The last couple weeks have been pretty cushy. Not working too hard and making more then my expected average. But the thing is I was getting bored. After 10 or so years at this I figured it was just a matter of time, the learning curve has to fade off some where. does it not?
After a few weeks of scrambling up, across and down wet hill side cut blocks on Vancouver Island the sun comes out and we have a more then one day off. but instead of traveling some place intresting, I'm spending the time working on my Van / Mobile home. Laying on my back in the dirt of a driveway, as the sun shines down and my fleating days off disapear. Good times.
Strapping on our skis and loaded packs, it was 8:30pm by the time we were slowly shuffling up the logging road. The clean snow and hoar frost sparkling in the moon light like broken glass. After about three hours we crested the ridge and got out first view of the triple peaked mountain, still more then a km away.
having been Back in Canada for 22day I finaly got to go play in the big hills. I met my friend Brian at Rogers pass for a day of skiing. The avy report indicated three weak layers to watch for. One at 30cm with the resent storm snow sitting on it, another at 40cm’s and a hoar frost layer at 55cm’s.
Riding my bike for a couple hours this afternoon, sticking to the low hills as the snow it only a couple hundered meters above town. On my way home I ran into a friend on the street. He has just moved to town this summer and is looking at his first winter in ZD. As we continued down the side walk he confesed finding pleasure in work and using work to combat boredom. One of the facts of life in small towns is that if you don't know how to keep your self buisy you will loose you mind. It's true, I'm not just saying that for effect.
Then as we were parting ways, he casualy mentioned that it was -10C last night. which means it was -10c in my house. It's intresting how you get use to these things. always being a little bit cold. it's not like cold weather in Canada, where it's just cold out side. Here it's cold every where. Even houses and coffee shops have a nip to them. The cold becomes part of life here, so normal that you give it very little thought, even if it is a constent topic of conversation and plan your day around it.
I have always been interested in the idea of transcending journeys of enduring hardship, during which one experiences spiritual and personal growth. However, lacking the mental fortitude to carry out such journeys I have instead contented my self with dabbling in minor adventures.
The act of pilgrimage known as Kora has long been a large part of the Tibetan culture. Traditionally whole families will travel thousands of km to a particular holy site in an act of faith, to obtain merit and a favorable rebirth. The three most important mountains in Tibet are, mt Kilash, the oldest known holy mountain, representing the body of the Buddha, mt Tsari in southern Tibet, representing the speech of the Buddha and on the boarder of Yunnan and the TAR is Kawa Korpa, Believed to represents the mind of the Buddha. I first circumnavigated this 6740m un-climbed peak in the winter of 2003. That was the spark for my bike journey there this fall. Though I planed to diverge from the traditional pilgrim route, to me the significance of the trip is much the same.
Kunming again, just off off the plane, I'm wearing the same shirt for the last week, feeling sticky and itchy. it's developped that stench of cotton after too many days with out being washed, of sweat and street dirt. this citys is changing, catching up, gone is the sence that you are in a strange and off beat place. all that remain is the pleasant feeling that it lacks every thing a city should have.
Mornings are noodles on the cool streets before sipping coffee on the side walk of the french cafe. taking in the noise of the city buses, girls selling iced tea over portable loud speekers, motors, brakes, and the old men in Mao coats with the winkled faces to remind me of how it once was.
Where does an adventure begine, it's a question I'm always asking my self, this time it was at 7am, peddling my way up a logging road on the way to some typical B.C. back country. my plane ticket out of the country was on the back of my mind, but for the time it was the road that lead to this road that was on my mind.
About a week before I was driving to a treeplanting contract, where I picked up a female hitch hiker and her dog. she was travelin across Canada, riding here thumb, a routine I know only too well. along the road we swapped stories and drank beer before I dropped her in the middle of the fraser canyon, my self about to spend a last week slamming trees into the steep ground sounrounding the canyon, she was going to dip her toes in the pacific ocean before heading back east. I'm not sure why, but that day seems like the start of this adventure!
Humbled coming off five straight days of riding some of the most interesting lines I have ever ridden.
It started with 20cm of fresh two nights in a row. The lift line at kicking horse resort was in a quiet frenzy at 8:30 on a Monday morning, every one who could call in sick did, and those who couldn’t simply didn’t go to work. The first two days, sticking it between he ropes,. The adage of No Friends on a Power Day holding true with a dynamic group of ride partners in a constant state of flux, running solo but never alone. Milking the natural features of the landscape of all their interesting lines.
just over a week ago we were rattleling up a logging road, calling km's and trading spots with the local beasts of burden hauling thier plunder down the snowy mountain roads. trucks loaded with timber the main source of the local economy and our gate way to the goods we were after. lush turns on un tracked powder. Greg and I were out to explore a valley niether of us had been into. adventure!
the first skin track was a bush wack through willows up and old skid track 3km to a modern day trapers cabin. from there we pushed farther into the vally, aiming, as the low snow pack and warm weather dictated, to the south aspect slopes. though the day was limited in scale, it was more then made up for in scope. after a couple hours of grunting we emerged from the trees following bob cat tracks to the base of a morrine lake nessled in a saddle between two impresive peaks with a view of our suroundings. there is nothing more rewarding then earning you truns. comming out with a pretty good sence of what is contained in the back end of the valley,both of us wanting to come back when things are safer. strip the skins, slap the split board togeather, dig a pit to confirm what we already suspected, then it was all down hill. carving turns through the trees hooting and laughing. playing it safe, yet so happy just to be there.