My Blog

Mt. Finlayson with the Himalaya Freaks

6.15.2010 | advice, Hikes, Motivation, My Blog

Yesterday I had an adventure!

I took the ferry over to Victoria to visit with my brother Todd and his lovely girlfriend Becky. As regular readers of this blog will know, Todd and Becky just returned from 6 weeks of hiking through Tibet and Nepal, where they were able to take a 19-day trek to Everest Base Camp. So of course I thought that hiking up a small mountain on the island with the two of them would be a fantastic idea. Either I need to stop drinking so much, or I need to start drinking far more.

I packed a small bag, threw on my hiking boots, draped myself in all things Arcteryx and was promptly whisked off to the ferry terminal (thanks mom!). The really great thing about taking the ferry is the fact that for $13 you can take a (2-hour) cruise that doesn’t assault your sensibilities by forcing you to listen to steel drums for extended periods of time, or watch horrified as Mr. Creosote waddles up to the buffet line for his 4th helping of lard-covered fat sticks. However, I do not recommend taking this delightful mini-cruise if you have an allergy to patchouli, or if you have an allergy to being in ocean-going close confines with unruly children.


Todd and Becky thought it would be fun to go for a hike with me while telling me all about their trip. I completely agreed, and was so very excited to see them both. Although they certainly had some incredible stories to relate, it was their little pearls of travel wisdom that most intrigued me. We talked food, water, altitude, how to tie your boots for ascent vs. descent, and the effective layering of clothing. I must say this, as mature as I am, and as open as I am to learning new things, hearing about the number of times my older brother changed his underwear while trekking in Tibet was really not high on my list of ideal conversation topics*. And do NOT get me started on the Bowel-Movement Rating System…

The hike up Mt. Finlayson is really quite beautiful. Todd and Becky set a decent pace, and I didn’t feel as though I were struggling too much. At one point I started to get frustrated that I wasn’t keeping up with them very well, but I had to remind myself that the two of them had just spent a good deal of time hanging out where pro mountaineers go to challenge themselves. I had to give my ego a bit of a slap, and it helped.

So, after an hour or so of some scrambly, craggy, trail jaunting, we reached the summit of Mt. Finlayson. We were very proud.

Of course, as I was rasping for breath, wondering how internal organs could be on fire, Todd and Becky seemed somewhat less effected…

I like to call this photo, “Meh.”  I mean really, these two just hung out with lamas in Tibet last week. Climbing the mighty Mt. Finny at a whopping 1375 ft (a mere 17,965 ft shorter than Kili), I could understand that they may have been just slightly underwhelmed.

Regardless, the were both incredibly gracious hosts, sharing their stories, imparting their wisdom, giving me potato chips carrots and celery on the drive up, and treating me to  beer and nachos a healthy dinner before taking me to the ferry terminal.

It was a good hike, and a great day in fantastic company. Both Todd and Becky gave me a lot to think about, and I had my eyes opened again to the fact that I need to get out there and get active, right now. I am so not ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and as I wheezed and burned up a hill whose height is 14 times less than that of Kili, that certainly became perfectly clear.

On the upside, I was certainly well educated on the most important items to bring on my climb that will ensure a mentally successful trip: wet wipes, Snickers bars, and apparently a lot less underwear than I thought was necessary.

*note to self: buy Todd some new underwear for Christmas. Also, buy Becky Hazmat gloves for laundry day*