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Old 07-12-2004, 09:15 PM   #66
Neil's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,118
I'm from Montreal but got turned on to hiking in Lake Louise, Alberta 25 years ago. I worked out there for 5 summers and 2 winters which permantly marked my life. The first summer was such a hoot, imagine hiking (postholing) up a 10,000 foot pass wearing shorts and steel toed construction boots with a huge gashes between the uppers and the soles and loving every minute of it. As Neil Young sang: All of my changes were there.
After school I elected to settle in Montreal with my francophone wife (we met in L. Louise) and between raising a family and starting a business I gained lots of weight and forgot all about hiking. At least an old buddy from my hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba and I managed to get out on a winter camping trip every year. Then, the kids got older and the business stabilized to the point where I could at least get back into shape. I turned my hiker's eye south to the Dacks but didn't go... After hiking the Rockies extensively, I have to admit, I was a snob. The idea of sharing a summit with more than the people in my group was repugnant to me. (In the meanwhile though, the Canadian Rockies were getting pretty crowded.) Finally, one day, getting tired of just running to be in shape I drove down to the Loj, hiked Marcy and drove home again. I was stiff for 3 days which impressed me favourably. Since then I've done 28 high peaks and have managed to turn one of my 3 kids into a hiking maniac hell bent on becoming a 46er AND a winter 46er to boot.
Living less than a 3 hour drive to the high peaks I now consider myself to be very, very lucky to have such a treasure so close at hand. And guess what? I don't mind sharing a summit with strangers one bit.
The best, the most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun.
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