Alpine Summer

Thought I’d post a few more pictures I took this summer from a few alpine climbing days I got in this summer.  The pictures are from Mt Louis, Mt Tupper and the Avalanche-Eagle-Uto Enchainment, all awesome days, many thanks to Billie and Jeff for sharing the rope with me.

Late summer and fall turned out to be beautiful and I felt lucky that I had a (mostly) understanding pregnant wife who let me shirk off house chores to escape into the mountains.

Preggers herself sending at the Back of the Lake

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Canadian Skimo Training Camp – Farnham Delivers

Members of the Canadian Skimo Team got together last weekend to head up to the Farnham Glacier to get in some early season mileage to round out the training programs.  The crew was small but keen and we all made the 60 km drive from Radium BC on old logging roads to the snow-line where the road climbs steeply into the alpine and becomes not safely drivable.  The road accesses the site that the National Alpine Ski Team and Ski-cross teams used to do their summer training on.  Once the Olympics were over the money dried up for the multimillion dollar camp and eventually it was torn down, all except a basic warming hut.  Fitting then that without helicopters and snowcats the only National Ski team left that can train there is the Ski-mountaineering team.

The road to the camp weaves through some pretty impressive avalanche terrain so the window to safely access the glacier(without helicopter or snowmobile support) is Continue reading

Victoria 8km road race

The Victoria Goodlife Marathon has become a family thanksgiving family tradition for us in the Gale clan. It’s wild to line up with 2400 people in the 8km road race, yah…. The 8k ….There’s no way you could catch this cowboy running 42 clicks on pavement.

The energy walking downtown to the start line at the parliament is electric, the closer you get people start streaming out of every nook and cranny in all assortments of fancy/nerdy running gear.

After wishing Shauna goodluck in the half, and getting sorted into the start corral with Billie and my mom, Bill and I decided that the self seeded start line wasn’t very well self seeded so we promptly elbowed past hundreds of nervous racers to within a few meters of the elite racers, and then we waited.

** No we didn’t run in the cartoon costumes, but I wish we had of **

All 2400 racers counted down the last 10 seconds to the word GO!!!!! The start was the expected bob and weave until racers settled in. I hung in with some pretty badass Continue reading

Mt Victoria -South Summit

Reiner and I took advantage of a few days off I had and made a go at the SE ridge of Mt Victoria. The route is a classic Rockies mountaineering objective and standing at 11,365ft it’s East face looms above Lake Louise, because of this it’s viewed through more camera lenses than perhaps any other peak in Canada.

After a short bus fiasco we were on our way to the Ohara valley on the only motorised access in. With our anorexic overnight packs shouldered we put our heads down and got to the Abbot Pass hut quickly.  The idea was to  spend as little time as possible in the scree bowling alley up to the Col. Dinner and sleep ensued shortly after arriving in preparation for our 6 am start, as it was an onsight effort for both of us neither Reiner or I felt like climbing much of the route in the dark.

The route was a mix of steep snow, easy rockclimbing and steep exposed ridge walking.  Moving ropeless and finding well setup snowy conditions we made fast progress and arrived at the South Summit in abit over 3 hours.  Another hour and a half down and we were shnoozing in the empty(quiet) hut before packing up and heading down to sniff out a coffee and pastry from the cafe at the bus-stop.

Farnham Glacier July Turns

Southern Caribou Speed Attempt

 

 

There’s still so much to learn in this speed traverse game that we’ve been trying to play this spring.  We took lessons learned from our Wapta speed tour and set our sights on a bigger traverse in a bigger range.  The Southern Caribou from the Mclellan Glacier to Azure Pass seemed like a worthy step up.  Ultimately the traverse was unsuccessful in reaching the planned end point but the tour that we completed was an important step towards our larger goal of moving fast and light in the mountains.  Continue reading

Wapta Speed Traverse

The idea of the Wapta speed traverse has captivated and intrigued me for a long time, years ago when I did it in a day for the first time I was instantly curious how fast it could be done.  Reiner and I set out last year in an attempt to bang it off quickly but impatience and a lack of experience meant deep trail breaking and a bit of an epic retreat.

When the idea was raised this year the recent snowfall and cloudy day in the forecast made me skeptical conditions were perfect, and when speed is the name of the game, the route needs to be prime. Skintrack needs to be already broken, visibility needs to be perfect, and ski pen needs to be shallow enough that skinny skis Continue reading

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