Back at the Campfire

Back at the Campfire

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Three years ago my life on the other side of the world ended.  A neat line was drawn under seven years of friendships, relationships and work. I got on a plane, left one life and started a new one on the other side of the world.

Three months ago I did the trip I promised myself since leaving.  Heading back to see my friends by the fire pit.  My spot was still there saved for me.  I sat back down to hear how the people I once shared everything with had made out.

As my memory of everyone had been frozen since leaving the changes were sometimes a shock. Three years can bring a lot of change.

Couples broke up, friends drifted apart, businesses were on troubled waters.  And one friend was no longer with us.  His chair still left respectfully empty, an absence still  keenly felt.  Drinks were held high and his toast given “He wasn’t bad for a dickhead.”

Of course there were the ups as well.  Marrages, new business ventures, childeren, homes completed and friends now in better health.  There is a lot of life that can be lived in three years.  Lots to miss out on.  I was all the more touched that there was still a place by the campfire left for me.

It will be a long time until I am back and who knows what i’ll find then.

 

 

 

Some Highlights of the Trip.

Mt Assiniboine

Mt Assiniboine

Mt Assiniboine is a great example of what sits in your back yard when you live in Banff.  It is located between a local ski resort and Canmore.  In summer months you are even able to walk to the mountain from the ski resort.  This was not an option with the recent floods having taken out the trail leaving us to walk out the same way we had walked in.

While I was keen to remove items from my Canadian bucket list by seeing Assiniboine in the flesh I realised that I really wanted to climb it.

So now I have added climbing Mt Assiniboine to my list.

Goodbye Canada!

Goodbye Canada!

This was a very personal project for me.  After seven years of living in Canada I had made a lot of friends.  Unfortunately I had to leave and who knows if I’ll ever be back.  I started to wonder what the best way to say a goodbye would be if anything was possible.

What if you had two minutes, just before you left to enjoy the company of each group of friends doing what you loved together.  Here is my take on what that would look like.

Abbot Pass hut

Abbot Pass hut

Matt may never forgive me for the description I gave for this trip.  An easy 4 hour walk to the hut.  I am not sure where I got this nugget from but it was way off the mark.  The last leg of the walk was a long slog up a 700m of scree slope.  It was as arduous as climbing a sand dune and more treacherous as any walk I have ever done.   But of course the view from the second highest alpine Hutt in the Canadian Rockies was certainly worth it.

Burstal Pass Touring

Burstal Pass Touring

A fun day out with friends.  Fantastic spring conditions meant the only thing we were concerned about was cornices falling off overhanging cliffs.  That and sunburn!