In Pictures: a remarkable 21st birthday adventure

By David F. Rooney

It’s a good thing that Ben Parsons lives in Revelstoke. Sue Leach’s youngest son is an athletic and adventurous young man who enjoys being outdoors more than almost anything — especially if he is accompanied by his well-trained husky, Bransen.

So what better gift could he give himself when he turned 21 on July 28 than a strenuous one-day hike that took the two of them to the summits of Mount Cartier, Ghost Peak and Mount Mackenzie? I can’t think of anything more fitting or more memorable.

The two left Revelstoke very early on the morning of July 28 and were back down about 14 or 15 hours later at around 7 pm. Along the way, they encountered a grazing grizzly that stood up and looked at them then decided they weren’t a threat. They saw— at a considerably distance — some very large deer or possibly elk (Ben wasn’t sure but they appeared to be rather large with darker-than-normal hides). And, finally, mountain goats on Cartier and Ghost.

Ben took quite a few photos of his outdoors jaunt and I liked them so much that he agreed to permit their publication in The Current. Thanks for that, Ben.

I think his photos speak volumes about the place where we live and some of the panoramas are quite lovely. They also say a lot about this young man and his love of nature. I hope it was a very happy birthday.

And now… here are Ben’s photos:

Ben Parsons' 21st birthday present to himself was a hike up three local peaks in one day accompanied only by his canine companion, Bransen. Here they are on top of Mount Cartier. Next stop: Ghost Peak. Ben Parsons photo
This is the view from the backside of Cartier looking at Ghost Peak. Ben Parsons photo
Along the way on this day-long adventure Ben and Bransen encountered a grizzly, which didn't give them any trouble, deer or possibly elk (Ben wasn't sure as he saw them at a distance and they appeared to be very large) and mountain goats. This herd of eight goats is scrambling up a low cliff face in the center left of the picture. Ben Parsons photo
Here's another view of the goats they came across while descending Cartier's north ridge on the trail to Ghost Peak. Ben Parsons photo
Although slightly out of focus you can clearly see the goats. Ben Parsons photo
This is the view of Ghost peak from the northside of Cartier. Ben Parsons photo
At Ghost Lake — the tarn at the foot of the peak — Ben and Bransen posed for a photo before heading up to the summit. Ben Parsons photo
And here they are in front of the cairn erected by other climbers on the summit of Ghost peak. Ben said his shirt was so wet he had to ditch it and don a jacket. Ben Parsons photo
Bransen is, if anything, a true water dog. This young husky loves to swim and seemed impervious to the cold water of Ghost Lake. Ben Parsons photo
Here's another shot of Bransen indulging himself. Ben Parsons photo
As the two friends left Cartier en route to Mackenzie, they encountered two more goats. Ben Parsons photo
Ben couldn't resist taking this portrait of his faithful pet at the summit of Mackenzie. The tripod appears to be left over survey gear. Ben Parsons photo
Here they are together on Mackenzie. Ben Parsons photo
The view from Mount Mackenzie's sub-peak is pretty spectacular — even with the smoke and haze from this summer's forest fires obscuring the detail you can normally see from this vantage point. Ironically, Ben, who fights forest fires ever summer, was called out to go fight fires near Williams Lake this same day. Ben Parsons photo
And here's a farewell photo from Ben's big day — a shot taken from Mackenzie looking back at Ghost Peak with Cartier's summit to the right. Ben Parsons photo