And so the mountaineering adventure begins!
Sunday, June 28. It was an early start to the morning. I was up at 5:30 am for the requisite coffee and eggs breakfast before gearing up and driving to Canmore for 8:30 am. For what, you ask? Months ago I signed up for the 6 day Introduction to Mountaineering course through Yamnsuka Mountain Adventures. I have been hiking and scrambling for many years, but glacier travel was a bit beyond my scope. It was time to explore those skills, and the mountains accessible once you have those skills. After arriving at the Yamnuska office in Canmore, I met the tour guide James Blench along with the rest of the crew. To say he’s experienced is an understatement. Apparently he’s quite the legend: he’s been guiding since the 70’s and he’s one of the original Yamnuska guides. He’s led trips all over the Rockies and spent many years guiding in Peru. He’s also an international mountain guide, certified through the IFMGA. We were definitely going to be in good hands. Slowly, the six soon-to-be alpinists arrived, all of us wondering what the next six days would bring: a young 18-year old from Norway; an outdoorsy gentleman from BC; a couple from Cochrane; and a guy from Ontario. And then there was me… inexperienced, and ready to learn!