In the company of strangers

A predetermined pick up point. A set location to hike. Blue bird skies. The only thing missing… My friends?

So recently I had an opportunity for a quick rip up one of the Squamish local peaks. The weather had been perfect all week. Work was dragging on, and I needed a pick me up. I had put a shout out to my usual crew, but to no avail.

I was left with a few choices. Go by myself, (not typically my first choice). Or go out of my comfort zone and try something different. Connect with some folks from an online hiking group I belong to.

I admit that I wasn’t crazy about this option at first, even from the moment I signed up. Unsure about others expectations, experience level, egos, attitude. There could be so many reasons not to go this route.

Still, this late in the year, before any major snowfall in the region, I thought it’s still worth the gamble.

So we set a plan and place to meet. 4 of us in total. To be honest, I felt the strangest part would be the drive up to the trail head. Everyone sizing each other up, seeing where we all fit in. Awkward. But I endured.

I picked 2 of them up at St David’s church, situated just off the highway. A regular pick up spot for hikers, bikers, and skiers in the region. We quietly chatted on the drive to Squamish. Where we had been, what we do for work. Small talk. Once we reached our turn off, we met with the 4th member of the group and made our way up the FSR to the trail head. From there we ditched the truck and made our way to our target. The day went off without a hitch.

The short version of this is that, well, we truly all come from different walks of life. We all have different experiences, and different strengths, and that makes for interesting stories to tell and experiences to share, regardless of our strengths or weaknesses. Good conversation, and discussions around safety filled our time as we made our way upward to the saddle. Some of the folks requested that I not disclose the location or other members of the group, which I will respect.

The overall. The sky stayed blue, the hike was amazing and the opportunity to sip tea on a snowy mountain peak (well saddle) in the company of strangers. Fantastic. Opportunities breed opportunities, and we should all be able to push ourselves to get a little uncomfortable sometimes.

Cheers

Chris

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