Sunday, November 23, 2008

horizontal ice!

Finally a successful day on the ice! We (Luka, Bella and myself) had a blast skating on Vermillion Lakes nearby Banff today. Luka was so keen that he did not want to leave, and after 4 hours on the ice I had to talk him into going home. Now they are playing Aliens in a space ship upstairs and whenever I pass by they shoot me. I wonder where they got this from, at 4 and a half I was still scared of Kasperl and co.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the Replicant

This is the second post in a row of a route I have not done, which tells you a lot about my successful outings this fall. Just before my painful managers meetings in Banff, which are usually 3 days of sitting on my ass, I decided to make a free solo attempt of the "Replicant" on the Terminator Wall. I climbed the route years ago with Hans H., and I still remember the great day we two austrians had up there. I left home at 11a.m and on the drive to Banff I could spot a party on the first pitch. Since the climb is only two 70m pitches long and the approach about 2 hours, I thought the climbers will be long gone by the time I reach the base. Well, I was wrong! The second climber just started following the first pitch when I arrived at the base, and after watching the paint dry for an hour I went home again. It would have been perfect conditions with temperatures hovering around zero, and I was obviously quite disappointed. Now I have my meetings and after that the kids for 6 days, since Kimbi went for a family visit to Ontario. Don't take me wrong, I am looking forward having the kids all by myself for a few days and do some bonding time, but I still have a hard time accepting the fact, that I got hosed today by someone who would have been better of on an easier climb.

Friday, November 14, 2008

in the ice again!

the ice season is on! I was quite slow to react due to various injuries, which kept me focusing more on my work at the lodge and family and simply the couch. I managed to get out and climb Nemesis with Steve H. and Aaron B., which was a blast, and a couple of days later I had a morning session on easy ice in Ranger Creek with Provincal Park boy Steve. Today we had an alpine start for an alpinish route in Kananaskis Country. Our goal was the massive east face of MT. Sorrel, which has some stunning lines to offer. Unfortunately it had snowed a bit too much overnight with strong winds from the SW and we had to bail due to avalanche hazard below and above our attended route. Steve enjoys his sandwich in way or another and Lila, who bravely joined us for the day, had to watch with disgust. Back in Canmore for lunch time with the family without swinging a tool!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I just came back from a trip to Whistler for the ISSW meeting. For those who don't know what this means, don't worry, I did not either. It's the international snow sience work shop, and it was actually a pretty good meeting. 800 people from the snow industry and about 60 presenters is quite a lot for a small town like whistler and an even smaller brain of mine. Luckily I was able to break things up with a few climbing sessions with my old buddy Jay. He moved to Pemberton a couple of years back and besides having a good visit with him, he showed me a few secret spots in the coastal woods. I felt a bit like a tourist with him, which was actually quite enjoyable. above is Jay cranking on the big show in Checkamus Canyon, the famous "Devision Bell" and the picture on top is a beautiful 12d in the Suicide area.
Although the weather was quite coastal (read pissing rain all week) we got treaded with a blue bird day for my last climbing day. Jay took me on a classic Squamish multi pitch route called "Freeway", a 12 pitch climb which was high on my hit list for the past decade. We had our self a really good time and I was able to on sight the climb, which I was quite proud of, since granite climbing is not my forte. After I hurt my shoulder on the descent with a stupid slip on a slick slab, I went for the 1000 km drive home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

family adventure in the Bobbie Burns

The summer in the Burns is going pretty good so far, the weather is quite a mixed bag, with rain being the main ingredient of the mix. Last tour I was able to bring my kids up with Kimbi, and we had a great time. Since it was a family adventure trip, my kids got out everyday on a hike with 9 other kids. They truly enjoyed the helicopter rides, the interaction with the other kids, and wondering around in the mountains with something new to discover around every corner. Luka was so trashed after the 3rd day, that he had to go to bed at 5p.m. and slept until the next morning at 8. I'm already looking forward to next years family adventure!
This is Carl (showing the direction of the future of our summer program) on the first tower of our Via Ferrata, which got finally completed a week ago and is the absolute winner with the guests.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Driving home from work on the Transcanada Highway is always an event for the passionate "outdoorsman". I usually leave the Bobbie Burns Lodge by 11a.m, it takes me about 2.5 hours to drive to Lake Louise, where I usually stop to break up the drive. After a 30 min hike I try to get a burn in at the Back of the Lake, where there are plenty of classic quartzite routes available. I usually arrive without partners, so I try to bum a belay here or there. So far I was always lucky with this tactic, and I got to know some very nice and fun people. I find that when you go with a partner to a cragging area, it's hard to get to know other climbers, simply because you don't have to. Although nobody is going to read this anyways, I would like to thank everyone who spend his precious time belaying me at the Lake, it means a lot to me! Here I would like to share a few impressions from the drive home after another burn at the Lake.
The sun is in my back at this time of the day, and the bizarre limestone formations of the front range of the rockies have a chance to show off.
This is an unclimbed, 300m face fairly close to the highway. Approach time is about 2h, and the thing is right in your face as you drive from Lake Louise to Banff. There is an obvious natural line in the center, right trough the left side of the big roof. If I would only have more time to play, this is a 45min drive from home!

Friday, June 20, 2008

after almost 3 years

Only a week left, time flies by when you have fun! This is/was so far an awesome trip, a mixture between visiting friends and family, spending quality time with my wife and the kids, climbing, and of course drinking lots. Although it did rain every day at least once since my arrival, I was able to get out climbing every 3rd day or so. There are some great bad weather areas close to my hometown, at least 3 good areas where you can climb in pissing rain and with little or no seapage. The picture above is made in Erlsbach, a granite area about 50km drive and 15min hike away from Lienz. The picture below is taken on the Falkenstein, which is even closer, and offers over 110 limestone routes from 6b to 8c.I certainly appreciate the ability of beeing able to climb at almost any kind of weather here, all you need is a fun and keen climbing partner and a car. In Canmore you can have both mentioned above, but you can still be stranded for 10 days in a row in the middle of June due to neverending rain and snow up high.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

getting in shape for Europe

It's pissing rain today, and the forecast is for more to come the next few days. This sucks, but I still have to be happy with my spring climbing preparation for my visit to Austria. Although it boiled pretty much down to 5 days on rock in a 10 day period, I feel like I've gained enough endurance and confidence to face my European hot shot buddies, without embarrassing myself. Although my elbow did not get any better, it did not deteriorate either, so I take that as a bonus. Early this morning at 6:30 I had my 3rd physio/acupuncture treatment with Barb, she seems to know what she is doing. she thinks that the problem with my elbow stems from higher up, so she works mainly on my neck and shoulders, to increase the positive flow to my arms. The picture above is taken by Derek from a route called "the dark half", and the lower picture shows Derek on the classic "Nemo", both routes are located on the lower wall of Acephale

Sunday, May 18, 2008

finally spring!

On May 8th and 9th Canmore recieved almost a meter of new snow here in town due to it's famous spring upslope storms. Since it stayed quite cold for this time of the year it has been pretty slow to melt initially, but now during the Victoria day long weekend, the heat got cranked up. Most cliffs are now in good shape for climbing, although there was a lot of wet routes due to the run off. Most challenging though proofed to be some of the approaches, all the creeks were running high and were pretty much impassable in the afternoon. Derek and I managed to get out to Lake Louise, Bataan and Acephale within the last week, and I was quite happy with my elbow, which seems to hold out quite well after taping it. Both of us tried to climb easier routes and get some milage in, before we look out for some projects for the summer. Derek seems to have his mind set on "Existance Mundane" on the upper wall of Acephale, which is certainly a great project for him. I will fly to Europe in 8 days, so no need to find something until I return end of June. On top you see the raging waterfall in the Colliseum, most of the impressive climbs are located on the wall just left of it. The picture above shows the NW-face of Wind Tower and Mt. Lougheed to the left. Both pictures were taken at almost the same time from my front deck yesterday evening.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

back in the saddle!

It's been a while, I know. I was not sure if I wanted to continue this blog anymore. Initially I thought it might be a good idea to start a little personal blog, but things have changed. I wanted to sharpen my less than midiocre writing skills, let some friends in Europe know what I'm up to these days (it's been almost 3 years that I wasn't there!), and probably most importantly, keep me off the streets! Let's just say, it was a good idea, I was just simply too lazy to keep it up in a busy Winter season like this one.
The picture above was taken about one hour before I got buried in a freaky, little avalanche at work in the Bobbie Burns. It was such a great morning with unbelievable low density powder, and it also was my last day guiding this winter season.
The worst part of the whole story, I buried a guest over 3 meters deep! Luckily we got him out fairly fast and he was unharmed, but the potential for desaster was huge. This was the first time in almost 20 years of guiding (14 winters with CMH), that I had a client I was directly responsible for, completely buried in a slide.Since we did not know what else to do after surviving this nasty little slide, we drank our guts out until 4a.m.! It was of course all fun until the next morning, when I actually realized first thing after I woke up, that there was a reason why I usually try to avoid partying past midnight.