Saturday, March 30, 2013

Climbing Knife Ridge

When Lily and I went to Alberta Lift area, I was impressed by the expert skiers on top of the knife ridge. The beauty of the knife ridge was mesmerizing and I wanted to climb there to see it up close. But we had to delay til the next day because I did not bring my camera.

North side of knife ridge
A Bridge on Knife Ridge
When we reached the top of the Alberta lift the next day, the weather was as gorgeous as it had been the last two days. We parked our skis near the trail head, talked to a ski patrol briefly, and then started to walk up the "stairs" on a 80 degree steep face of the ridge - there was no obvious stairs any more, just some footholds. We saw expert skiers carrying their skis and climbing the stairs with ease and grace, but we could not stand on the footholds at all. We had to use both our feet and hands to stay on course. Because of acrophobia, I was much slower than Lily on the slope.

Once on top of that stairs, we met another ski patrol. He told us that the trail was narrow, the surface icy and slippery, and that we need to be slow and steady otherwise it would be a good tumble down either side of the ridge! We walked on the trail gingerly, with ski poles as walking sticks. Before we took the narrowest section of the path to the bridge, we took a break just to calm ourselves a bit. I took a few pictures of Lily. When I looked back, I saw Alberta Peak - the peak I climbed in 2011! We were pleased. The change of focus from how danger it could be to how beautiful it was made our heart beats almost back to normal :).

Hiking to Knife Ridge

We had to cross a very narrow path to get to the bridge and to the main section of knife ridge. It was scary to walk the narrow path, but the view was breathtaking! No matter which way we looked at, it was simply spectacular!

As we took pictures, quite a few skiers arrived. They stopped momentarily, looked at the vistas and marched onto the knife ridge toward their destination, triple black ski slopes. We did not follow them despite the deceiving grace and ease they showed - we were not in their league! However we were pleased with ourselves that we stretched beyond our comfort zone and were rewarded with heart thumping excitement and thrill, fantastic vistas.

No comments:

Post a Comment