two years on: Mike Pollard

Mike Pollard

Mike Pollard Dec 22, 1973 – Feb 27, 2010

Two years ago, Mike, Ross, and I headed out on what was to become an annual event: the Reading Week ski trip. Our objective was to complete the entire Wapta Traverse, from Peyto Lake to Sherbrooke Lake.  The second day was the hardest as we used GPS to navigate from Peyto to Bow Hut through whiteout conditions.

At Bow Hut, Ross and Jon peeled off to exit via Bow Lake to meet other commitments. Mike and I continued on for another three days to the Balfour Hut, Niles-Daly Hut and then to Sherbrooke Lake.

It was a long slog of a traverse, and Mike, being no great skier and struggling with new boots that were blistering his feet, nonetheless managed to outski me on all the downhill bits. By the time we reached Sherbrooke Lake under sunny skies, we were ready for  showers, beer, and pizza.

The oddly attired gent between us dispensing Scotch from his supersoaker was an inebriated snowboarder from a passing tour bus who could scarcely comprehend where we had been and what we had done. It was a surreal end to a great adventure, but the last we’ll share with Mike.

This is the last photo I have of Mike.  A few days later he was gone. And after two years, Ross, Jon, and I still feel his loss. We’ll always miss his enthusiasm, love of friends and the mountains, and his unrelenting drive to get up anything in front of us. In his short life, Mike  accomplished so much and touched so many people.

Here’s to you, chemist.

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