"That's a Wrap!"
Day 7 - Saturday, July 15
The next morning, we woke up to (gee, what else, now that we were done up in the mountains...) patchy sun and cloud on the mountain. Things were definitely clearing up (fortunately for the weekend climbers, of course). We headed outside in the morning to learn and practice more with crevasse rescue techniques, and a little side lesson on piton protection. The sun came out more fully, and for the first time in the mountains, we had continuous sunshine on us.
Reflections of good weather
More crevasse rescue training
After some time banging metal into rock and setting up hauling rigs in the grass, we headed back to the hut for a final packup and lunch. The hike down was quick and uneventful, and we arrived back at the trailhead and the cars not long after 2pm.
Back at the logging roads
Sure enough, the van's window was smashed. And sure enough, someone had taped plastic bags together and sealed up the window. And left a nice note, as well (see picture). Nothing seemed to be gone from the van, and we theorized about what might have happened. Perhaps it wasn't really a break-in, and instead it was a stray rock from a passing logging truck. Or perhaps it was simple malicious vandalism with no intent to steal.
In any event, there was nothing to do but clean up the broken glass a little and head back. We had offered to buy Chris and Kirk some drink and food at a local Pemberton Pub (and Chris wanted a debriefing session, anyway).
At the bar in Pemberton we had a nice mid-day meal and a round of drinks, and Chris went over what we'd covered on the course, and asked each of us our opinions on various aspects of it - highs, lows, etc. After that, it was adios, and we parted ways. We stopped by at the Pemberton RCMP station to file a report on the broken window, and then it was off back down Highway 99 towards Vancouver.
If I had to charactize the course myself, I'd say that it was quite good, but with a few caveats: for one, the weather caused us to lose probably 1/2 to 1 day of good solid instruction. This, of course, is always a possibility in the mountains, and I've got no problem with that. Unfortunately, it also means that I can't give a good assessment of what the course would have been like without the weather interruptions. If I had to think of things that could be improved, I'd say (a) that there could have been more coverage or repetition of certain key concepts, like crevasse rescue, and (b) it would have been nice to have done more in the area of in-depth realistic scenarios in which to to apply our skills, like creating mock falls, or setting up crevasse rescue systems in the snow and with body weights on the ropes, etc. My belief is that more accurately you can reproduce real-world conditions, the better the instructional experience. These things were a strong point of a previous course I had taken. Now, I must reiterate - perhaps we would have done all of this if the weather had not intervened the way it did.
Chris and Kirk were supremely capable and self-assured. They were always there when one of us put a foot wrong: the instructors were great! I'd like to thank them for the fun and useful week, and I hope we cross paths again soon.
Interactive Trackmap - Hike back to Cerise Creek Trailhead - Click map to Expand
Back to the Cerise Creek Trailhead - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Sara, Jenn and myself stayed
on for an extra few days, putting our mountaineering skills to
a few basic tests. To that end, we decided to climb something.
That something turned out to be Mount Garibaldi. Click
you'd like to read about that adventure!