By Eric Carter
Summit registers can be found on a number of peaks across Canada. They survive harsh conditions year in and year out. They are filled with names, dates, and the emotions from people who successfully reached the summit.
Some of the entries describe beautiful weather and others the apprehension of a difficult descent. Summit registers are unique in holding the names of only those who have reached them with no patience for a failed attempt.
Prior to 2013, signing Sky Pilot’s register required driving up a bumpy logging road followed by a long hike through dense alder before ascending the Stadium Glacier and scrambling to the peak. Sky Pilot saw nowhere near the attention of other sea-to-sky “classics” such as The Lions and The Chief. With the completion of a new gondola that whisks tourists and alpinists to the base of the route, Sky Pilot has seen renewed interest.
Over the weekend, my girlfriend and I found the summit register a wet mess of pulpy paper, its protective tube cracked and exposed to the coastal winter. We decided to remove it (normally bad luck), salvage the remains, and replace it with a new book. The papers that survived were filled with names of friends and others who reached the peak between 2002 and 2013. Some of the entries were funny, some somber. A few poems would be inappropriate for my grandmother to read and therefore not fit to print, but one caught my eye.
A glacial haiku with its author’s signature missing:
Glaciers shining white
covered in icy silence
flowing so slowly.