Sunday, November 13, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Conquering my Fear of Heights

At Spruce Lake camp you can sit at the dining table and straight ahead is Spruce Lake. The water in the morning is like glass and reflects the snowy mountains. When you walk outside in the morning you can take a deep breath and taste the trees and the sweet smell is so invigorating your taste buds leap into action. Walking to the dock and turning slightly to the right you'll see Open Heart Mountain. This isn't your ordinary mountain with sharp snowy peaks. The mountain is slightly rounded and looks to be made of sand, but up close, as I discovered, it isn't in fact all sand, it is loose gravel and rocks. This mountain was directly in the path of the glacier and all the rough sharp and jagged mountains were smoothed over and grounded down. The view brings a feeling of wonderment; to the left of your cabin you have mountains that are snow covered and jagged and to the right you have rounded glacial mountains; speechless!

At last I'm told we get to hike up Open Heart. Fantastic! The night before we get everything ready; prepare breakfast, pack our lunches and get dinner ready so all we have to do after our hike is heat it up. The morning came and I'm ready to face the day. We get a few things done and around noon we take off on our pilgrimage. Were not even a quarter of the way up the mountain and I'm out of breath- it's a great time to sit and take look at the view. There is something very awe inspiring about looking down at the land you have trekked. Onward we marched, tripping as we go because we can hardly keep our eyes to the ground with views of mountains and wildlife. We spotted a couple of deer; a four point buck and his doe. Also, marmots, plenty of grouse; baby ones too! We saw bear tracks and scat, eagles soaring and not one mosquito! It was glorious!

On wards and upwards! I only was nervous a few times, as I have had practice with heights in the last month. We are almost at the top and now instead of walking up the mountain, we're climbing. The earth is dry and dusty, the trees are getting shorter and not as sturdy to grab and help pull yourself up. However, the view is getting better and better as I am taking more and more breaks as the air get's thinner and thinner. We finally hit what I thought was the top. I sat down and grabbed my water and started to pat myself on the back. Not only did I climb a mountain without passing out, I made it to the top without freaking out over the height. That's when my guide says, “ We made it to the first look-out and were almost at the top!” Great... Don't get me wrong, the view is undesirable, but I'm tired. Ok, so we stop for a few minutes, catch our breath, drink some water, put the camera away and march on. I thought we were climbing a steep mountain before, now I'm grasping for trees and digging my boots in for traction. I looked behind me and looked down- it is now that I would like to point out that I am scared of heights. I stopped for a second to look behind me at the view and that's when I remembered how high up I was- I was going to slip and die I thought; I'm not going to make it! Every worse case scenario flashed before my eyes. Once again, I had to dig deep and find some kind of hidden strength that I had not spent on climbing this mountain.

I regained focus, squared my shoulders and promised myself I wouldn't look down. Onward I marched. I reached the last look-out and I'm told that this is the end of the hike. This was our goal! I looked to the left and saw more mountains. It was agreed upon that we would finish our lunches here, take pictures, get more water and then we will climb the top. Going up the rest of the way was one of the most scariest things I have ever done. The rocks were loose, the wind was thunderous and everywhere I looked was down. My legs were not shaking anymore. They were stiff with effort to balance, my knees were all banged up from dropping when I lost traction. My heart was racing and pounding in my ears and that's when I reached the top. I sat down and looked around me. I was breathless, not from effort but from the shock of the view. I could almost reach out and touch the clouds. I felt free and humbled. Tears came to my eyes as I realized what I did. I climbed a mountain, I faced my fears and now I am on top of the world!

I would like to say that fear is only in our minds, but there are times when it effects our bodies and when that happened, it becomes more real than any other sense we have. To push yourself and find your limits, to face your fears and find that inner strength is an amazing and thrilling experience. Every-time a fear is faced, we become stronger. Chilcotin Holiday's has given me the chance to do that. Without them I wouldn't of had this life changing experience. Thank you.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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