The Hard Way
Trekking through knee-deep snow up Mont-Royal?!
We are often predisposed to take the path of least resistance. After all, you must be some level of crazy if a pot of gold lies at the end of a brick road, and yet, you tread the most treacherous path to it.
Well, maybe I was crazy.
Last weekend, my Canadian friend invited me to join her group of friends at Mont-Royal. She also asked if I wanted to take the hard path through the snow or the meandering route that everyone else takes. As if she was trying to scare me out of choosing the harder option, she also attached pictures of her on all fours and knee-deep in the snow from a previous failed attempt.
Of course, I picked the crazier option.
If you recall, I previously ascended to the observation deck of Mont-Royal via the stairs from Peel Street on New Year’s Eve. The climb was relatively straightforward, and there were no surprises. The roads and stairs were well-maintained despite the snow. However, I had no idea what to expect if we trekked through the snow without taxpayer-maintained paths.
Now, I know that in pictures the climb seems gentle and doable. However, pictures are deceiving. Perhaps, it is the white blanket of snow that obscures any sense of depth, but in my friend’s words, "it was almost a vertical climb!”
One of my friends brought his two dogs along for a walk as well. I have no idea why I was worried about the dogs the night before. I even asked if we would have to carry the dogs up at some point, but they leaped from one spot to the next with astonishing ease. Meanwhile, there I was struggling to dig my boots into the ice to gain a foothold. It was easy wherever there was a lot of snow. The climb got trickier when the surface was iced over, and my feet slipped off every visible rock.
Just when I thought nobody else would be crazy enough, others started up the mountain via the same route as us. Two of us were stuck midway where it was more ice than snow. While we struggled to pull ourselves beyond that point, others passed us by and made it seem so easy! Some of them were even wearing regular sports shoes instead of waterproof boots.
In the end, one of my friends shouted down from above to dig into the surface of the snow with my knees. Applying force to my knees would presumably allow me to hoist myself up. Well, the advice worked like a charm. Thank God it did because I did not know how to get myself down from up there besides sliding—and tumbling.
Getting to the peak of Mont-Royal through the snow instead of the proper path was challenging yet exhilarating. The view from the top was beautiful, and it faces the opposite direction from the observation deck. Honestly, the difficulty in making past the icy sections of the mountain only made it even more fun. I would one hundred percent do it again if anyone asks me along.
Why take the boring path when going off the beaten track is infinitely more fun?
Alright, let’s talk soon!