I've scrambled up Ha Ling Peak four times now. The first time was in February 1998 just before my first accent of Grotto Mtn.
What I call "the February window" is a dry time of the winter before the spring snows that affords scramblers the opportunity to get up above the valley bottoms, especially in this part of the range where Chinook winds scour the rocks for what seems like an endless dry period. It usually lasts until April or May and then the spring dump occurs.
Ha Ling; I wonder if he was a cunning linguist?
My second trip was for photos on June 26/2002 during the G8 Summit in Kananaskis. This trip had me drive out the mountains in my Dodge Colt. It, the car, didn't serve me too well. I should have bought a Russian car instead. They, the Russian cars that is, are built like mini tanks. You can rely on solid steel to get you trough the difficult times eh?
During the G8 summit, I thought the lengths that the Canadian government went to were ridiculous.
On my way past the Kananaskis turnoff I noticed, just slightly, a few police; like over 100 mountain bike equipped officers clad in yellow/attack/uniforms ready for any crazy weirdoes ready to run across the grassy open plain. That could have been protected easily and with less expense I might add by a few well placed army or navy snipers with rapid fire armaments.
You get the idea?
Stupid ain't it!
When I got to the summit of Ha Ling I had a lump in my throat until I decided to turn it off. It was a sore one. Ouch! Thankfully I didn't need a lumpectomy though! I wasn't feeling so great that day but later in the summer things got better.
The third time was as a way to fill the rest of the day after a failed attempt to find Stuart Creek on the way to climb Middle Sister with my friend Ann. We only got out to the mountains together once in 2002. Not a vintage year.
And don't expect much of a creek either.
On the way down I had to relieve myself at the side of the trail. Ann stood by below, shy and secretly trying to steal a peek. She seemed frustrated when I returned. All I can say is nothing in life is Free Willy.
The fourth trip was on my glorious way to Mt. Lawrence Grassi via Alan Kanes traverse. I made the summit of Ha Ling in 58 minutes but was drenched with sweat. The rest of the very sunny warm summer day was spent on interesting mountain terrain finding my way to Mt. Lawrence Grassi and a swim in the canal. The traverse was fun and for a lone scrambler is a challenge.
However if the day has blue skies and is calm and beautiful like the day I went, there is not much better you could do for a great and rewarding time in the mountains.
Notes for Monday Oct 4/2004
Made it up in 1:05:38 then I ran down. I was back a the canal at 1:39:00 hrs
The break in the cliff band on Mount Lawrence Grassi may be the route I missed
The shadow of Ha-Link Peak
We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4am of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
1934-, American Essayist