A few more scout pictures. You are going to think all we did was scouts and maybe that's true. I really suspect its more likely that this was the only times I thought to bring along a camera and now the only records I have of those days are those events. These are from Mt. St. Hilaire. Bill Uprichard, Melvyn Poppe, Harold Rye and I still can't remember the other names.
This was an excellent place to go for a hike/climb, especially for a group of amateurs like ourselves..We tried the rock face approach only once. We had neither equipment nor experience. That got us into to trouble but we were so ignorant, we didn't know it so we just kept on going until by dumb luck we got ourselves out. I remember two such situations .
First we tried to go up a shear chimney or a narrow open cleft which was about 65 feet high. We got as high as we could by fingers, toes and grit but then we could go no higher. The only way out was back down. We put our backs against one side and our feet against the other and wedged our bodies horizontally. By moving our feet and our arms we were able to wiggle our way slowly back down to the ground.
Water was flowing down the sides of the rock so while our backs were clamped up against them, the ice-cold water went down our shirts. You would think that would have taught us a lesson, but you know better.In a few minutes we were trying again on an open face.
Today they have practicing walls, with ropes attached to your waist. We didn't have them or the brains to think that far ahead. Bill Uprichard and I just started up the shear face determined to get to the top. About the same height up again( seems to be my attitude altitude ), I came to a stop. My toes were on a small shelf and my fingers clipped into the only crevasses I could find and there seemed to be no way to up further. The only way I could look was straight up or to either side and there was no place to put even my finger nails.
No problem I thought, I'll just go down like we did before. Well, it is a problem when you can't look down towards your feet. It means you can't see where to put them either. I started yelling for Bill to come and help. There was no answer so I yelled harder. Still, nothing but silence. I hung there for what seemed like hours trying to think out what to do. I slowly started moving my left foot then my right foot around in circles with the toe up against the rock trying to find any place lower than where I was so that I might be able to descend.
Then contact. I stretched cautiously down ward putting weight on the foot that had caught. I kept repeating this process until, more that 40 minutes later, I was back on the ground. I was shaking with exhaustion and really angry that Bill had not come to my rescue when I had called. Then it occurred to me that Bill was still no where around. I started walking around the bottom of the cliff and shortly spotted Bill, away up the face beyond where I had been. He was clinging to the wall and was in exactly the same situation that I had been in. He was hollering for help too but the wind was carrying his voice away and could hardly be heard even from where I was standing. I called to him and told him I would guide him down.
I knew exactly what the problem was. He could not see where to put his feet to come down but from the ground I could. I called to him with directions. So many inches to the left with your right foot, a few more. O.K. now the left foot. In a short while Bill was down and shaken up too. From that time forward we went up the trails. You can see us doing that in one of the pictures. The view from the top is fantastic. You can see the Richelieu River and the cars as tiny specks moving along the highway to St. Hyacinthe. Sorry about the quality of the photos, but even as they are. I still remember the lessons we learned. We should have paid more attention the scout motto "Be prepared"
Catch you later
BY THE WAY!
Thanks to all the folks who have been sending in names of the scouts and scouters. As they are named , a foggy memory stirs. I have to wonder where they all are today and if any of this "fun stuff " had any long lasting effect.