It was beautiful. And I spent none of that time staring at it behind a camera screen.
There’s a time to take pictures, but there is also a time to leave the camera at home. The image of the back of Grouse Mountain, fully visible from the second peak of Fromme, is clearer than any I’ve captured on camera. What does this say about our camera-addled memories?
Although it loomed beyond arm’s reach, Grouse’s flank rested with gracious humility in the crystalline air, as if the abyss between us and Fromme did not exist. It was very much like peering into a private window at the map of scars of a war embattled scalp. Although it was amply sylvan, enough roads criss crossed it to suggest that a legion of people had lost many days of sleep battling their way up. It looked like someone with bad taste had tacked brown ribbon on a Christmas tree at the last minute. In the same powdery tan, fatter ribbons ran down its side; these were the ski runs in the winter. We had to remind ourselves that because it appeared so different it was not readily apparent. The chilly mountain air made its first appearance as it wicked away the heat we had accumulated and reminded us to move. But we stayed, rooted by our shared agreement of its majesty. It was altogether impressive, novel, powerful in its vulnerability.
A few patches of snow and that was it. Good thing a grizzled local arrive at the top with us, telling us to visit the second peak. It It would have been a pity to miss this view.
Mt Fromme is also a mountain biking trail and I wasn’t the only one to feel a tinge of jealousy as a biker went by. With no price-friendly bikes so far on second hand sites and no readymade beginner peers to ride with, I felt contented with hiking. But walking under the Dreamcatcher sign ignited something. Dreamcatcher, carved into a wooden moon, hung over a wide boardwalk over a stream, elevated many metres overhead (no railings, naturally.) That would have been something to go over with someone for the first time.