Sun, Aug 13 2017 - Commonwealth Peak (View Original Event Details)

Event Coordinator(s): Gil
Participants:Gil, Gail, Chak, Marvella, Aarmaan, Ken W


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Write Up:
Let me open up with, "Anything can happen in the mountains..." From the parking lot to the entrance of the marsh is on flat terrain and about 4 km. It takes 1 hour by foot. You can take your bike but that only gets you about 1/2 way down the path i.e. there is a 'no bikes beyond this point'. Once you get to the marsh entrance it is best to get into your 'runners' or water shoes at this point. If you have neoprene socks, it helps to keep the painful freeze off your feet. You don't encounter the cold until about middle of the marsh. You are jumping steams or walking through streams about calf deep. Once you get across the marsh there is an semi identifiable area where you can leave and hang your 'wet shoes' and put on your boots. There are orange markers to follow a questionable beaten path. We lost the path and found ourselves in the ravine. It was enjoyable in there but it is best to stay out of the ravine due to the navigation of avalanche carnage. Point is stay on the path which is to the left side of the ravine which will eventually lead you to the scree slope. Once on the scree slope, best footing to the col is to stay in the col drainage where you'll find secure footing. The climb on the scree was not bad at all. Short and fast. It wasn't the slog we expected. Back to, "Anything can happen in the mountains"... The weather was beautiful as we approached Commonwealth mountain. The pictures prove a peaceful day. And judging by www.mountain-forecast.com we weren't expecting any rain or much rain until the late afternoon. Peaceful Merriam- Webster adjective is defined as, 'not fighting a war'. As we where about to attain the col, we could feel the wind and rain begin to come, but within minutes we were hit by 90 km wind and rain making it a 'fighting war' to even get our rain gear on. We were soaked in the process to even try to get our rain gear on. If you look closely at the last picture of the col, you can see Aarmaan's grimacing face indicating our repulsion as the torrential wind and rain battered us off the mountain col. That was the last picture of the day. I wish I had a video or picture of the wind and rain. As a result, of strong winds and rain, we called our 'col' the summit for the day and vowed to come back. We all dislike those 'attempts' on our mountain experiences, but we trust, it was a gentle nudge from above, 'not today, but for another day.' As we walked down to the treeline, the wind slowed down and rain subsided and eventually disappeared, which was enough, 'just to have lunch'. Shortly after lunch the rain followed us all the way back to the parking lot. Just an adventurous point on trudging back across the marsh was the water levels went from clear to dark and had risen about 10 inches and broaden itself across the marsh area which extended our adventure. Did I say cold? "Anything can happen" ... be prepared and stay together. From beautiful peaceful day ... to torrential winds and rain. Such is life. Thanks friends. Another day it is...