The top photo was taken today on our dog walk at Butter – lynx tracks – pretty cool.

The other two are thanks to Peter Stent – me laboriously (and happily) breaking trail up to Cherry Street Station.

Simon and I had a long walk and a much-needed talk. About the future. Changes are coming.

We love each other. This is the bottom line and because of that, we will handle the changes well. I am confident of that.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

The Zombie Zone

Simon just put it perfectly – the place where we both are: The Zombie Zone.

I find it challenging to describe a mood like this. Not angry. Not sad. Not anything at all really. It’s this feeling of a grey day, cold, snowing and nothing but bad news.

Melting glaciers, worse weather to come, horrible politics, people shooting each other, insurrections, unaffordable everything.

The list is a lot longer. I told Simon on the drive home from our dog walk today, “I wish there was some good news.”

He said there was. You could go on “good news” sites. And I’ve done that in the past. You get stories of people helping people and stories of cute critters. But the big stuff like climate catastrophe – there’s no escaping it.

I keep myself together by getting out and snowshoeing or hiking as much as possible, which is pretty much every other day or more. It helps.

But then it’s back to reality. It’s back to living in this cold place with these grey skies and constant anxiety about so many things.

I think sometimes that being in a Zombie Zone is deliberate – I switch of thinking and feeling and that can seem like the best alternative.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

CBC Tower

Third time’s a charm, right?

It was this time. After two previous attempts at the CBC Tower (both times weathered out), today was the day. Five of us foolhardy folks attempted it. And let me be clear that the hardest part was the trail to Pulpit Rock, which was icy, icy, icy. Did I mention icy?

I was so grateful that I’d brought my crampons. No, not icers – full-on ice-climbing crampons. They did the job where nothing else would.

At the flagpole, most of us met up – although we were scattered a bit along the trail. We changed into snowshoes and followed Leon’s trail that he had laboriously laid down a couple of days previously. As he said, it took him 3.5 hours from the flagpole to 400 metres below Cherry Street Station.

So – while he waited for Doug, Peter, Sheila and I went on. When the trail ended, we broke trail up and up and up to the station (I should mention that total ascent to the tower is almost 1300 metres – and that’s a fair amount on snowshoes).

After Cherry Hill Station, still waiting for Doug and Leon, we decided to forge on. After all, breaking trail is slow, laborious work – they were bound to catch up with us. We carved out a trail going generally along the top of the ridge toward the summit of Elephant Mountain. It wasn’t until we were on top that we spotted the tower below us (damn!)

We backtracked a couple of minutes and found Doug and Leon. Leon said something along the lines of “That’s a jackrabbit trail you made”

Well – yes – but it got us there! Sort of!

And finally – yay! There it was. We had a quick lunch. Yes, it was very cold – and then hared back down as fast as we could.

Yes, the bottom part was, as Peter said, “Treacherous” but we made it!


Now I can finally drive around in Nelson, look up at the tower and say, “Hey! I’ve been there!”


Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Still Cold

Thanks to Kathleen for this rather telling photo: three of us contemplating leaping into the void. Or – “What the hell – this makes going down a lot faster!”

Today was pretty much all about staying warm. Depressingly, this cold is supposed to stay with us for at least the next two weeks.


I want to be a bear. I want to sleep through this and wake up in spring.

Instead, I shall endeavour to stay warm tomorrow by putting on my crampons (!) and going up to the CBC Tower. There appears to a small, select group of us attempting this foolhardy and cold expedition. I am still asking myself why I am doing this.

The only answer I’ve been able to come up with is “Because what else are you supposed to do when it’s this frikkin’ cold out?”

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

Wolf Peak revisited

Today, as Kathleen would put it, was an exercise in “extreme snowshoeing.”

And apparently, that was fine with all of us. We revisited Wolf Peak, this time heading toward the pass and across that gorgeous white bowl. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it and I’m pretty sure the photos will not do it justice.

The pass was everything I thought it might be – spectacular views and wild beauty. And then we started up the peak. We were about 15 or so minutes into it when we had a lengthy discussion about how best to summit. Ben thought without snowshoes. I’m pretty sure he was right at that point. The snow was crazy deep and the ascent was crazy steep. I was of the opinion that yes – but not without crampons and mine were at home.

And so we chose to go back down, across the other side of the bowl and up that gorgeous sunswept hump where we had lunch the first time we were here. And the sun was out and it was, once again, an utterly idyllic spot.

And then we went down. This time, quite simply, straight down. I think this is the part where “extreme” was fitting. But we had tons of fun. lots of laughing, and a heavenly day.

Yeah – brilliant alpine up there. And Simon had a lovely day snowshoeing with Ann and Sheila – good times all around.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment


Yup – really cold: the kind of cold you get when the sun is shining and you go outside and the snow crunches underfoot.

I’m not sure if this is what has me feeling down today – but I’m definitely not “up.”

I thought I’d left all this behind years ago – and here I am and sometimes I feel like I’m going backwards. Ugh. And then I have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and work at getting okay again. And you know, sometimes I am so damn tired of “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” and making myself cheer up. I just want to feel okay without working on it.


Well – this is how I feel today.

And the only reason I’m telling the world is so that I don’t have to bottle it all up inside.

For the next three days I’ll be in up there in the mountains, getting mighty cold – but I’ll be outside and I’ll be in the alpine. And that’s always good.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment

White Queen (Again!!!)

Yes – I went up White Queen AGAIN! Is this number 6?

I’m not sure. I think I’ve lost track. Here’s what was wonderful about today. In no particular order.

There had been quite a bit of recent snow so once again the trees where a fairytale winter wonderland. The new snow had also covered the old track that Scott and I had originally put down. Skiers had put in a new skin track: it wasn’t far off the old one but it was, as I said new, and gave us a bit of something different to do.

Also, I went with three young women who I had never met or snowshoed with: Karleigh, Lea and Kathleen. I think they are in their late 20s?

All I can say is that I’m pleased that I almost kind of, semi kept up with them. But even if I had not, I wouldn’t have cared. What I liked was that they were terrific company. And we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. We snowshoed up into a cloud and couldn’t see a thing and didn’t care because it was so beautiful.

Once again – a gorgeous day. And I know that I’ll be going up White Queen once again (at least) this season within a couple of weeks and I’m still completely thrilled about it.

Posted in Hiking and Life | Leave a comment