The Appeal of Elevation: Mount John Clarke Adventure

Lately, I’m really into the notion of elevation as opposed to speed and distance. I’ve been eating up mountaineering movies like I eat pear/brie grilled cheeses after trail adventures. From the wonders of deadly K2 in The Summit Film to the miraculous story of self rescue in Touching the Void, there is a special allure, and for sure, a real danger to going up high, that the going far / going fast do not carry. While going far or fast can be exhausting, going high also brings an unpredictable complexity, it brings us into nature’s more extreme forms. To me, it’s this added challenge of being in harmony with an extreme external environment that makes elevation so mouth-watering.

I have an overzealous drive right now to spend most of my free time in pursuit of elevation over the next little while. Skinning, snowshoeing, cramponing, dancing up the mountain… whatever. I swear that the McConkey movie did not give me any bad ideas…

Anyway. Last weekend I got to satisfy 1/1000 of my desire, when we ATV’d a crazy logging road outside of Squamish, and scrambled up toward an incredible place worthy of mountain worship: Mount John Clarke, formerly called Sun Peak. Check out this amazing photo sphere that Ryan took toward the top. On this trip I learned two big deal-type things:

  1. hydration bladder tubes get caught on shit, and if you’re on steep terrain, it’s unnecessary risk.
  2. people naturally separate during these things, I think it’s a good idea to use the semi-long pre-adventure drive to make sure everyone in the group knows the game plan / turnaround times.

That is all. The place is amazing. Here are more photos, taken by the always inspiring Ryan Allderman and Kerry Ward:

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