The trip got off to a good start at 4:30 in the morning, not exactly my time, but hey I thought if it means enough daylight to get to the hut I’ll roll with it. By 9 everyone was packed up, all of us being: Spencer (our fearless leader), Caroline (substitute fearless leader), Rich, Fiona, Cameron, Bart, Mirko, Taylor, Brendan, and Stijn (yours truly), and in full gear ready for a flying start. All except for Fiona who’s bindings turned out not to fit her boots. Plan b was put into action with Fiona on snowshoes and rich carrying her downhill skis on his pack. All was well slugging up the logging road with close enough to majestic views to keep us entertained and hungry for more. When we reached the trail head at 2 with just over half the elevation still to go it became clear that this wasn’t going to be as easy as we (I) had thought. The trail was completely snowed over and we were going to have to plough our way along the markers through the forrest. As the day wore on, my hips more and more feeling like someone had taken a shovel and beaten them violently, my shins more and more chafed and the twilight setting in it became clear that this was going to be a night operation. A searching party was sent ahead to scout the trail and plough it out. This ploughing turned more and more difficult as the only people with the energy and resolve left were spencer and rich and their reserves were running low. Add to this the fact that spencer, our fearless leader, was feeling more and more under the weather and ironically less ballsy than before, and the weight of our lot had fallen on rich’s shoulders by 7:30. I on the other hand was beginning to understand why the wiki said I had to be willing to suffer. My beat up hips, chafed open shins combined with a sweat drenched base layer started to make me feel rather cold and annoyed, not to mention tired. Changing into a new base layer however added to my resolve and after catching up with the scouting party I decided to step up to the plate and take my turn at the trail head. After managing a solid 5 min at the front of the pack I was relieved by rich who was fast acquiring a Herculean image in my mind. His faltering strength was luckily improved by finally chucking off those skis of Fiona and leaving them by the trail. The rest of the trail is all a bit of a blur to me as my headlight followed the path laid out for me and my legs were starting to shake every time they were stretched. Fastforward to 9 o clock and we had found the hut were inside and the second party had found brew hut too. Caroline had taken Taylor’s back pack because apparently the hike wasn’t heavy enough for her, and so had the second party made it up. I was already eating my home made pasta salad, which had gotten rather cold in my pack. The choice between core temperature and food made me realise the importance of warm meals. Apparently some others celebrated our heroic efforts with brandy that night, I was not around for any of this as I had hit a narcoleptic wall right after dinner.
Day two saw a small party consisting of Caroline, Mirko, Brendan, Rich and Fiona, leaving early to get some skiing in before our way down. Cameron, Taylor, Bart and myself stayed in to enjoy the heat of my new best friend: the stove. Spencer slept in sickly. At 11:00 we were off, skiing down on those telemark bindings and falling in the process. The way down, even through the dense forrest I found considerably easier, but the majority chose to take of the skis and walk the section through the forrest (had the skis been my own I would have undoubtedly done the same). Finally making it back to the logging road we could get our speed on, and I could try those telemark turns. After a few of those it became apparent that I wasn’t all too stable trying them and I decided to treat my skis as downhill skis with bambi like stability. Spencer and I made it down decently quick, although I kept cursing those no good, fall causing, non releasing telebindings. But now we’re here as I’m writing this waiting by the cars for the others to come down. All in all a great trip with lots of suffering. If I was supposed to write this less from the personal perspective then that is my bad. I can’t change anything now as my hands really need to get back into my gloves if in want to stay decidextrous. Big kiss, little kiss, little hug, little kiss.