It looks like I’m getting hitched!
On Sept. 20, while hiking the Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass near Moraine Lake, I proposed to my girlfriend, who thankfully said yes.
Even though we’ve been together for four years, she said the proposal came as a complete surprise, which made me think I did a pretty good job of hiding my intentions. She said afterward she figured it would be another year or two before I asked her.
The proposal was not a spur-of-the-moment decision, of course – I had bought the engagement ring more than a month beforehand. My original idea was to pop the question Oct. 2, which is the anniversary of when my girlfriend – sorry, I mean my fiancée – and I officially became a couple.
My initial plan was to ask her to marry me at the same climbing gym we’d met at more than four years prior, which was also where we had our first date. My plan was thwarted, however, as that climbing wall is still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our Larch Valley hike set for Sept. 20, I knew it would be an ideal alternative.
Anyone who has hiked to Larch Valley in the fall knows exactly how gorgeous it is. With golden trees in the foreground and majestic mountains in the background, I knew it would be a stunning place for a proposal. It was also very fitting to propose during a hike, as my fiancée and I spend many weekends together walking and climbing through the mountains.
The proposal itself was actually quite funny. I decided to ask her at a clearing where nearly every hiker of Larch Valley stops for photos, which meant there was a large group of people who watched me fumble my way through the proposal. My fiancée also thought I was kidding at first, because I asked her in Spanish – "¿Quieres casarte conmigo?" – and she simply thought I said a word wrong. I ended up having to clarify what I meant in English.
Thankfully, we were with two of our friends, whom I had informed of my plan prior to the hike. They were able to document the moment with photos and a video.
Now that we’re engaged, we have a wedding to plan, which is a daunting task. We both have large extended families and have a lot to discuss when it comes to the size of the wedding, when and where it is going to be held and what our wants and needs are.
But I know there’s no one else in the world I’d rather have those conversations with, and I can't wait to marry this woman.