It only took us a few minutes from this point to reach it. I was in desperate need for a snack at this point so once we got up there we sat and enjoyed the breathtaking view. According to some information I looked up afterwards, we were approximately 940 meters up.
I'd made it. It wasn't the top of Lady MacDonald, but it was damn near close. Trudy, in her ever kind way, suggested that because there was a weather system coming in we likely shouldn't attempt to get to the top. The top being about 274 meters higher. Below is a picture of some of the clouds coming in. From the west it looked rather dark too.
I took one look at where we had to go and admitted to Trudy that I just couldn't do it today anyways. It was loose rock and completely open. (It's hard to see in the picture below, but along the left side of the ridge is the trail.) It had taken all of my courage to get me through the few open sections we had already passed and I knew I just wasn't ready for the last of the climb.
Trudy admitted that she didn't think it would be a good day to attempt this either as she'd noticed my fear in a few sections coming up. However, she also added that she was quite impressed with my dedication to get past those 'scary' spots and she thought that with a few more climbs like this that I'd be ready to tackle this climb to the top or even 'Chinaman's Peak'. I felt pretty good about that!
We sat up there for a while until it got too cold. There were no trees to shelter us and the wind was pretty cold. It was time to head back down, but not before we got our picture taken, by another couple who came up behind us, at the top. That's the town of Canmore down below.
Oh, you know how I was wondering how the heck I was going to get down off this mountain?! You know, cause now I'd actually have to look DOWN at where I could fall?? (No wonder 'up' is so easy....it may be slippery but you don't actually see how steep it is where you are!) Well, as it turned out, I got down just fine thank you very much. Even the sections where I was shaking on the way up! I felt really comfortable going down and just took my time down the more slippery sections. I definitely felt more confident and in control. My plan of sliding down on me arse did not have to be put into action. Good thing too as the rocks were sharp and would have torn my pants...
I think Trudy is right...with a few more climbs like that I'll get more comfortable with the open sections and actually be able to climb to the top! Very cool.
I think it took us about 1.5 hours to climb down. I was really feeling it in my knees and quads by the time we got to the bottom. This was a great workout. I was on a rush when I got to the bottom - I couldn't believe that we climbed that far! I'm really thankful that I've met such an amazing friend as Trudy. She's a really great guide - very thoughtful about the person she's hiking with and how they are doing. Not only that, but she has provided me with a couple fantastic adventures now. I can't wait till we get out cross country skiing - which if the clouds today were any indication - might be sooner rather than later.
I shall leave you with this last picture. This was the view from the parking lot pathway. In approximately 3.5 hours we climbed above that treeline and back down again. How cool is that - I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN TODAY!!
Now it's time to kick back and sip on a yummy glass of red wine.
Peace out my adventure loving friends!