Middle Sister

 Posted by on October 6, 2003  Kananaskis Provincial Park  Add comments
Oct 062003

Middle Sister (left) from the living room of my friends Canmore chalet

Middle Sister (left) from the living room of my friends Canmore chalet

Monday October 6th 2003

Well It’s about time that I dealt with this troublesome sister. It’s been 718.5 days since my first attempt was cancelled due to snow on Oct 17 2001. That day I went to Stoney Squaw Mountain instead.

At an average heart rate of 70 beats per minute that’s 72,424,800 heart beats and  counting badly a few extras thrown in for good measure.

I was saving this one for my friend Ann, because I told her I would but she’s through with scrambling, at least with me anyway.

nn and I had tried to get up this peak in August of 2002 but missed Stewart Creek. We were to busy talking I guess.

This time I was actually on my way to Grizzly Peak but decided that going alone into a remote section of Kananaskis to a place with such a name, on a day like today, was more than I felt like taking on.

With my late start (groggy from a long “HEALTHY” session at the gym in Calgary) I knew I was cutting it close but my calculations had me off the mountain around sunset and I had my headlamp so… so what?

I got under way at around 1:00 PM

Once I was going I noticed a bit of smoke in the air. It was warm too. Ahhh, just like summer. Fantastic.

After about an hour I ran across a couple of Texans who I thought were brothers. They corrected me in an email later. I told them I grew up in Dallas and that I would also look to see if I could spot their lost sunglasses. It’s always nice to meet a Texan or two. They usually have big hearts and are always good to talk to.

After 3:15 of plodding I was on the summit. I had the urge to stop and eat-drink about 10 minutes from the top but pushed on. Without the 20 minute walk down the 2 kilometer gravel road it would have been just under 3 hours to get up the 1400 meters to the summit.

I love the Bow Corridor. I’ve scrambled most of the summits in Alan Kane’s book now and each one is a nice memory, like Cascade Mountain and Mount Cory. No matter what’s going on in my life yesterday or tomorrow, when I scramble it all melts away and all that’s left is today.

Upper route panorama

Upper route panorama

Panorama of the upper portion of the route on Middle Sister Big Sister spans the view

On the summit I snacked on grub, took photos, and noticed that 1/2 an hour somehow vanished. I had to go.

As I started down I also noticed that my headphones were missing. I guess the Texans were not the only ones this nasty sister was stealing from.

South from Middle Sister

South from Middle Sister

This is south from Middle Sister I down climbed for a few minutes and then I saw the light had improved

I took to the drainage near the spot where I had my first break and lo and behold there they were, laying smack dab in the middle of a dry section of Stewart Creek. The headphones!

As soon a I reached the wet portion of Stewart Creek I bent over for a drink straight from where it sprung out of the flank of Little Sister. I likened it to drinking from her bosom.

Gee that was refreshing.

I marched on with a smile on my face.

Later it was getting dark as I neared the Golf Course. The air was mixed with cool and warm breezes and I was feeling very content and right at home wandering around the woods alone in the dark.

As I crossed the golf course, lost again as I was supposed to be on the road, the moon showed me the way back.

So much for Middle Sister.


Middle Sister Panorama

Middle Sister Panorama

Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares.

Peter Ustinov
1921-2004, British Actor, Writer, Director

Middle Sister Gallery (please use F11, function key 11 to view full size)