Thursday, October 20, 2011


Last week I tried to spend as much time as possible with my kids with outdoor activities. As you all know, if you play hard, you can crash hard. Here are a few snap shots of moments before the impact, all of them resulted in tears.
Below Luka bike jumping, he learned that one hand on the handle bar and both feet off are not beneficial for the landing.
Bella misjudged the distance of this jump, or her jumping abilities. Not a soft landing either!
At least this landing was in the grass, and not in the gravel behind.
This time around it was not Luka crying, but the poor hoody kid got a soccer shoe right at the spot where it hurts most.
The last week was also still very climbable here, I was lucky to finish up all my projects at the Bellavista area. Both are hard to grade, but I think "Zeitgeist" is 12+ and "The show must go on" is 13-. They are both on excellent stone and ready to go, I left a few fixed draws on the bolts that are hard to clip.
I'm off to Zion for the next 10 days or so with Lissi, a friend from Austria. Looking forward for a little escape from the cold before I fully surrender to the upcoming Winter activities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Five Fourteen for Echo Canyon

On Turkey Monday me and Greg Toss (who bolted and cleaned the route) were lucky to witness the first ever red point of a 5.14 in Echo Canyon. Derek G. fired the 45m long "Stone Temple Pilots" in great style. If confirmed, this will be the 8th route in the Bow Valley with the exclusive 14th grade at the end, and it is the one with the longest approach, the longest fourteen without a no hands rest, the highest altitude and the shortest drive (if you live like me in Canmore).
Since I was belaying I show you a couple pictures of the climb from 2 years ago, when Derek came already close but got shut down by the early arriving Winter.
After this we moved up another 10 minutes to my "new" area called "Bellavista", where I almost send a new route called "Zeitgeist". My foot slipped off during the last move, but it was almost better for me going for the "flight" than finishing it. I have not fallen for some time now and it was good for my confidence. When finished, it will be the best route I ever drilled and climbed in Canada, and somewhere in the 12+/13- range.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Turkey Weekend

We could not complain about the fall so far, pretty moderate temperatures and very climbable for the most part. But just before Thanksgiving Weekend we got a couple days of really bad weather, which dropped a lot of snow at and above tree line. A true test of the patience of those climbers who were not able to go on a trip with a 180ish degree bearing. But as soon as the front moved through, about 20 climbers did not shy the hike up to Echo Canyon enjoying some sun and a well deserved Vitamin D fix after the gray days. It feels good to know that I'm not the only wing nut out there who enjoys a long walk combined with good climbing and even better company. Happy Thanksgiving and let's praise the lord or whoever you believe in for all the good "moves" we were able to do this year.
A few of the main developers for new routes this year are Greg Toss (above), Ross Suchy (bottom) and probably the most active, Matt Pieterson (no picture since he is gone right now). Also a big thanks to Derek Galloway and Jon Jones, who put their drill and sweat into the fame less but long overdue retro fit of Upper Acephale and Carrot Creek respectively.