Sunset Pass and a Dead Kid, September 2011

6:03 p.m. on October 16, 2012 (EDT)
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The hike up to Sunset Pass starts with a nasty climb of about 750 metres in just a couple of kilometres, then levels off by Norman Lake (more of a pond, really) for a nice walk through the alpine.

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It's quite the grind, broken only by a few views glimpsed through the trees,
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and one scenic lookout that gives you a peek at Norman Falls.
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Very slippery - note the mud. I warned everybody to be careful and not to slip, thenĀ  took a step back and promptly slid on my butt back down the hill onto the trail. I got muddy and we all laughed.


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I was lucky. Unlike a university student who'd hiked there the week before, I fell to safety. He fell the other way and went off the cliff, about a 150 metre tumble. When we were standing at the top of the lookout, his body was resting far below us. Since he was hiking alone, no one knew where he was until we reported his truck abandoned in the parking lot. Parks Rescue found his body a week later.


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The trail eventually opens up as it levels out...
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and we reached the meadows. Great views all the way around and for the rest of the hike across the valley floor.
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We followed the stream up into the pass,
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and came across a stash of tent poles,
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left behind by an outfitter for his next overnight there.



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Before returning, we took a detour of about 3 km to Sunset Lookout, a worthy destination in its own right.

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Maybe some of you wonder why I get so antsy about safety and about taking responsibility for the things we post here. While the mountains are wonderful, and a day up there is an experience that is unmatched, in my opinion, too many people forget the dangers involved or just forget to take them seriously.

9:53 a.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
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Another great report. So sad about the kid.

11:29 a.m. on October 17, 2012 (EDT)
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It was a nice day, and the views were beautiful.

The only way they knew the kid was missing was when he didn't turn up for the start of his University year. His mom started checking with his friends. They were originally going to meet him but when they cancelled at the last minute, he decided to go ahead on his own.

We noticed a small black pickup in the parking lot when we arrived at 8:00AM and figured someone must have got an early start. When it was still there when we returned, after having met no one on the trail, we started to wonder. The report that he'd gone missing was on the news when we got back, but it wasn't until they mentioned the truck that I called Parks.

I didn't post this right away because it had quite an impact on me, and on the people I'd been hiking with.

October 1, 2014
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