Sunday, October 18, 2009

Running Shoe Mountaineering: Above Bench Lake

Slush was sliding and catching along the banks of the Matanuska river when Bill met me and ferried me across in his inflatable kayak. I always wondered how shelf ice formed, I felt like I was watching the first steps of the whole river freezing process. It was awesome.

Bill told me he had a ridge walk in mind behind his house, and since I've never hiked on that side of the Matanuska river I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to look around. We left from the yurt at about 1 in the afternoon, made it to the ridge by 3, and were on top of our peak by 5:45...from here gendarmes made the traveling a bit more interesting....

Heading Up and Around
Photo by: Bill Billmier


It was kind of bad timing that the most exposed sketchy part of our hike happened as the sun was setting...there was some debate as to making do with what we had or searching for something the end like an addicted gambler I couldn't help but feel if we just went a little further something better would appear....and it did....barely. First time I've used a Bibler...have to say I'm now a big fan.

Our Lovely Campsite

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After an early start we were lucky to reach the top of the ridge just as the sun crested the mountains beyond, the snow sparkled so brightly it was mesmerizing, I wish I could live a lifetime in moments like those...

Early Morning Peak Bagging


Billmier exists in a different reality than me sometimes...getting up at 6:30 when its dark is the most natural option in his mind...steep, sketchy slopes hardly make him pause...Even though I know what I'm comfortable with its still unnerving to have to be the one to decide if the risk is acceptable or not...because Bill is always so chill and willing....basically way more talented and less scared! That damn self preservation instinct!




ginnylynnpeterson said...

Sherrie your still the badest of all asses in my book! (are those words??)

Anonymous said...

Toughen up girl, things are not alway as bad as it seems. You need to learn to push that edge, to live on the edge.

Sherrie Soltis said...

Thanks for the ego boost Lynn...and J. Laurance I was trying to say that over time I can recognize where my own "edges" are instead of pushing myself off someone elses...