Sunday, July 09, 2006

You Shall NOT Summit Today ...

They say that before one climbs a mountain they should venerate and pay their respect to the mountain they climb. We talk about Everest as the Ultimate Summit, Sagarmatha. Climbers who climb the mountain because it is there, and do not show due respect to her, never make it to the top. Today I did not make it to the top...

Mount Royal is not Everest by any stretch of the imagination. It has been more than a year, I think, that I have attempted to climb the East Face of the Mountain. And let me add that you can summit the mountain the easy way and take the walk/bike path to get to the cross and the chalet house on the Summit of the pipe/peak.

I have shared with you that it is said that Mount Royal is pre-cambrian rock that is millions of years old. The other scientific thought is that Mount Royal and the surrounding rock "Peaks" that dot the area are volcanic "pipes" long since dormant over millions of years. When one visits Mount Royal there are many areas to look at the rock formations that exist above the surface. Faerie Princess and I attempted a summit up a new path today. She was all in her element climbing and ferreting around the side of the mountain looking for passable paths for us to take and I really struggled today, more than usual. I must be getting old because I was huffing and puffing.

After taking that Geology-Natural Diasaster class this Summer, I have alot more understanding about the Mountain that I am so reverent about. It is just an amazing place to visit. I found that we talked about the different rock types and pipes and formations of rock. We started at the obelisk (which is under renovation) so they moved the TAMS over a bit where there are bleachers for people to sit on and beat their drums. We set out from Mount Royal Metro station on Mount Royal walking by resto after resto of people watching the World Cup. More about that later...

We paid our respects the the Tams and set off for the walk path. At one point she chose a path through the woods, it looked like it had been used up to a certain point. Bare ground between the bushes is usually a trodden path. We got past the second level of the walk path and started climbing through the brush and the trees - I have to say that in a years time, the mountain has changed. There was alot of tree fall from previous years climbs, alot more fresh green brush and brambles. I am all for physical exercise. I guess I need more of it. We climbed a steeply graded rocky path, that looked to me to be passabe.

Like I said, if you've never been to the mountain and tried to find a way up the "Pipe" then you have no idea what I am talking about. There are areas of clearing on the East face of the mountain that are reachable by several approaches tha give some of the most spectacular views of the East end of Montreal for 30 miles out to the Stade Olympique and the Port of Montreal up the St. Lawrence River. I was trying to get there, and the path we chose to climb just was not going to give up the booty...

We were climbing not so packed ground, very rocky and steep. I am not the agile on steep surfaces and I had a really hard time keeping my balance and my footing. It has rained alot and I think that the muddy wet sediments were not working in our favors. We got about 500 to 1000 yards up the East face on the path we were trying to navigate and I was hanging on to branches and tree roots trying to climb - it was just not working for me. Faerie Princess was in her element. At one point we were so high I could not see the foot path below us because we were semi vertical in gradiation, and I started to freak out.

I was sweating bullets and I could not stand up and Faerie Princess had to talk me down that slope. I was worried that I would not find my way down, now that I had found my way up a mountain and was on steep slope and I saw no path down. Now tell me I am crazy !! I had found a HUGE branch that I was using as a walking stick to try and balance with, and she had my backpack. We got as far up as a huge abuttment of rock ahead of us on the path up. She could not find a viable path past this area of rock and I was tired and could not climb any further. I had to get down off the mountain. I was tired, muddy and dirty. We did not even take the foot path up to the cross and Chalet House. We decided to sit at the picnic tables so we could rest and drink some water. I read some cards and we talked for awhile.

After our session we started walking down the path back to the tams, and we went down a drive to try and double back. We came upon the HUGE marble monument to Simon McTavish Esquire, and it was just there in a little dark nook of ground on the side of the mountain all by itself. Fascinating, I talked above about the rock on the mountain, here there were these huge pipes of igneous rock that was striated and layered. It was just beautiful. I brought a piece of rock home from that spot. Now I know this exists, I had never seen it before. The only picture I could find online was this one and its teeny tiny!! But the stone must be 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide and almost 2 feet thick. It is not a small monument by any standard. What is engraved on the marble monument is below. You can find the link to the Peter Pond Society below as well.

The inscription reads: "Sacred to the memory of Simon McTavish Esquire who died July 6th, 1804, aged 54 years. This monument is erected by his nephews William and Duncan McGillivray to commemorate their high sense of his manly virtue, and as a grateful tribute for his many acts of kindness to them. Restored by the City of Montreal 1942." If you are really daring and want to read the Scottish Genealogy in Montreal - Historically:

I failed to find my way up the mountain, and on the way back off the mountain Faerie Princess asked me, so what does that mean to you that you tried to climb today and you didn't make it to the top today? I guess that I need to come back more often and find the paths that exist now. With all the rock fall and tree fall and new bruch, after a winter last year that brought us so much snow, the melt off must have moved the paths from where they had been to where they are now.

I guess I need to find the clear paths up to the rock summit on the east face. As well, I have not visited the mountain since last fall 2005, and she was angry that I had not visited sooner like I usually do. It is easier to climb the mountain when you spend time on her slopes, I have not done that this year as in past years. And maybe today was not about me but about the Faerie Princess. She needed me today... I can climb or we can climb again another day. We still have months to attempt other summits without taking the "easy road." Where is the challenge of the climb when one uses the easy road, where is the lesson in the attempt, if you take the easy level path. So we will do this again before too long.

Walking down Mount Royal after leaving Faerie Princess on her corner I crossed the intersection at Mount Royal and St. Laurent Blvd on the Plateau. I wasn't sure who won the game today because there were ample flags and patriots for both France and Italy just crazy all over the place. I had not seen the score until I got home, I did not think to ask anybody on the street. I was going to keep walking to the Metro and I decided that I would get a slice of pizza and some soda and take in the experience so that I could tell you just how CRAZY Montrealers are for the World Cup.

It - was - C R A Z Y !!

There were cops on the corner to keep the peace and I sat in this open air pizza shop watching people hanging out of cars waving flags and screaming and yelling for their respective teams. Both France and Italy had representation in the massive traffic jam of fans. It was just incredible the emotion and the feeling of "brotherhood" that was there on that one location. I imagine it was much much worse in Little Italy. I've never seen so many flags out like that outside a papal mass or Canada day or Jean Baptiste Day Celebrations. It was total mayhem, but it seemed the cops kept to their own and did not interfere from where I sat which was good. I mean, I read that they gave someone a $150.00 ticket for honking her horn the other night, What insanity is that?

You know I am 1/2 Italian on my father's side, and I was a bit taken with the Italian party atmosphere.So I guess I was glad that Italy won. GO GO Italy !!! Fantastico !! Now that I am home we can hear the horn honking from the streets below, it is going to be a crazy night tonight.
I took the Orange - Green line combo route home on the Metro and in the Berri Metro Station people were massed on the platform yelling and screaming - it was utter maddness. I've never seen so many people packed on a platform during operating times cheering, yelling and screaming. The only time that usually happens is when we have a total metro line shutdwon during rush hour and that ain't pretty at all! Today Montreal is partying all over the city with Italy tonight with their win 5 to 3 in a shoot out. I read that the game got downright ugly but Italy kicked some French Soccer Ass !! Good for Italy!!!

Congratulations Italy !!!


Blogger Beverly said...

wow, what an adventure! Sometimes, its best not to make it all the way to the top the first try. Additional tries give you a greater appreciation for the vista.

1:08 AM  

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