By Athlete Ambassador, Leigh McClurg of Pebbleshoo
As an individual motivated to move and test the limits of what is personally possible, both physically and mentally, I draw inspiration, like many do, from those that came before me and paved the way for the progression that I now make.
The individuals that I am fascinated about are the humans that never crossed any finish lines, they used no aid stations and followed no course markers. They pushed themselves in the areas of our planet that we can still consider wild and untamed.
Their feats, if actually turned into races that individuals could compete in, with the equipment they used, would be some of the most difficult on the planet. Yet they did it alone, or in small groups, and challenged themselves for the simple pursuit of being curious about what was out there. There were no medals, no finish line crowds cheering them on, no glory. They carried back out what they had to carry in and went back to living their lives as normal.
Two individuals whose names I kept coming across as I researched places to explore in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia were Don and Phyllis Munday. You’ll be forgiven if you live in Canada but have never heard of their names before. Yet many of the peaks in and around Southwest BC and beyond where first visited by this couple, including Blackcomb peak in Whistler, British Columbia, back when there were more black bears there than skiers.
In the 1920’s Don and Phyllis Munday discovered the peak that we now refer to today as Mount Waddington. They began a series of explorations into the area, starting at sea level, over the following decade. The fortitude and resilience they showed, as they pushed through dense forest and deep canyons over countless weeks is lost on many modern mountaineers who need only charter a helicopter to fly them directly to the base of this peak, the roof of British Columbia. They initially dubbed this striking mountain “Mystery Peak”. The Mundays would never get to stand on the summit of Mount Waddington, it would need the equipment and techniques of the next generation before this difficult summit would finally be reached. But the extensive mapping of the area that they did is still used even today.
When I visited Blackcomb Peak in the Summer, and scrambled to its summit, long before the skiing crowds of Winter returned, I was there alone and I thought about the lives of the Mundays who achieved the first documented ascent of this peak. In the end, we are all striving after our own mystery mountains, the highest point in our lives that we can hope to reach.
While the Mundays fished and trapped along the way of their adventures, today fuelling has been made much more accessible and easy for myself.
These are my favourite Hammer products for when I scramble and climb in the mountains: