Weather- A powerful component of experience. The state of the atmosphere can dictate quite dramatically thee adventure, difficulty, and extremeness of any excursion outside. An easy easy ridge walk becomes an epic adventure with wind and rain in the mix. A fun, chillax multi-pitch climb becomes a scary and potentially dangerous outing when lightning arrives. Mother Nature’s complexities have an incredible effect on altering the same outing into wildly different experiences. Such is the case on several of my previous undertakings the last couple of years in comparing stories with others, yet even comparing the exact same climbs I, myself, have done on two separate occasions.
Often weather can dictate our emotions and precipitation can easily drive spirits into a plummeting spiral of gloom or fear. Fortunately I am able to share that rain has contributed quite positively to several recent outings. For instance, I went for a run up Pigeon mountain which consists of a 4.5 km trail and then kicks steeply into up, and up, and up, and up. On a sunny day I imagine this run to be, well, rather average. The views are nothing outstanding, and if the sun was shining it would be quite a slog in the heat running up those hills. However, with a little bit of rain and fog, the journey became consequently magical. The cool air keep my body temperature low and my attitude at an ultimate high. The contrast of the wet green grass against the grey skies was stunning. The clouds danced across the sky and the fog grazed the rock, kissed the treetops, and swirled through the alpine. Reaching the summit, I peered over the cliffs into an array of clouds blocking the view below. My vision was limited as the clouds gathered around me. This ordinary setting was enchanting.
Regularly weather holds us back and keeps us at home. Other times we are desperate-or maybe crazy and give our plans a go anyways. Such as occasion was just yesterday as Aimee and I set out on a ridge walk racing against the rain. Weather Office stated rain, rain, rain, but out desires to get outside and play outweighed the looming forecast. Honestly- it was a close call. We spent well over an hour leafing through guidebooks, studying topo maps, and we weren’t having much luck finding something to do. However, Wasootch ridge won our favour and off we went. Needless to say, the rain did arrive in voluminous presence. In fact, rain is the incorrect word, it poured. The fog again cast a mystical appeal onto the ridge. The wetness of the rock added to the excitement of scrambling over considerably exposed sections. The slab became dicey when presented with puddles and wind. An easy outing became an adventure. The elements did not only add excitement to our day as it did generate laughter and comical situations. Hiding under the outhouse “awning” stripping off our clothes to change racing between the car and roof probably looked pretty funny. One particular giggle fest broke forth after my hands went so cold they could hardly function- I managed to get my pants to my ankles, but could not undo my shoelaces to get my boots off. Standing, hiding at the outhouses with my pants around my ankles, I had to request Aimee’s assistance to undo my laces for me. Oh dear- weather changes everything.
Therefore- when you are feeling blue or you notice the grumps wiggling their way into your day, take the time to step back and embrace the alternative opportunities to enjoy yourself. Have fun! Isn’t that why we step outside?