Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watermelon Snow

One of the most amazing places to climb on God's earth is McKirdy Mountain in BC. It's at the centre of three chains of mountains (can't remember which ones off the bat). But you climb up through forest before hitting an alpine valley about three hours later. The valley is like something from a fairytale. Waist-high grass and brilliant yellow and pink alpine flowers, little blue streams trickling here and there in between the hummocks. On the left is a steep saddle hill, while on the right is McKirdy peak--a barren, rocky place, another couple of hours climb to the top. In the hidden valley, is a shelter built by the McKirdy's where you can sleep, but up on the peak itself, the view of the Rockies is breath-taking. Deserted valleys surround the place, Mount Robson juts up several miles to the north, and the farmland valley around Valemount stretches out to the South. Streaking up to the top are great banks of snow, which still haven't melted by July, and they are tinted slightly pink from an algae that grows there, which smells like watermelon! After balancing on the peak itself, Naomi and I decided to take the quick route down the mountain by sliding down the banks. You run and the jump and skid down as waves of sweet-smelling snow spew up on either side of you(kind of like sliding down a giant freezy :) Then after returning to the valley, we can climb up the grassy, flowery saddle side to get a view of yet more barren and deserted valleys in the Rockies.

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