3:01 PM Friday Sept 20 2002
H and I just made it to the summit of Mt. Field by way of the Burgess Shale trail and then the N.W. ridge. The scrambling was good on firm rock. When we first looked at it from the top of the approach we weren’t sure.
The route looked gnarlier near the end. It was a bit gnarly but the crux was a small wall composed of solid steps with good and ample holds.
Anything to say H?
Uhmmm…. not at this second….. No.
OK that’s what will go in then….
Humum bumehmnnn … Laugh You’re writing down what I said?
H rates it a good junior climb … mind you he adds ….we senior with our ….. You’re going to write down everything?
Next time though, I’m bringing more film. I missed a few shots of scrambles though some pinnacles and also a view of Emerald Lake from the Burgess High Line. The sun broke through the clouds and shone directly upon the lake bringing out one the finest blues to be had.
7:46 PM The bulgur will be ready in 10 minutes so I can write some more.
The way down was more difficult than Kane’s book would suggest. Lots of loose rubble; no real trail through the scree like some of the moderates and difficult scrambles.
The trick is to find the cairn to get through the upper rock band. All considered I think a moderate rating would be more appropriate. After all there is a small amount of route finding to get through this loose rock band as I could not see the cairn until I had traversed over a ways. When I saw it, I hollered out to H that the band pass was over here. He left the steep and rotten cliffs he was about to go down.
The next morning saw us pack our gear and enjoy breakfast with and also be the beneficiaries of a complementary speech by the local resident geologist. He was giving a preamble to a group on their way to visit the Burgess Shale quarry on the slopes of Mt. Field.
One of the nice young women on the tour approached me sitting at the picnic table next to Yoho Lake. I mentioned that H and I had mistakenly stumbled upon the UNESCO World Heritage Site by accident on our way to the summit of Mt. Field.
The speech given by the tour guide was great.
The era that is displayed in the formation of the Burgess Shale is a fascinating topic and even though the fossils are extremely old, indistinct, and laying on the side of a mountain virtually unprotected; they have created a certain resonance with me.
This geological boundary represents the beginning of the explosion of multi-cellular life forms that have visited the Earth since the beginning of the Cambrian period, possibly the most important time in the history of the Earth.
What a fantastic spot!!!!!
Imagine spending four billion years stocking the oceans with seafood, filling the ground with fossil fuels, and drilling the bees in honey production — only to produce a race of bed-wetters!
1941-, American Author, Columnist
The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit — not a fossil earth, but a living
earth; compared with whose great central life all animal and vegetable life is merely parasitic. Its throes will heave our exuviate from their graves.
Henry David Thoreau
1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Naturalist