The surprises atop and over John GardinerPass

We awoke early our spirits along with our gear severely dampened but eagerly anticipating the long journey ahead of us.The first challenge of the day came five minutes into our hike.. The river crossing.. Bee took off first over the log on her hands and knees… Nancy and I chose the river.. Seemed safer!! Once across there were 2 trail signs!! We chose the right one… ( we ran into friends later on that had take the other one and put them 2 hours back!) once across the river the trudge upward!! We had heard about the boggy conditions..but talk about a work out… Every step our feet sunk … Sometimes to the ankle.. Other times to the knees ..  It made the going extremely slow and each step was carefully calculated. My poles were-my saving grace …up and up.. We were fully dressed in all our rain gear .. It was cold, wet and super exciting to be out in the elements .. The surrounding mountains were so powerful and I inhaled their energy.. Out of the mud and into the snowfields …Being that this was my first time really hiking in the snow I was having fun!Our hopes were to make the pass with no wind.. We had heard so many tales of high winds severely affecting progress over the pass… We were blessed … It was absolutely amazing .. Coming over the last trudge up .. Crossing an icy cold river and last push ip the snow covered peak.. We all started laughing… It was a view like no other . Grey glacier was magnificent.. These three girls from California had never seen anything like it before.. We were giddy..a guy we had met from Germany was down the mountain behind us and could hear our childish screams of delight.. After that wore off.. I became very contemplative…thinking of those who were no longer on this planet.. Tears of sadness and joy intermingled and fell from my face.. So blessed to be a witness to the absolute wonders of this world.. On we went.. Nancy and I wanted to push all the way through to Lago Grey.. Bee was wanting to stop.. It was a long day already and we still had a way to go…  She agreed ..  On we went. We had heard about the river crossings in the next section… I was looking forward to them.. I  a water girl… No worries I thought!!! The three river crossings were the scariest most heart thumping events in the entirety of my existence .. I never before knew such fear..we climbed atop a little knoll, the river charging below. At the top of the rise I thought I was going to throw up and I wanted honestly to turn around….looking down into the gorge we saw a ladder.. A metal ladder soldered and roped into the cliff ..  We were to climb down… Cross the rapidly moving white water holding onto another rope and then… Climbing up the other side of the gorge on another ladder…Three of these crossings later and I could breathe a little easier. I asked the girls if they could sense my fear … They said yes… They also saw intense concentration and focus.   Talk about being in the moment…wow!!!! We arrived at Refugio Lago Grey I purchased a beer and toasted myself!!! Intense .. We decided to stay in the Refugio, take a hot shower and kick back!

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