THE APPROACH.

The approach. Storm Creek.

The approach. Storm Creek.

 

THE APPROACH

Because the forest was dark, I put on an occasional spurt.

Just a small trot when the others weren’t looking

an attempt to keep up.

I felt like a bit of a fool.

 

Storm Creek was flowing even though the temperature was a long way below zero.

A dark pool, then peaty brown to another dark pool before a constriction and another dark pool.

A dipper lifts from a polished pebble in the centre of the creek. Flying upstream, he follows the flow before tucking his white bibbed paunch beneath a roll of snow.

I shiver at the thought of diving into icy water and wonder what will happen to the dipper once the creek is completely covered.

 

A small trot.

“It’ll never happen again, lightening does not strike the same place twice.”

But it does and we all know it does. Serendipity has no form.

I shoot a look and imagine the pine branches flicked clean of snow.

Keep talking, make a noise, make any noise – a laugh, a cough, a croak, a howl.

The snow muffles our footsteps, but above the creek’s babble I can hear them, “What an idiot, he had no spray.”

 

A little run.

Don’t look behind.

Don’t look behind.

You may see it coming.

And if you do see it coming there will be no stopping it.

Best just to get on then,

I suppose.

Because in the end it gets us all.

The Silmarillion Indirect is the right to left slanting line leading to the left ice flow.

The Silmarillion Indirect is the right to left slanting line leading to the left ice flow.

The second pitch of the Silmarillion Indirect is a tad of a slab slither.

The second pitch of the Silmarillion Indirect is a tad of a slab slither.

I'm playing it cool while beneath it all panicking at the thought of the slab slithering i'm about to embark. Pic credit, Bayard Russell.

I’m playing it cool while beneath it all panicking at the thought of the slab slithering I’m about to embark. Pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Still quietly panicking... pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Still quietly panicking… pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Raphael decided he was short changed as he thought it best to belay to reduce rope drag and considered it fair and correct that he should continue! The third pitch was a classic.

Raphael decided he was short changed as he thought it best to belay to reduce rope drag and considered it fair and correct that he should continue! The third pitch was a classic.

Myself seconding the third pitch. pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Myself seconding the third pitch. pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Even though it was my turn to lead I managed to stay strong in the face of adversity and keep hold of my pitch while belayed from an always ready to jump in Professor. Piic credit, Bayard Russell.

Even though it was my turn to lead, I managed to stay strong in the face of adversity and keep hold of my pitch while an always ready to jump in Professor belays. Pic credit, Bayard Russell.

Another day and another three hour approach…

Superlight. Protection Valley. I took this picture of Jon Walsh and Michelle Kadatz completing the second ascent of Superlight on a previous visit.

Superlight. Protection Valley.
I took this picture of Jon Walsh and Michelle Kadatz completing the second ascent of Superlight on a previous visit.

From the previous visit. Michelle is on the off-width pitch 3.

From the previous visit. Michelle is on the off-width pitch 3.

Approching the base of the climb in different conditions than our previous visit.

Approaching the base of the climb in different conditions than our previous visit to Protection Valley.

Raphael on pitch one. Some pretty typical Rockies insecurity.

Raphael on pitch one. Some pretty typical Rockies insecurity.

Myself on pitch two. More secure and a lot more fun. Pic credit, Raphael Slawinski.

Myself on pitch two. More secure and a lot more fun. Pic credit, Raphael Slawinski.

Raphael on the off-width pitch.

Raphael starting the off-width pitch.

The wrong way to start the fourth pitch. Pic credit, Raphael Slawinski.

The wrong way to start the fourth pitch. Pic credit, Raphael Slawinski.

Progression. The correct, or at least, the easiest way to reach the ice is by climbing the rock flake high before stepping right. Pic credit, Raphael Slawinski

Progression. The correct, or at least, the easiest way to reach the ice is by climbing the rock flake high before stepping right. This fourth pitch is 60m and one of the best pitches of ice I have led. Again I’m glad I didn’t give it over to my very keen partner who resembled a Labrador looking at a chocolate digestive biscuit! Pic credit, a disappointed Raphael Slawinski ;-)

The final pitch and the professor is once again a happy man.

The final pitch and the professor is once again a happy man.

Raphael revelling in a great pitch and a wonderful situation.

Raphael revelling in a great pitch and a wonderful situation.

A big thanks once again to all of my friends in and around the Canmore/Calgary/Golden area of Canada. I had a great trip made even better by your company. Cheers :-) And a big thanks to my friend Bayard who always makes a trip entertaining and fun.

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *