Sunday, August 29, 2010

first frost and snow

It's not even September yet and yesterday morning, after a mean cold front moved through he valley, we got our frost frost. A short summer indeed, since the forecast for the next week promises more rain, snow up high and cold temperatures. Luckily I was able to take advantage of a short weather window and got to climb at the Lookout in perfect conditions. I was not the only one trying to get out before the weather shut all climbing activities down and it was good to see about 15 keen climbers up there. The biggest difference to other busy climbing days was the fact that out of the 16 routes (excluding projects) at the Atlantis sector 15 got climbed by various climbers. There was never a line up anywhere and a very positive vibe throughout the day. I lucked out too and climbed my first "new" 5.13 of the year, which came as a real surprise to me. "Diamonds on the inside" with it's 40m of very overhanging, athletic climbing is one of the best of the grade in the Valley and I'd highly recommend it to everyone. Let's all pray for a nice fall!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Luftreise is the german word for Air Voyage. Climbed there today with Derek with an 8 a.m alpine start. A chilly walk brought us to the cliff in perfect timing, as I was leading the first route the sun started to hit the face. We enjoyed the first few hours of tranquility before the weekend crowds showed up. Eric Dumerac looking scared on Scared Peaches, a ueber classic 5.12 gear route. We got on the route earlier and climbed the extension, which is probably one of the best single pitch gear routes in the Rockies. Although never too hard, after 40m of climbing I always arrive trashed and very happy at the top anchors.
The haze in the morning air is actually smoke from the BC forest fires.

Monday, August 16, 2010

is this Summer now?

After some back problems, rain and some great family holidays I got out for a climbing session again. For a change Derek and I had perfect weather and we had to battle the heat. Although I climbed a lot in Lake Louise, I managed to get 4 or 5 new routes in I have never been on before. We mainly hung out on the shady left side of Blob Rock, which is in Lake Louise terms a 5.12 paradise. Although it was sunday, we did not see another climber all day, except the girl in the picture. They showed up just before we moved on and I was able to catch a few shots from her on "Unforgiven", a 12a on the left side of the cliff.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

perfect family holidays

We've just got out from a great 3 day vacation at the CMH Bobbie Burns Lodge. Although we had some marginal weather we were still able to pull of some awesome days with the aid of the helicopter. I got to climb the full Via Ferrata with Luka, who was with 6 the youngest person to ever do so. Coincidently we had a guest of 80 years of age who did it on the same day, and therefore set the age limit on the other end of the scale. When we build this thing a few years back we never envisioned that this would be possible. It's great to see so many people enjoying the product of so many days of hard labour.

Luka and myself got a private pick up from Chris after a cold day on the Ferrata.
The next day Bella, Luka and myself got to join the kids group and we hiked around fantastic places like Iceberg Lake and the Conrad Icefield, which was a lot of fun for them.

A special thanks goes out to the entire Bobbie Burns crew, who made us feel like very welcome, despite a full lodge of guests. You guys rock!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Had a great day on Yamnuska today with Derek. Our intention was not clear in the morning, but we headed out anyways to check out Yamabushi. We thought we only try to work on the lower 5 pitches or so, but everything went pretty smooth and before we knew it we topped out. We did not bring our shoes to walk down, so we rappelled the nearby "Lord of the Rings" back to the base. Derek impressively freed the whole route (the much feared pitch 7 on sight!), but since we swapped leads it doesn't count as a red point. Hopefully we make it back soon to finish the business for him, it's hard to get the right conditions for it in the summer since it's solar aspect. Since I'm not playing in the same league like Derek, I will need a "few" more visits to red point the entire thing, but it seems like an achievable goal anyways. Non of the pitches are desperately hard, but there are 8 of them and non are a gimme. The future will tell.This is obviously not a picture from Yam, but since I brought my camera with an empty battery, I'll through that one in. At least a mountain that nobody will recognize, although you saw it already hundred times.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mosquito invasion

They love me but I hate them. One reason I live in Canmore is that there are usually no Mosquitos. We even took our mosquito screens out last fall, since we have not seen any of the monsters in the last few years. But this summer, for some reason, they returned, stronger than ever they combine forces in millions to make my life hell. At the most unexpected places like scree slopes and rock cliffs, they can be anywhere, anytime, and they take no mercy on the innocent climber. I can't wait for the first overnight freeze, which is probably the only way to get rid of this unwanted species.
This picture shows me at the base of "Tall Storey" in Echo Canyon, and it's 10a.m., you can imagine how I looked like 8 hours later.