We were trying to remember how many of these trips have come and gone, we think the first one was 2006, Mike would travel from Holland at first, Toronto later to join in on the exploits. We shouldered mountaineering packs and gained the toe of the Brazeau icefield before being blasted by a summer storm, we recall tent coffees, laughs and the comraderie that comes when friends become climbing partners and later, family. I don't know if we would have remembered anything different if we had good weather.
The next years were more successful in terms of climbs completed, etc. After Mike died we kept the trips going no doubt. Everyone everywhere is busy and its difficult to get together despite how obvious it is to us all that these trips and our friendships and memories of our friends far surpass the importance of our vocational responsibilities. We have all tried hard to meet over a summers week and get out, reconnect as friends and reset.
As climbing motivations have waned for some of us, focus has been placed on long distance hikes. Mainly, covering lots of ground with 30L packs. We have each spent sums of cash on the lightest gear but we have also applied our minimalist climbing ideals to backpacking, simple luxuries like a coffee cup, flip flops and scotch flasks are scrutinized and added or subtracted. Ultimately, we are extremely comfortable with our light packs and when the trail ends for the day, we relax and I've never wanted anything else then what is inside my little pack.
One of the highlights for me on these long un-scenic days is G's philosophy lectures, today's was on the broad topic of the philosophy of religion and more specifically the 'problem of evil', articulated very well by the G meister.