Monday, March 7, 2016

Each Peak Has Its Story

     Think of the lake and highway in my Windy Point post.  A few km down the road is Whirlpool Point. Up behind the point it looks like there is a peak.

     My friend and I had been down this road many times and always looked up at the peak and wondered if we could get up to the peak. 

     One Saturday morning we set out to see what this area was like. There's a good stopping place  on both sides of the ridge. We stopped at the first parking lot all ready to go. A large bald eagle rose from it's perch and disappeared.

    We had looked on maps and couldn't see the peak on any map. We could not find a trail so started to bushwhack. We found it hard going for 300 m and then came out on a  ridge. The ridge was a pleasant walk as it was even and a gentle rise for 3 km. This was great. Clarke's nutcrackers soared up to the top of the ridge on wind currents.

    The peak became very visible when we had a km left to go. we also found that the last 300m in elevation was steep and covered in large boulders. It was scrambling time. It was each man for himself to find a route to the top. My friend
who is much younger and more experienced got the top about 10 min before I did. I did not choose a very good route.

    Many of the peaks out here have a cairn of some sort. This peak had a rather large cairn. As my friend was making his last step to the top a huge bald eagle came up the other side at the very same time. My friend was shocked and ducked. The eagle was just as shocked and took evasive action to miss my friend. 

This is the cairn from windy point Ridge

    So the eagle had been using the cairn for his perch and just happened to be coming up the opposite side so the two were unaware of each other and shocked.

   So we met the bald eagle from the beginning again.

    Now the bald eagle encounter moved me to a poetic mood.

    We also made another discovery. What we thought was a peak was really just the end of a ridge. The ridge kept going for another three km. We kept walking on the ridge . In places it was on 1.5 m wide. There was exposure on both sides. At one point I tossed an old tin can over the edge. It was quite a while before I heard the tin can hit rocks below.

    On the way back we found a very nice trail from the ditch right up to the ridge. 

    Now we took kids up this ridge 5 or 6 times. We only got kids to the top twice as it always seemed to be very windy.