Boxing Day 2000

27 of 32 (plus 6 K9) Summit Jack's Lake Fire Pit.

They came from all over the metro area, in all fitnes shapes (some still trim, some still overfed) and all ages (1 1/2 to 76), to attempt the 45 minute, 4 km assault over the many routes. It was cold (-15*C) but is was clear and sunny.

After the perfunctionary rendevous at Tim Horton's for a hot, hydrating beverage and a carbo loading doughnut, the team moved to the trail head to begin the day's adventure.

The various Gonzos, friends, wannabees, and family, immediately joined into different groups as they spread out over the initial 15 minute, gradual climb to the "T", where, plans are, most will go the well travelled route to the North, and then East through the Jail House Ice Field, across the bridge to the PIT. Some of the others, including the packpacked infant and her 76 year old Grandmother, would take the shorter 5 minute route south, up the Aleyah Step, to the protection of the PIT.

Hoping I have not missed any of the 32 Gonzos and the K9 section of 6 furry Gonzos, here I go:

The lead group of Viking, Helga, Hindz Catchup, Len Leadbeatter (not a trail name), Judy Arseneau (my twin sister, 7 years my younger), Paula and Jo-Anna Arseneau, Eddie Halfyard (not a trail name), Malcolm GOAT, PackItIn/PackItOut, Scrounger, and K9's C.S. Lewis, Printer, Chealsea, and Hero. This group, showing disdain for the well travelled, and popular tourist route going east through the Jail House Ice Field, decided to continue North to connect up with the 'dreaded Power Line' route through the Death Zone.

The second main group of Sungod, daughters Allison and MOTOR (Sarah), Zac Crouse, IMAX, Spell Chic, Mountain Dancer, Mrs. MD, Dudley-Do-Right, I'm Selling Halifax, Fireball, Barbie Doll, Ed McLean, Lois Beaton and son, 5 year old, Dylan, K9's Fozzie Bear and Bracken seperated from the third group at the "T".

This group, made up of Holly (and the Ivy) Stein, her 1+ daughter Aleyah on her back, and her 76 year old mother Francis Myers, and young adult kids Zack and Samanda, floating along behind took the short South route up the Aleyah Step, "PLANNING?" to meet with the lead group at the FIRE PIT.

The second main thrust group turned North, arriving at the fork going to the East Col, and through the Ice Field.

It was here that the threat of disaster raised its head, there were no footprints to the East, the previous group still going North to the Power Line, and potential danger and death.

Hard decisions had to be made fast, Sarah and Zack immediately started at a trot to catch the lead group, slowly followed by Mark and Sungod. The rest turned up toward the Ice Field and the PIT.

After moving swiftly over the trail a bit of blood went across the brain. Maybe the VIKING had his cell phone. A call was made to find that Sarah and Zack had caught them at the start of the Power Line and the main part of the group were returning to rendevous with us.

VIKING, Malcolm GOAT, Scrounger, and Hindz Catchup would continue up the never climbed Power Line, bushwacking south to the PIT.

After our rendevous, we hiked back to the turn toward the Ice Field, decided the time lost would allow us too late an arrival at the PIT and we decided to continue South and go up the Aleyah Step.

Just before arriving at the "T" disaster struck as my twin sister, while fording a mud puddle, crashed through the ice, into the 18 inch depths of the murky, cold water. The problem was she was in a horizontal position and the water therefore took on the relavence of being 5 feet deep. She was soaked and the temperature was -15*C (the temperature is true, it was cold). An immediate evacuation took place as she was hurried away to the waitng resue vehicle (car) at the trailhead. It was now guareented we would not have 100% summit success.

As we were traverssing up the Aleyah Step we were met by the Holly led group of 5 coming down off the summit. They had waited for the lead group to arrive and light the fire (not having the ability to do so themselves), not knowing the lead group were scattered all over the place. Saying our congradulations on their success as they headed back to base camp, we continued on for the remaining 3 minutes to the PIT and started the fire. Soon to come into camp were IMAX's group who had come throught he Ice Field with no mishaps, and immediately after the boys from the Power Line arrived.

Soon the blaze was going and the delicacies were being passed around. Not having the capacity? to sample everything, the things I remember were the rice and lamb wrapped in grape leaves (Lois), the 'spicy' cheese (Ross), kabobs (Mark S.), steamed muscles (IMAX and Sungod), lots of candied goodies (everyone), hot dogs (Wayne B.). I know there was more but my brain is starting to die. (and my fingers getting tired, it's a lot easier to talk, those muscles are in better shape)

Bottom line it was a great time, The Dipper (in PEI) was thought of, the BIRDER (home in bed) was missed, as were all the others committed to family functions.

Thoughts also went out to our far away Gonzos in Montreal, Minnesota, Cape Breton, New Brunswick et al.

Happy Boxing Day to all, and good 'DOING' in the New Year.

Love and kisses from the kennel of:

Sungod, Birder, and C.S. Lewis -- The Sun god "If it can't be done, it doesn't exist." GONZO HOME PAGE