Alpine Club of Canada

WinterGazette2016

Issue link: http://acc.uberflip.com/i/744540

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 23 of 31

slope of Mount Damon from Friendship Col. e clouds were stretched thin like tissue paper and, in some directions, grew cumulous as we summited. It was a long moment of many firsts for me: first time that high, in that place, on that terrain, in that headspace. First time so wholly cap‑ tivated by a planet I'd now given myself to completely. "What are you willing to risk for these mountains?" e words of our ACMG guide Mark Klassen echoed in my head. "Are you willing to risk your life for this?" is question was one of my greatest fears before going to the mountains. I couldn't answer it. But what the Adamants taught me about myself in one long moment climbing Mount Damon is that I am, actually, not afraid at all. e most memorable question Klassen asked me wasn't about what I was willing to risk or whether I knew that I was wearing the wrong boots for alpin‑ ism. He said, "If you're so afraid, why do you do this?" We were stopped at the top of Friendship Col between Pythias and Damon, a couple of hours away from "home". On the climb up I'd audibly gasped under every boulder movement along the moraine. With every slip of snow underfoot I let out a small cry. Mark stopped, trying to understand my fear. My gasps were throwing my team off—Mark and my partner, Brian—and were preventing me from truly enjoying it all. I'll admit, I felt real fear. But when Mark asked me this, I wondered if I was actually afraid. He asked about my relationship with Like anyone (quite literally) delving into new territory, with one foot trudging ahead of the other, I moved forward on the advice of friends, fellow Alpine Club of Canada members, and the feeling that you can only learn so much from a book. I registered for week one of the ACC Toronto Section's mountaineering camp. July was a month I will never forget. e Adamants and Bill Putman (Fairy Meadow) Hut provided a safe space for me to explore the rawest adrenaline, fear, solitude and success I could have imagined, and the ACC provided an incredible support system to explore such feelings. Under a brightly positive light, I became a mountaineer. On Friday, under a bright blue and cirrus sky we ascended the southeast by andrea Wrobel I often ponder the choices we make over the course of our lives; the ones that leave a lasting impact or change our paths almost immediately. I think about the choices that take us to unexpected places, the ones where we find ourselves planted at the base of some‑ thing great with the will, the yearning, and the knowledge to climb it. I fell in love with mountaineering two years ago when I agreed to produce a mountaineering web series called e Peakbaggers. e project awoke feelings of adrenaline, fear, solitude and success that had been buried in me since child‑ hood. I knew if I was going to succeed, I must dedicate the time and energy to learn in an alpine environment. is was big, and there was no way around it. Camp a mountaineer makes Heather Allen belays Brian Cauley as he scrambles up loose rock on the northwest ridge of Mount Quadrant; Jim Lundy follows. photo: andrea Wrobel ACC Toronto Section Camp participants survey their options en route from Bill Putnam (Fairy Meadow) Hut to Echo Glacier. photo by brian cauley

Articles in this issue

view archives of Alpine Club of Canada - WinterGazette2016