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

Mt Assiniboine

Life’s been busy as of late with work and family stuff, I feel lucky that Billie and I managed to get out and have a go at Assiniboine.  A Rockies classic and a fine day spent in the hills with a good friend. Continue reading

Mt Victoria East Face

The South Summit is just to the right of the middle of the picture, click to enlarge for our route

With so much snow in the hills it’s tough to put down the torch, when I got the call that a strong posse was eyeing up Mt Victoria I nervously agreed to meet in Lake Louise early the next morning.

My first gig ski patrolling was at Lake Louise ski resort a number of years back where I got my first taste of the Rockies. I was keen to get out on my days off and ski many of the lines on distant peaks I could see from the ski resort.  Staring at Mt Victoria knowing people skied off it’s paired summits, left me a little bit in awe of the iconic mountain that may be one of the most photographed peaks in Canada if not the world.

Saturday morning after a less than ideal sleep I rolled out of bed at a very early 1:30 AM, kissed my pregnant wife as she looked content to sleep another 7 hours, brewed a coffee and had a light breakfast that I guess technically was more like a midnight snack.  Pulling into the parking lot I met the rest of the team Ian, Jeff and Silas.  We walked around the lake shore trail by headlamp, joking that usually there are hundreds of people milling about on a Saturday outside the Chateau. Continue reading

Eagle Pk

Photo Courtesy of http://www.skimostoke.com

On Saturday Jeff and I made plans to climb and ski Eagle Peak at the Pass.  Conditions were near perfect on the SW face, travel was fast but firm requiring all the pointy implements in our packs; ski crampons, foot crampons, mtn axes and whippets.  Once off the top 100 ft and into the sun the corn skiing was delicious.

It’s a great time to be in the hills right now, conditions are fast and the mountains are empty.  Once the weather smartens up it’ll be time to get after it again!

Colvin below the Eagle bowl headwall

Uto and Sir Donald from the summit of Eagle

Columbia Icefields

Day 1:

After a leisurely start to the day we started the long flat slog up the Athabasca Glacier before reaching the crux of hanging seracs overhead. This was more of a steady plod than anything with some amusing moments watching other groups with crushingly heavy loads. The wrap off of the Athabasca around Snowdome was uneventful yet slow as we climbed into the thick cloud layer. We opted for the rope at this point and Continue reading

2012 Ken Jones Classic

Short, sweet and the morning of... the best kind of race briefing

“Don’t break a ski” some smart ass yelled at me while I dropped into the last descent off of Lipalien peak on the larch side of Lake Louise ski area. All that was left was a couple thousand foot descent and a long ski-out around to the front side. I had a minute lead on the racers behind me and I knew the descent well enough but all I could think was “keep it together and for crissakes don’t break a ski, don’t break a ski

The weather was great that morning, a bit of fresh snow and splitter blue skies. After a Continue reading

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

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