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Elevate me Summits Mount Begbie (Revelstoke)!!!
  Kurt Ellingson 12:00 AM
For years, my boyfriend has been saying "mountaineering this, and mountaineering that" and when we go hiking he often sports his "mountaineering boots”. I never really understood what that meant, until now.

Over the years, I have spent a lot of time in the mountains, however, always running or day hiking. This summer, Peter and I went to Revelstoke to visit friends Todd and Kristen. It was Todd (an assistant Ski Guide) who came up with the brilliant idea to summit Mt. Begbie. This would not be an easy task and it would be an all day adventure. As we began packing the next morning, I was handed an Ice axe and some serious looking Crampons and wondered what I was getting myself into!

The day started out with steep switchback hiking. I don't think I have ever hiked up switchbacks that were this steep. I started to sweat immediately and honestly could not wait to reach the tree line where the grade lessened. After 3 hours of hiking we finally came into a brilliant rocky meadow. The view was breathtaking.

The next section was the toughest of the day (for me). The 4 of us, all connected by the same rope, worked our way across a rather large glacier. My previous experience with this equals none. The 3 others I was with all donned mountaineering boots, while I, was wearing my low profile trail running shoes. I felt a little unprepared but they assured me I'd be fine. You could see the crevasses throughout the glacier but there were also some you could not see. Todd, in front me, was jabbing his ski pole into the snow to see if it was solid. I remember quite vividly this one time the pole went straight through. Todd put a big 'x' in the snow and said to me "Nicola, do not step here or you will fall to your death". I was a little more than freaked out but managed to jump my way across it!

We finally reached the rocky peak we had to climb up. This peak was unlike anything I had ever been on this high up on a mountain. It was as though someone had stacked flat rocks a thousand feet high. The scramble up was by far my favourite part of the day. It was almost as good as the view from the top. We ate some lunch and relaxed for a while before heading back down.

The last thing that I was nervous about was rappelling back onto the glacier from the rock. Rappelling, I was told, was going to be easier than climbing back down to the glacier. It was actually really fun and because the rock was overhanging, I was just lowering myself in thin air. From there we made our way back across the glacier and hiked all the way back down. Peter and I decided to run back down and I cursed the now steep downhill switchbacks once more. I was happy to have brought my Elevate Me all natural protein bar because I was so hungry on the way down.The entire round trip took 11 hours and it was well worth it. My first dose of mountaineering was a success and I look forward to trying it out more in the future.

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