My Engagement Story

For those who are not familiar with the Coquihalla it might be hard to appreciate the significance of this peak. Ottomite is a mountain often overlooked, even though the cliffs of its south face dominate the runaway lane that immediately follows the Great Bear Snowshed. 1

Snowshowers looking onto a large hole in the ice

As it turns out, snowshoes do not aid with swimming

An adventure would not be a true BC adventure without bushwacking, and Ottomite did not disappoint. The first creek crossing had a few cms of water flowing over an icy log structure, and then much of the road to the the next crossing was still inhabited by uncovered alder and fallen logs.

The second crossing was our first real excitement. The area around the bridge was covered by a sheet of ice. Dorothy and I crossed the bridge successfully, but for reasons I don’t understand, three of our group congregated on a section of ice that was a few meters removed from solid ground. There was a big splash; and once all was said and done, one of my friends (who shall not be named) had to slither into his wife’s pants 2 to avoid hypothermia.

Clouds floating over a distant saddle

Beautiful clouds

After having lost more time than we would have liked, we set off up the road. The road here was mostly covered with snow which made travel significantly faster. On the way up we saw what could best be described as a river of clouds flowing over the Zupjok-Zopkios ridge pass. It was quite beautiful. On reaching the fourth switchback we broke off from the road and made our way up the eaet ridge to the summit.

Dorothy & I upon engagement

Me, Dorothy, and a box of Tim Tams

We had made plans to do a Tim Tam Slam at the summit, and the chocolate had been packed up in a plastic bag in my backpack. I gave Dorothy the bag and she reluctantly opened it. At first it wasn’t too bad, but then there was a piece of old webbing in the way, and then another plastic bag, and more old webbing, and so on. She was just about to make me open the whole contraption for her when I told her to read the words on the webbing

webbing with words on it

Doesn’t look very subtle anymore

She found one; it said "will", then another which said "Dorothy", and then "you". "marry me" was buried somewhere in there, but at that point I had already gotten the ring out and was proposing. She said yes, of course (after all, what lady would not say yes to the sort of man who could climb such an indomitable peak).

After that we skied and snowshoed down. The skiing was crappy, and it got dark, and cold, but we were happy.

Dorothy’s ring



For those unfamiliar with the area, I am being tongue-in-cheek. The mountain is lowest in the Coquihalla by a good margin. There is disagreement amount some mountaineers as to whether this is really a mountain, or just a bump that somebody accidentally named.


She had been wearing two pair.