mountain therapy….. for the most part.

Mount Temple – East Ridge – AB. IV [5.7] – 11,624′

Sooooooo… Such a great climb really deserves much better pictures and a much better write up than this.

If you aren’t into bad write-ups and even worse pictures, this post isn’t for you.


1) Don’t buy a 80 dollar wal-mart Camera, because you think the quality difference is negligible.  These are the WORST pictures I have ever seen in my life in terms of quality. Take in to consideration that 80% of the pictures I took are indecipherable as to what is what. The quality was that bad.

2) Don’t write about your trip many months after, when you haven’t climbed in a long while and have totally forgotten about any of the good feelings that climbing big mountains often brings.

But as I write, 3 months after the climb, I am… very focused on other aspects of life.  Semi-Permanently? I’m not sure. Yet I felt I should close off this curent chapter by at least somewhat chronicling this climb  so that 20 years down the road when I actually am inspired to write, I won’t have forgotten everything.  Maybe life is changing. Maybe less big mountains. But at the end of the day, I’ll always return to look, to play, to gather myself. 

So cheers to bullet points:

  • first Canadian Rockies climb (first time to the Rockies too)
  • was very very long. we climbed for 24 hours straight
  • (think of the calories!!!!)
  • WHAT A LINE?!?!?!!???!
  • Advice: PLEASE DO NOT think that a 5.7 in the rockies is a 5.7 at exit 32.
  • ALSO DO NOT think that a 5.7 in the rockies is a 5.7 at index or Squamish or anywhere else for that matter.
  • OMG … 5.7!!!??!?!?!
  • OMG … people climb in the rockies???
  • OMG … this is one of the best LINES in terms of Rock Quality in the ROCKIES??!?! OMG x 10
  • I am not sure I will be climbing very much in the Rockies anymore.  So anyone who climbs in the rockies…. every hat I own is off to you.
  • Yah.. the black towers?  Ever climb in a sandstone quarry?
  • Since I have nothing to prove except to myself; yes I thought i was going to die on that summit ridge. (And I’ve only thought I would die on 2 other mountains.)
  • The snow was sooooooo ISOTHERMAL, crampons wouldn’t bite; ice axe wouldn’t have arrested a fall, of which a fall would’ve landed you in Lake Louise village. I couldn’t find any ice for screws, not even deep deep down – probably should have bivied.  But luckily the party in front bravely kicked steps as we somehow made it to the summit, lightning not too imminent illuminating around us.
  • Got back to the car at 4 a.m. the descent feeling as if one had no hobbies while living in Eternity.
  • Can’t believe we made it.  This has definitely made it in that ‘ bigger climb ‘ category.
  • Yah.. big mountains? Maybe we should just stick to rock. haha….

Laura, she says it like this:

scabbed hands
scraped and bruised hands
grip the pen with love.
blood and dirt on hands
and mud under finger nails
write each word with vivid recollection

Lose rocks and fateful scree
Of vain jams
Of a dirty rope passing
through sore fingers
Of cold wet gloves and
slushy hands
gripping, too hard, on
the axe,
plunging too deep into
icy slush
Offering no ounce of reassurance
These hands eagerly write about that night:

And halfway across the summit glacier the sun said good bye.
Darkness fell and four head lamps flickered on. We continued through that iso-thermal shit, on moderate angle with wild exposure—ridge life.
While the image of the sunset still lasted in my mind’s eye, I took a look behind, and behold The moon! A dark, bold orange, ascending strongly into the sky, she watches us carefully as we slowly progresses across the snowfield. Five more feet and then I turn around again. To the north lightning flashes, illuminating the clouds with that same strong orange that was the moon’s. The lightning show continues with awe striking sheets Then a bolt! It struck a peak far off, but In my mind the storm traveled to our ridge. And I imagined the great serge of energy, electricity, mystery and might striking me. . .

I felt no joy in dying, which was surprising, for what a romantic way to go, being struck from the very heavens we hope to return. What a majestic way, yet there was no peace within my soul. Almost angrily I contemplated this beautiful thought of death, I did not want to die. I was not beautiful enough to die. My attitude was often foul and my manners ill. I did not want to die on a day when I took beautiful from life and returned it with ugliness. I do not want to die until I learn to live in harmony, to create peace, to carry joy and to give glory to God-the creator of mountains and valleys, of storms and of stillness, of friendships, of self, of life and of death. And then I will welcome any laugh of lightning or grinning crevasse.  

Some Photo from the Internet Showing Temple/East Ridge from the Winter

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