My word for 2019 is “courage.”

Today I got to put it to the test. And here I am, writing a blog post, so you know it didn’t turn out too badly.

It started this morning when I got in the car to drive to Whitewater. The intention: Evening Ridge and the Whaleback from the steep side.

The first darn brave thing I did (in my opinion of course) was drive on snowy roads all the way to the trailhead – 1.5 hours. Yes, I know – people around here would do it with a coffee cup in one hand and a donut in the other while singing along to The Judds – but hey! This is me! This is the one flake of snow falls and I’m petrified person.

So I got there. And then I started up. I took careful note of the snow conditions and all seemed darn good. So up I went following what appeared to be a pretty fresh ski track. This was excellent news.

When I got to the saddle, I stopped for a quick snack. Five skiers passed me – we wished each other a happy day (did I mention sunny skies?) and I requested that they leave a nice track for me to follow. They said they’d do their best.

And they did. They left a lovely track until about 20 minutes before the Evening Ridge summit. And darn it. They took off their skins and shot down the hill.

Well then. I broke trail to the top. And because the snow was a bit crusty and fairly nicely consolidated, I didn’t break through far and putting in a new trail was fun. So this was good.

From the top I took the ridge down and then up to the Whaleback. And this is where my courage was tested. I took careful note of the cornices and tree wells. It’s a narrow ridge as you start up so I had to choose my route with care. The biggest issue was the wind – it had blown the entire upper slope into sharp snow ridges that practically required a damn ice axe!

I was scrambling up (yes, using my hands) and, because it was snow, sliding back down of course.

At least 4 or 5 times I considered turning around. How close was I to a cornice? I know I was near to the other steep downward side. But darnitall – I wanted the top. I knew how good I would feel if I saw it through.

And I did. I stood on the top, waiting for a break in the heavy wind to reel off a couple of photos. Then back down – so much easier. And finally, at about 1 p.m., a well-earned lunch on top of Evening Ridge in the shelter of trees.

I loved the day. I love that I tested myself and worked hard for the goal. Most of all, the beauty dazzled me. And being alone on the trip? I need that solo journey every now and then. It was a good day.

About goodyniosi

Writer, avid(!!!) hiker - living life to the fullest. Love, life, bliss - getting high on getting high (in the alpine that is)
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2 Responses to Courage

  1. About “owning” a home. Not sure who owns who? You own the house, it owns you. Hmmmm…
    It’s so easy to buy, soooo hard to sell.
    At my stage/age, 73, I don’t own and don’t plan on it again.
    There are so many options when you don’t own.
    Don’t like the neighbours/view/location/weather/anything, then it’s easy to move.
    And so many options for living arrangements: homeshare, co-housing, camper, house sitting, apartment, tent, etc.
    I know a woman in Nanaimo, a bit younger than me, who sold her home and has house sat for at least 3 years. She does have a room at her sister’s, for a temporary perch, but is moving from place to place “for now”.

    I need to be free to explore and change my domicile, when my needs change. I don’t ever want to be locked into one place again. I was, with my ex, and it was not a good place to be.

    I was ready to buy a camper van to live in, after the house sold and divorce. Then I met my sweetie and here I am, in Tsawassen, in his lovely condo, when I never planned to leave Nanaimo! We are committed for life, and I may be back there someday or living/travellling in an RV of some kind.
    But I am free!
    Just sayin’.🙂

  2. goodyniosi says:

    Shirley – I completely get it. I rented for 16 years. I loved my little place above a stable in Cedar. I never wanted to own – and really have no interest in owning again when this place sells. I feel owned by this house – it dictates what I can and cannot do and it eats money. No thanks to owning.

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