What a w.end! What a bunch of troopers!
It all started on the way back from Midnight Peak, the trip Andy Strangeman posted for November 5. We had had a great day out and wanted more: peaks, mileage, scenery, outdoor fun!! We had the next Friday and Saturday open and were ready for a challenge so we decided to each post a trip to recruit more keeners, and there were! Elisabeth, Al, Sarah, Andy and myself hoped in my car early that Friday and were welcomed (!) by my new yodel CD…which once arrived at the Yam parking lot, we dared sharing with the only other 4 cars there while lacing our boots. The one gentleman asked us what the yodel music was about Ha ha! European roots for two of us and a love for music I guess!
We got rewarded for our early awakening by amazing sunrise colours then by seeing Yam lit up by the bright morning sun. The air seemed fresh at first and yet unusually warm for this time of the year, the pace was brisk, the sky clear and the group chatting away going uphill. We easily made it up to the top of Yam shoulder, took the trail down to the CMC valley and then west and up the valley along the creek after crossing it. The forest changed to alpine meadows to rocky terrain where we opted for wearing our helmets to start scrambling up rocks to avoid a nasty scree slope in order for us to gain elevation. Sarah decided to wait for us in the meadows as she had never scrambled. After joining the upper ridge, we kept going for what we thought was the summit – but as you know the true summit is always further than you think! – And were rewarded by having lunch there surrounded by amazing views, including of Mt Assiniboine! We were quick to hike back to the cairn showing us the scree descent and down back to the meadows in no more than 10-15min. Al made me laugh big times with his knee-high wild-pony-type of down-scree-gallop. I wish I had taken a video to share!
There were a lot of conversations going on on our way back to the Yam shoulder where motivated Sarah showed us how hard she can push on the uphill…this girl is a trooper for coming with us! We bumped into Orvel and some of his friends, one of which was hiking with a pair of snippers-scissors to cut any branch that would be in his way. Quite funny when you think that 30 years ago they might have done the same trip but with a machete to get through dense bush!
We stopped for another long break on rocky ledges in the sun – where Elisabeth chose the best couch-looking rock I’d ever seen – it was a t-shirt & shorts day for sure! We got back to the car where the temperature proved to be 22oC (we were Nov.11 remember!), after scrambling Wendell East Peak in 6 hours with two 30min. breaks, doing 17kms in distance and 1300m elevation gain & loss. A great day out!