging to the rocks and scree. And the views: distant to the far peaks across the valley and tight and close: the Vice-President, The President and giant rock walls that embrace you in a hug of pure mountain power.
There is no amount of hyperbole in the world that can exaggerate the beauty of this place. It’s a raw beauty – but that is what makes it so powerful. These mountains don’t cushion your senses in sweet meadows and pretty flowers; they grab you by the heart and insist on respect and surrender. And surrender you must to their primal glory.
And so we did – surrender and walk them and pay homage to their beauty.
Tomorrow: more and more and more.
And to think that I shared it all with the Love of My Life, who sees these places of power with the same reverence that I do.