Some hikes (snowshoes) hit it out of the ballpark – as in the last one at Kootenay Pass up Wolf Peak. And then there are those other times. Like today. Like Windy Ridge. It lived up to its name. That, however, was the only expectation it met.
We didn’t even find any avi terrain! I mean – what’s up with that?
Okay – the story: four of us headed up. This, sadly, followed a drive down from the pass to the trailhead. This should have been our first warning. You should drive as high as you can before setting out.
We headed up a road: a big road. This was not a pretend road – like one of those old, overgrown FSRs – no. This was a full-fledged superhighway of a road. We followed a snowmobile track and then nada – just breaking trail.
And then, I pointed out to Ben – hey! There’s an old ski track going up through this clear part? Maybe it cuts off a switchback. Maybe we can get off the road.
Ben opined that this could possibly be correct, but he’d never been to the area and he had a map of the road and we should be safe and follow it yada yada. I thought, but the track goes up – how can that be bad?
On the other hand, maybe Ben was right. We slogged on. An hour and a half later, with me cursing and calling it a “shit road” every few minutes (just so everyone was aware of my feelings on the subject) we came to an open area and there – yes, right there – was the ski track. Essentially, it had cut off that entire road slog.
On the bright side, at least we knew where we were going to head down.
We kept going. On the road. It was warm – you can see that from the first photo. We broke trail through crusty stuff ( a slog) until the road mercifully ended. By now it was already 12.30. We’d been going for about three hours. But the ridge was only just beginning. We had choices – a low point, a high point, or a saddle. We went for the high road.
We slogged up and up and up. And finally, at one p.m. we kind of hit what looked like the top. Sadly, we were in the trees the entire way and the top was covered in trees. We strained for a view. We kept going until 1.15 looking in vain for something that would take our breaths away.
We settled for a warm, sunny spot.
We ate our lunch.
We headed back down. We got to the ski track and looked over the edge. Oh yeah – let the fun begin!
It’s amazing how fast we got back down. Almost 4 hours up and about 1 hour and 15 minutes down.
The reasons it was a lovely day: super company, blue skies, being outdoors.
I don’t think I need to go back there.