The peak of my summer.

“YANN!” I yelled from the top of a mountain.

I don’t like using my voice in public. The deaf accent is mocked globally. Imagine not getting to experience a part of yourself that the public gets to experience? Then the result of your efforts to accommodate others not only goes by unappreciated but gets ridiculed!

But it wasn’t the time to be insecure about my voice. I was near the top of Mount Albert Edward, alone, and without water. I had seen Yann just a few minutes earlier: he was busy massaging a water purification tablet into a Nalgene bottle filled with snow. He had also run out of water, and our solution was to thaw last season’s snow.

Continue reading “The peak of my summer.”

Hiking El Chalten.

In El Chalten, there are 5 hikes that start from various points of town: Laguna de los Tres, Chorrillo de Salto, Laguna Torre, Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, and Laguna Toro.

ElChaltenMap

All buses going into El Chalten are required to make a stop at the Visitor’s Centre for an orientation from the park ranger. Instead of listening to the park ranger’s lecture–because I cannot hear–I sized-up the other adventurers. Judging by the brand names on their technical gear, they were mostly European, but I was able to pick out a few Canadians from the crowd. (MEC, Canada Goose, La Cordee, are all brands that are a more reliable way of identifying a traveller as Canadian than the maple leaf patch!) I could see several ropes, carabiners, and climbing shoes sticking out of some people’s packs.

Mélissa gave me an overview of the park ranger’s address. The ranger had emphasized how the weather was often unpredictable and advised us to be well prepared for these sudden changes. The map that was distributed to us denoted the sections of the trails that were to be avoided in high winds.

This was serious business.

Continue reading “Hiking El Chalten.”

Le P’tit Train by nightfall.

In Montréal, we like to ignore the transitional period that is springtime. While crocuses symbolize spring in Vancouver, it was the reappearance of Bixi (public bike sharing system) docking stations that made me realize that winter was finally over.

Within a week of the installation of these bike docks, Montréalais emerge from their goose down cocoons wearing shorts, even when it’s only 10 degrees out. Summer’s too short to not wear shorts.

Our refusal to recognize spring means many of us prematurely dive into summertime activities. Last week’s hike in Parc national du Mont-Tremblant was a cold-blooded reminder that in the mountains there’s still snow. Lots of it.

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Final travelogue.

I have just concluded my first week back at work post-vacation, but I’m still not finished talking about my vacation.

On Thursday the 19th, I took my gym-loving sister, Jenn, to the gym. Not the kind she usually goes to, but the kind I usually go to. My preferred type of gym has almost entirely padded flooring, and a lot of chalk dust. Jenn is a Crossfitter and, yes, she talks about it a lot but come to think of it, climbers also talk about climbing excessively.

Her being a crossfitter has the family commenting on her burly physique a lot. Dad in particular is strangely interested in the physique of others. He mentioned no less than four times that my brother had gotten really fat, and when I told him that I had visited two of my childhood friends, he asked whether either of them had gotten fat. It did make me wonder how Dad describes my  physique.

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