It’s exactly what it sounds like plus a few other awesome things. It all started as a hike up a deceptively steep mountain trail late at night. There is something about hiking 8km at 9.30pm that makes you both hate and love life at the same time. It’s a lot of fun, provided it was a planned experience, but a large part of you just wants to get to camp. It’s an experience I highly recommend for any avid hiker at least once in your life. If night hiking is unplanned, however, it sucks. Thankfully, this time it was the former. While I was dragging myself uphill at a cracking pace in the light of my head torch, D’mitry was snug in my backpack as usual, getting as much rest as possible before an intense day of the finest dinosaur adventure photography known to Canada’s expat community.
Upon morning there was more uphill climbing, this time even steeper as we scrambled over rocks and glaciers to the most stunning ridge I might have ever seen. Jagged snowcapped mountains and glacial lakes the colour of blue Gatorade. Personally I’m not into isotonic drinks but these lakes were a comparable shade of blue. All that scenery was fantastic but the real highlight of my day was sliding down a glacier. What began as boot skiing with my incredible talent and sense of balance became a controlled slide on my bum towards the end of my glacial experience. Having fallen off my feet around ten metres before the end of my slide I decided to just keep going, using my feet and hands to control my speed and direction. The result was numb hands/bum, wet shorts and mysterious cuts on my knees. I’m not sure how, though. My knees weren’t involved at all. Glacial water is also brisk and refreshing, as one would expect.
My final discovery of the trip was the meaning of inukshuks. I knew a cairne was a pile of rocks meant as a navigational marker to fellow hikers but I failed to grasp the difference between that and an inukshuk. According to local intel, the purpose of an inukshuk is “because Canadians like piling rocks”. Seems legit. D’mitry approves.