Saturday, October 03, 2009

Further to Wednesday's photographs of eastern Garibaldi Park under the snow: I've been begging off rainy hiking and climbing trips since last year, owing to a lack of proper gear. Last Monday Dru sent me to the Arc'teryx outlet store, in a nondescript industrial storage park just east of the Second Narrows Bridge, where I found a long-sleeved knit wool shirt, and a cosmetically flawed candy apple red Gore-tex jacket, and then, later, at the North Vancouver Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a pair of black Gore-tex pants.

Tuesday morning set rainfall records all over the Lower Mainland. Mad Owl Woman and I drove up the retooled Sea-to-Sky Highway in my Taurus wagon, its ancient wipers scraping furiously away at the mixed rain and sleet battering the windshield. Out of the car in the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, the rain a little lighter now, struggling into our boots and gaiters and Gore-tex, and then off down the trail.

Nine and a half hours later we were back at the car, the last forty-five minutes in the dark. Mixed rain and snow the whole day. I was mostly dry and warm in my new outfit, and oddly content: happy that my new gear had performed as advertised; happy that we had gotten out despite full-on winter conditions; happy that the next six months are not going to involve sitting at home staring at the window at the fog-bound North Shore mountains, dreaming of spring.

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