Tuesday’s hike was amazing, wonderful and absolutely, totally fear factor for this gal! The rest of our merry band had no issues of course but this ‘scaredy cat of heights’ had to resort to full Gollum (crawling on all 4s) for a good hour+ … here are the details:
We woke up in the morning and had a great eggs and toast and granola breakfast with fabulous coffee and by 9am our crazy crew was out the door the bottom of Gros Morne Mountain. Today the new addition to our band, Amy and Sheldon, are joining us for the fun! We met them at the mountain for 930 and off we hiked!
The path was beautiful instantly – wow! Lots of rocks and roots to step over, some muddy muck and built in boardwalks! Beautiful! I was feeling like I could hike this thing all day – my favorite kind of trail!
At about 4kms into this 16km hike we came out of the tree filled path into the rock gully. The very steep, crazy, uphill, hell gully we would be climbing the rest of the way to the top! Ok so not all of us considered it hell – for me it was though and I had to crawl most of it on all 4s! The pictures do not do justice … to showing you what I can only imagine is a great view or showing you just how steep the ascent really was but I promise you it was super sketchy! My favorite part was the snow pack on the way up – slick, icy snow on a steep hill where you could slide to your Gros Morne death. So the very best!
At about 8km we finally made it to the top – let’s be clear most folks were there before me. Seems crawling takes longer than walking. I felt sort of bad as I had the lunch sandwiches in my pack but also vindicated as I was confidently advised the trail would not be a problem for my fear of heights so making them wait for sustenance was a little payback lol. Stick with Nick (our ‘travel guide’) was losing stars on Yelp with every Gollum-like crawl I had to complete … at one point his fake guide company we made up received a rebrand to Nick the Trick!
Once at the top, we toasted the ascent with a massive shared can of local brew and the sandwiches I trudged up in a crawl. The fog was even thicker on top – making the lunch stop a little cold but also eerie in a really cool way! Still recovering from the gully of satan I was giving this hike a thumbs down!
After a short break and before the fog and cold seeped into the bones – we started to make our way down. We walked clear across the top (the shape of which Chauncey, our resident comedian and mechanical/wood working Rain Man, described as a bread bun) on well makes rock paths and boardwalks – so cool. If you were any more than 50feet apart you might as well have been alone though, the fog just swallowed everything up!
The Yelp stars were going up on Yelp again for Nick our friendly, neighborhood guide with this cool on top stuff. I loved the random built in boardwalks – felt so good to get a full stride in after crawling about for a couple hours! On the initial part of the descent down the back side of the mountain we even came across a random ‘staircase to nowhere’ – so cool!
From there we just continued down and around the mountain for another 8km – it felt like the longest 8km ever, ever though I have to tell you. I think the heart rate of 270 up the gully climb made me pretty tired for the downhill. I felt a little like an overlooked noodle but the company was fabulous! A 8km hiking conversation among me, Shar and Cheryl was like coming home … we just needed Rosa! (We missed you Commander Butter)
We started out at 936am and wrapped up at about 530pm and could not have been more thankful. Sheldon and Amy provided some yummy homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at the finish line, Amy chucked her super muddy and now fully worn out sneakers (my boots should have probably followed) and then we set off for Rocky Harbour for some eats and a pint!
What a day! What a trail! What a crew! I would hike any day, anywhere with these geeks but next time I am picking the trail!
PS want to know what the dinner bun (aka Gros Morne Mountain) actually looks like without all the pea soup? Here you go – the arrow marks our route! This picture was taken the day after the hike.