Mt Stanley Touring

I did intend to write this yesterday as it was a public holiday (as far as I can work out Family Day is a “we haven’t had a public holiday for almost two months – let’s make one up so we have the day off” type of holiday), but just as I got home to start writing the tragic events in Christchurch started to unfold.  I was well pleased to get a text from Adele ninety minutes later to let me know that she, Mum & Dad were safe & well.  It’s such times that one does feel a long way from home; watching & reading all the coverage has been pretty shocking, sobering & just plain hard.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing some close NZ friends & family in thirty-six hours.

Back to the long weekend’s adventures.  It was nice & clear & not too cold Sunday morning when five of us popped over to BC & Kootenay National Park for the easyish tour Alex had planned.  Basically we crossed the creek by the parking lot, climbed gradually while traversing towards a spur for an hour & then climbed a lot more rapidly up the spur.  The climbing was quite manageable (but then I was plodding along as tail end Charlie for a lot of the time) & after three months of winter I was starting to miss my bike & the challenge & technical variety that is climbing steep hills (not to mention the sweet downhill).  Most of the trees we went through had been burnt out in time past, leaving blackened trunks & a few spindly branches.

Lincoln, me & Al

As we got nearer to our highest point I was starting the eye the thickening trees on the steepening slope nervously.  Would I be able to get down through those gaps while making turns & staying in control?  I was starting to feel like Dennis Denuto standing outside the Federal Courthouse.

The trees thinned as we reached our lunch spot where it was nicely warm & we had great views down the valley along Highway 93S.

Lincoln & Jess(i?)e

The ski down wasn’t as bad as I feared & I was able to make some turns & negotiate my way through most of the gaps between the trees – there are some advantages to being a skinny weed.  The trickiest things were the small skinny trees that were hard to see straight away & any fallen wood that wasn’t immediately apparent.  I managed to stop myself against one pretty large tree, glide in to a bit of treefell & get tangled in a lot of spindly trees.  Overall the ski down was quite fun & I was pleased that the climb was worth it.  Here’s a few more pictures of me that I’ve once again shamelessly pinched from Alex – when you’re the fast one, you can afford to stop & take pictures.

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