For the latest full moon, we decided to go on a special mission: climb to the summit of Wedge to watch the sunrise. It would be one of my first experiences hiking in Canada. It sounded pretty straightforward to me when Alain suggested it, but when he started borrowing gear from his friends I started to wonder what was I getting myself into. Again. We set out on Friday afternoon, arriving at the parking lot at almost four o’clock.
Wedgemount Lake is 6KM away on a steep hiking trail. Since we were planning to stay two nights we were carrying everything we needed to have a sweet setup, which translated into carrying heavy packs. Just training, as Alain likes to call it. It took us three and a half hours to reach the top. Enough time to find a camping spot and watch the sun go down behind the big mountains.
We went to sleep early since we had to wake up at three in the morning to start climbing and reach the summit by sunrise. After the required cup of coffee, we set out for our climb still half asleep. Thankfully, it didn’t take us long before warming up. Forty minutes later, we got to the glacier and put on our borrowed ultra-light crampons and got our ice axes ready. It was my first time ever using this type of gear and I didn’t know what to expect.
It was crazy! It was tricky walking up the snowy slope on those things! It was nearly impossible to focus my mind on my movements while I struggled to stop myself from freaking out about sliding all the way down. On top of this, I was wearing my trail running shoes instead of proper boots. One of my crampons kept getting loose, making the whole experience a bit more nerve-wracking for me. Alain kept reassuring me that it was all OK, while he patiently waited for me.
In the end, it took us longer than expected to climb the slope. It became obvious we would not make it to the summit in time to see the sunrise. On the other hand, it was also clear that I was not comfortable enough to attempt the climb up on the arête. So we decided not to keep pushing forward.
We found a spot to rest and take in the view of the sun coming up against the mountains. Then, we started our descent back to the campground. Even if we didn’t end up carrying out our mission till the end, we still got treated to amazing views during our stay up there. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for more for my first experience hiking in Canada!
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